LONG POND, PA (WFXG) - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good as Dale Earnhardt Jr. found out at Pocono Sunday afternoon after taking the lead with four laps to go from Brad Keselowski to capture his second win the season.
Despite a good car, Earnhardt was no match for Keselowski in the closing laps till a piece of debris clogged Brad's air intake which caused his car to overheat.
In an effort to clean his grill, Keselowski tried a move that failed which allowed Earnhardt to pass for the win.
"When I got down in the corner and the car in front of me got sideways I realized I had made a mistake," said Brad after the race. "But it was too little, too late."
Earnhardt couldn't believe what he saw out of his windshield but knew that he had to take advantage of the situation.
"I just could not believe that he was going to do that when I saw him go up the racetrack behind the 10," said Earnhardt. "I thought, I cannot believe he's going to do this. This is going to cost him."
It did cost Keselowski a victory as Earnhardt held off his former employee for the win.
"I just had to keep him in dirty air and keep him back there, and he wasn't going to get within a couple car lengths I don't think," continued Earnhardt on how he had to drive those last few laps to victory.
It was Earnhardt's first victory in a non-restrictor plate race since 2012 and the first multi-win season since 2004. However, NASCAR's most popular driver was more concerned about his team than the win.
"Winning races is great," continued Earnhardt. "But it's nothing unless you enjoy who you're doing it with, and when you can do something great and it's with people you enjoy being around, man, it really adds to it, so this is why it's so special right now."
The win might have seemed like a gift to Jr. but the gift that he really wants to collect is a championship for his crew chief Steve Letarte who leaves at the end of the season.
"We have a lot of passion and there's a lot of emotion, considering this is Steve's last year," said Earnhardt. "I think that also adds some drive and determination to the team to do as well as we can."
His two wins locks Jr. firmly into the post season Chase. With the drive and determination that his team seems possess right now, that Championship gift might be within their grasp.