Busch Takes Pocono Pole, Second of 2017
Kyle Busch will start from the pole in Sunday’s Axalta Presents the Pocono 400 from Pocono Raceway. This is Busch’s second pole in a row in 2017 and his 21st career pole. This was Busch’s third pole from Pocono.
The car was really good,” Busch said. It’s showed good speed since we unloaded here. It’s going to be a tricky race at the tricky triangle as it heats up throughout the weekend.”
Martin Truex, Jr. will start second, Matt Kenseth will start third, Ryan Blaney will start fourth, and Kurt Busch round out the top-five.
The first round of qualifying saw Kyle Larson go to the top of the board at 178.625 mph. Ky. Busch was second fastest at 178.056 mph. Kevin Harvick was third fastest at 177.285 mph. Joey Logano was fourth fastest at 177.176 mph. Keselowski rounded out the top-five at a speed of 176.796 mph. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. qualified 28th, but will start at the rear of the field due to changing his engine in the only practice session of the day. Notable drivers who did not advance to the second round include Chase Elliott (P25), Kasey Kahne (P26), and Ty Dillon (P27). There will be no drivers sent home as 39 drivers arrived at Pocono.
The second round saw Ky. Busch at the top of the board at 178.483 mph. Logano was second fastest at 178.313 mph. Blaney was third fastest at 178.295 mph. Kenseth was fourth fastest at 178.087 mph. Harvick rounded out the top-five with a speed of 178.006 mph. Notable drivers who did not advance to the final round include Daniel Suarez (P14), Austin Dillon (P17), Denny Hamlin (P18), Jimmie Johnson (P19), Clint Bowyer (p20), and Danica Patrick (P24)
In the final round, Ky. Busch posted a speed of 179.151 mph. Truex Jr. posted the second fastest speed at 178.543 mph. Kenseth posted the third fastest speed at 178.108 mph. Blaney posted the fourth fastest speed at 177.897 mph. Kurt Busch posted the fifth fastest speed at 177.799. Keselowski, Larson, Jamie McMurray, Logano, and Ryan Newman round out the top-10.
Teams will have only one practice session on Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT to prepare for Sunday’s race that will go green shortly after 3:00 p.m. EDT. Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network will have practice and race coverage.
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.
NXS: Pocono Green 250 Preview
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Pocono Raceway for their first and only trip of the 2017 for the second annual Pocono Green 250. The race will feature two 25-lap stages and a 50 lap stage.
41 drivers will head to Pocono to compete for 40 spots on the Saturday afternoon spectacle. Notable names on the list include Paul Menard, Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Larson.
The Pocono Green 250 will be an exclusive “Drivers Only” event in the NASCAR on Fox Booth. Kevin Harvick will be the play-by-play announcer with Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer in the booth. On pit road will be Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones. Danica Patric and Denny Hamlin will host race coverage from the Hollywood Hotel.
This will be the final race for Darrell Wallace, Jr. in the Xfinity Series as Roush Fenway Racing will suspend operations of their No. 6 entry. Wallace will make the move to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to fill-in for Aric Almirola. Almirola was scheduled to race in the Biagi DenBeste entry this weekend, but Casey Mears will be the substitute driver this weekend.
Drives are excited for the second annual event at Pocono. and talk about how unique the tracks three corners are.
“I like Pocono. I had some good success there in a truck and I just think that it is a cool racetrack. It’s hard to pass at times on the track, but I think with the Xfinity cars there, with less downforce, it’s a little easier to pass. It’s for sure easier to pass than the trucks were at times. The track is fast and those three corners are so different, which makes it fun,” said William Byron.
“It’s tough to figure out those three turns. A lot of times you’ll be better on one end than the other. It’s a kind of a tough track because you’re carrying so much speed going into a couple of the corners and they’re pretty much dead flat. You have to figure out how to use your brakes and max your speed going through those corners without sliding up the track. It’s just tough to figure out the flat corners,” said Cole Custer.
Xfinity Series teams will have two practice sessions on Friday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and 3:00 p.m. EDT. Teams will qualify at 9:30 a.m. EDT and race at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Practice and qualifying will be on Fox Sports 1, while the race will be on FOX and Motor Racing Network.
ARCA Pocono Preview
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards heads to Pocono Raceway for the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200.
34 drivers are scheduled to arrive at Pocono. A notable name in the field will be NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brandon Jones.
The first ARCA race at Pocono was held in 1983. There have been a total of 57 ARCA races run. Brennan Poole holds the qualifying record at 173.554 mph, which was set back in 2012. In 2013, Corey LaJoie set the race record at 162.221 mph. Only 17 races have been won from the pole position.
Ty Majeski will make his debut with Cunningham Motorsports in conjunction with Ken Schrader Racing.
“It’s been a lot of fun getting ready for these five races,” said Majeski. “I’ve spent some time with my crew chief Matt (Weber) in the shop at Schrader’s a little bit and they’ve really put together a good car. Cunningham has great equipment and they’ve been extremely fast the last two years, especially on tracks like Pocono. I just can’t wait to get on the track tomorrow and hopefully get a win in my first race in the No. 99 Cunningham Motorsports Ford.”
After the Pocono test, Gus Dean feels confident about his chances of winning at Pocono.
“The more I get laps around the Pocono, the better I’m getting,” Dean said. “I still have some areas to work on. In particular, we were really good in Turns 1 and 2 and the Tunnel Turn, but we have some work to do in Turn 3. We really need that rotation coming out of Turn 3 that will help me accelerate down the frontstretch.”
The race will be held on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT.
ARCA: Briscoe Wins Four In A Row
Chase Briscoe dominated the ModSpace 150 at Pocono Raceway to win his fourth race in a row. John Wes Townley finished second, Dalton Sergeant, Shane Lee, and Kyle Weatherman rounded out the top-5. Briscoe is the first driver since Parker Kligerman in 2009 to win four consecutive races in a row in ARCA competition. This is the 20th consecutive different race winner at Pocono.
“Cant believe this. You know it’s awesome to get big time, four wins in a row. General Tire brings us a great tire to where we can put on good racing like we do,” said Briscoe in a post-race victory lane interview with Fox Sports 1.
Townley, who returned to competition this week after missing a couple weeks due to concussion-like symptoms, was impressed with his run at Pocono. “We, unfortunately, quite didn’t have a car for the 77. He was just really fast, but hopefully we can beat him next time.”
The caution flag flew for a grand total of four times. The first caution flew for debris from a side window from the 52 car of Matt Kurzejewski. The second caution flew for the stalled car of Josh Williams. The third caution flew for Tom Berte, who stalled at the entrance of pit road. The final caution was also brought out by a piece of debris.
The second caution of the day also featured an accident on pit road. The jack man and the tire changer for the 98 of Gus Dean were hit on pit road due to Dean’s brake failure. The tire changer was checked and released from the infield care center. However, the gas man was transported to an area hospital for further evaluation.
Chase Briscoe extends his point lead over Williams, who is 400 points behind Briscoe. Kurzejewski is third, Tom Hessert, and Weatherman round out the top-five in points.
The ARCA Racing Series returns to action on August 6 for the Berlin ARCA 200 at the Berlin Raceway in Michigan. The event will be 200 laps. Action from Berlin can be seen on the American Sports Network.