MENCS: Axalta Presents the Poconos 400

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania for the 36th annual Axalta Presents The Pocono 400. The race will consist of two 50-lap stages and a stage of 60 laps.

There will be 39 drivers competing in Sunday’s field. The most notable will be Darrell Wallace, Jr., who will be making his first Cup start in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports entry as Aric Almirola continues to recover from his injury sustained at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch will be without his crew chief, Adam Stevens, and his tire changer and carrier following a penalty assessed on Wednesday after a wheel came loose on a pit stop at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.

Drivers are excited for their trip to the “Tricky Triangle”.

“Pocono is so different from any track that we go to all year as it has just three turns. The straightaways are really long and each turn is really different. With that being said, I really enjoyed racing at Pocono last year and have been looking forward to making my return since we left a year ago,” said Daniel Suarez. “Scott (Graves) and the guys have worked hard each week to make our Toyota Camry’s as fast as possible, and I feel really good about where we are as a team right now. Last week at Dover was a great run for us, so hopefully we can build on that and have another great finish for ARRIS and everyone involved with this No. 19 team on Sunday.”

"Pocono is such a fun track to drive. It's very unique because it drives similar to a road course and there is a lot shifting involved. I've always had a lot of fun racing there. You can really attack the corners and the racing is great. We're hoping to unload with a good base setup on our IncredibleBank Ford and bring home a solid top-25 finish,” said Matt DiBenedetto.

"You have try your best to find a setup that allows you to be good in all three corners to be successful at Pocono. You have to hit all three corners perfectly. Turn 1 is very important because it leads into the second-longest straightaway, and Turn 3 is obviously important because it takes you into the longest straightaway of the track. You would think that Turn 2 is the least important, but it seems like time is really made and lost in that turn by hitting your mark. If you miss it by even just a foot, your lap time really suffers. So it's important to hit all three corners,” said Paul Menard.

Cup teams will have one practice session on Friday at 11:00 a.m. EDT and qualify at 4:15 p.m. EDT. Teams will have on practice session on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The race will be on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Motor Racing Network and Fox Sports 1 will have coverage all weekend long.

Caleb Whisler

I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.