NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325
Pocono Raceway Distance: 325 miles (130 Laps)
Saturday, June 26 3 p.m. ET TV: NBCSN, 2:30 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 77), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 130)
NASCAR Cup Series Explore the Pocono Mountains 350
Pocono Raceway Distance: 350 miles (140 Laps)
Sunday, June 27 3:30 p.m. ET TV: NBCSN, 2:30 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 85), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 140)
NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons Pocono Raceway Distance: 225 miles (90 Laps)
Sunday, June 27 12 p.m. ET TV: NBCSN, 12 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 90)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series CRC Brakleen 105
Pocono Raceway Distance: 150 miles (60 Laps)
Saturday, June 26 12 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 11 a.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 60)
NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR prepares for a doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway
After the big success of last year’s doubleheader at Pocono Raceway, the NASCAR Cup Series is back for more as the series prepares for the Pocono Organics CBD 325 on Saturday, June 26 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio followed by Sunday’s (June 28) Explore The Pocono Mountains 350 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971. The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway was on August 4, 1974, and the event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (Dodge, 115.593 mph).
The 2012 season marked the first year the NASCAR Cup Series races at Pocono were scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012, all NASCAR Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway. In total, there have been 86 NASCAR Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since. Last year marked the first season the NASCAR Cup Series held a doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Pocono Raceway’s 86 NASCAR Cup Series races have produced 46 different poles winners and 38 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott and veteran Ken Schrader lead the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Pocono Raceway with five poles each.
The starting lineup for the first of the two Cup races this weekend was determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson will start on the pole and his teammate William Byron will join him on the front row. Entry list and starting lineups for the second race of the weekend will be distributed following post-race inspection of the first race.
Starting Lineup Procedure For Race #2 at Pocono
Starting positions 1st -20th: The top 20 finishing vehicles from the 6/26/21 Pocono Raceway Event will have their final finishing positions inverted, regardless of laps completed, to be assigned their 6/27/21 starting position. The first-place vehicle from 6/26/21 will start 20th, the 2nd place vehicle will start 19th, and so on.
Starting Positions 21st – 40th: Vehicles finishing 21st –40th in the 6/26/21 Pocono Raceway Event will be assigned starting positions 21st – 40th in the same order as the final finishing results from 6/26/21 regardless of laps completed. The 21st place vehicle from 6/26/21 will start 21st, 22nd place vehicle will start 22nd, and so on.
Of Pocono Raceway’s 38 different NASCAR Cup Series winners, 10 are active this weekend. NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2011 and 2012) and Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep, 2009, 2010, 2019, 2020) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Pocono with six victories each.
In last season’s Pocono doubleheader, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick grabbed the win in Race #1 and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin won the Race #2.
Fab Four: Kyle Larson looks for fourth straight Cup win
Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson is surfing a three race consecutive wins streak into this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono Raceway looking to become just the ninth different driver in the Modern Era (1972-Present) to win four or more races consecutively and the 13th different driver to accomplish the feat all-time.
Rank Driver No. From To
1 Richard Petty 10 08/12/1967 10/01/1967
2 Richard Petty 6 07/14/1971 08/08/1971
3 Bobby Allison 5 05/30/1971 06/23/1971
4 Billy Wade 4 07/10/1964 07/19/1964
5 David Pearson 4 04/03/1966 04/11/1966
6 David Pearson 4 05/05/1968 05/18/1968
7 Cale Yarborough 4 09/12/1976 10/03/1976
8 Darrell Waltrip 4 09/27/1981 11/01/1981
9 Dale Earnhardt 4 03/29/1987 04/26/1987
10 Harry Gant 4 09/01/1991 09/22/1991
11 Bill Elliott 4 03/01/1992 03/29/1992
12 Mark Martin 4 08/08/1993 09/05/1993
13 Jeff Gordon 4 07/26/1998 08/16/1998
14 Jimmie Johnson 4 10/21/2007 11/11/2007
NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty holds the all-time record for the most consecutive races won in the NASCAR Cup Series at 10 straight in 1967. Currently, only NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (10 consecutive wins in 1967 and six in 1971) and Bobby Allison (five consecutive wins in 1971) are the only two drivers all-time to win five or more consecutive races in the series. If Larson were to sweep the doubleheader this weekend at Pocono, he would become just the third driver in series history to win five consecutive races.
Larson has made 12 series starts at Pocono Raceway posting three top fives and six top 10s; including a best finish of runner-up in 2018. He did not compete in the doubleheader at Pocono last season but won at the 2.5-mile track in 2016 in the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series event.
Masters of the Tricky Triangle
If anyone is going to put an end to Kyle Larson’s wins streak this weekend its most likely going to be one of the 10 former NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Raceway winners entered this weekend, led by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin with six career Pocono victories.
Pocono Active Winners
Denny Hamlin 6 2020, 2019, 2010, 2009, 2006 sweep
Kyle Busch 3 2019, 2018, 2017
Kurt Busch 3 2016, 2007, 2005
Martin Truex Jr 2 2018, 2015
Kevin Harvick 1 2020
Ryan Blaney 1 2017
Chris Buescher 1 2016
Joey Logano 1 2012
Brad Keselowski 1 2011
Ryan Newman 1 2003
Four drivers entered this weekend have multiple wins at the Tricky Triangle – Denny Hamlin (six wins), Kyle Busch (three), Kurt Busch (three) and Martin Truex Jr. (two).
Recently, Joe Gibbs Racing has been the organization to beat at Pocono Raceway winning six of the last seven races at the 2.5-mile track, the one exception was Kevin Harvick’s win last season (Race 1 of 2) for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Series standings leader Denny Hamlin is still looking for his first victory of the season, currently riding a winless streak that dates back 22 races to Talladega last October. Though Hamlin has been winless this season, he has posted nine top fives and 12 top 10s. Pocono Raceway is statically Hamlin’s best track on the Cup schedule. In 30 starts, the Chesterfield, Virginia native has posted six wins (tied for series-most with Jeff Gordon), 13 top fives and 20 top 10s. He also has the third-best average finish among active drivers at the track with a 11.2.
Hamlin’s JGR teammate, Kyle Busch is tied with his brother Kurt Busch for the second-most wins by an active driver at Pocono with three victories each. Kyle Busch will be one to watch this weekend, he has built some momentum lately posting five top 10s in the last seven races; including a win at Kansas and two third-place finishes (Darlington and Charlotte). Busch has made 32 starts at Pocono Raceway posting three wins (2017, 2018, 2019), nine top fives and 16 top 10s. Last season’s doubleheader was a mixed bag for Busch. In the first race he posted a fifth-place finish but was caught in an incident in the second race and finished 38th.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. has two NASCAR Cup Series wins at Pocono Raceway and is looking get his third or maybe even fourth in this weekend’s doubleheader. Truex’s 2021 season was off to feverish pace at the beginning of the year winning three races (Phoenix, Martinsville, Darlington) in the first 12 events, but has since hit a skid, posting just one top-five finish in the last five races. With that said, Pocono could be the perfect track to right the No. 19 team’s ship. Truex has made 30 series starts at the Tricky Triangle posting two wins (2015, 2018), six top fives and 13 top 10s. In last season’s doubleheader at Pocono Truex posted back-to-back top 10s.
Playoff Bubble: Buescher’s points cushion took a hit
After being involved in an incident at Nashville Superspeedway last weekend, Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher (16th in the driver standings) watched his points cushion over the Playoff cutline dwindle by 36 points to just 24 above Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto in 17th – the first spot outside postseason eligibility.
Just nine races remain in the regular season and two are this weekend exacerbating the fact that the opportunities for drivers to race their way into the Playoffs are running thin. In total 17 different drivers entered this weekend have at least one NASCAR national series win. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch is the only driver to have won in all three series (Cup three wins, Xfinity one win and Camping World Truck two wins).
Of the drivers without wins this season trying to lock themselves into the postseason, nine have previously won at Pocono Raceway, led by Denny Hamlin with six Cup victories and followed by Kurt Busch (three Cup wins), Kevin Harvick (one Cup win and one Xfinity win), Ryan Newman (one Cup win), Chris Buescher (one Cup win), Cole Custer (one Xfinity win), Chase Briscoe (one Xfinity win), Austin Dillon (one Truck win) and Ross Chastain (one Truck win).
Though he hasn’t won at Pocono Raceway yet, Matt DiBenedetto put up the fifth-best average finish (9.5) in the two-race doubleheader last season. Quite the difference from Buescher’s 23.0 average finish in the doubleheader last season. With just 24 points separating DiBenedetto (17th) and Buescher (16th) along the Playoff cutline solid finishes will be imperative over the next several weeks.
Six Pack: Hendrick Motorsports going for sixth consecutive win of the season
Pocono Raceway has set the stage for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series’ doubleheader and the red-hot Hendrick Motorsports rolls into town looking to tie their NASCAR Cup Series Modern Era (1972-Present) consecutive wins record of six consecutive victories by the organization set back in 2007.
Hendrick Motorsport’s drivers have won the last five series events on the 2021 schedule – Alex Bowman (Dover), Chase Elliott (COTA) and Kyle Larson (Charlotte, Sonoma, Nashville) – making the 2021 season the fourth-time in the organization’s history to win five or more consecutive races in the series – twice in 2007 and once in 2014.
Six organizations in the Modern Era (1972-Presnt) have won four or more consecutive victories in the NASCAR Cup Series, led by Hendrick Motorsports with 7 different streaks of four or more wins. In total, in the Modern Era, streaks of four or more wins by a single organization has occurred 16 times. Hendrick Motorsports is the only organization in the Modern Era to win five or more Cup races consecutively.
Organizations Streaks of 4 or More Consecutive Wins Seasons
Hendrick Motorsports 7 2021, 2014, 2007 three times, 1998, 1996
Joe Gibbs Racing 3 2016, 2015 two times
Junior Johnson & Assoc. 3 1992, 1981, 1976
Richard Childress Racing 1 1987
Jackson Brothers Motorsports 1
1991 Roush Fenway Racing 1 1993
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
SHR’s Aric Almirola is looking for a rebound – After a dismal start to his season with five DNFs caused by incidents, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola is looking to rebound this weekend at Pocono and build on his glimmer of success last weekend at Nashville.
Almirola had his best race of the season last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway qualifying on the pole and finishing fourth – his first top five of the year.
Now Almirola is looking to keep the positive momentum going in this weekend’s doubleheader at Pocono Raceway. Last season, Almirola was stellar in the doubleheader posting the third-best average finish (4.0) in the two races behind Kevin Harvick (1.5) and Denny Hamlin (1.5). In total, Almirola has made 17 career starts at the Tricky Triangle posting two top fives and four top 10s.
Jeff Gordon named Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports – Jeff Gordon, the four-time NASCAR champion, television broadcaster and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, has been named vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, which will make him the second-ranking team official to chairman and majority owner Rick Hendrick. As vice chairman and co-owner, Gordon will maintain a daily presence at Hendrick Motorsports with a focus on the organization’s competition and marketing groups. The Vallejo, California, native will report to Hendrick and work alongside president Marshall Carlson and general manager Jeff Andrews. In addition, he will join Hendrick on NASCAR’s team owner council and assume Hendrick Motorsports’ seat on the sanctioning body’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee. Gordon, 49, will formally assume the strategic executive management role on Jan. 1, 2022.
“I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” Gordon said. “In many ways, it’s my home and the people here are my family. I’ve never lost my passion for the organization, for our sport, and for the sheer challenge of racing and winning at the highest level. Being part of the competition is where I’m happiest and feel I can make the biggest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team. Rick and I have a shared vision, which is based on the values he’s instilled, the culture he’s built and our desire to be the very best in all categories, on and off the track.”
In October 1999, Gordon became an equity owner of Hendrick Motorsports. He remains Hendrick’s only partner in the 13-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning organization, for which Gordon won 93 races and four titles as a driver from 1992 until his retirement from full-time racing in 2015.
Gordon joined FOX Sports as an analyst in 2016 and he will continue to work as a FOX broadcaster through the end of the 2021 calendar year.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Up Next: Sunday Showdown at Pocono Raceway
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will kick off a Sunday doubleheader with the NASCAR Cup Series on June 27 at Pocono Raceway with the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at 12 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Last weekend, the Xfinity Series took on Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2011 and Kyle Busch was victorious for the second week in a row in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The win also gave Busch his 100th career Xfinity victory – making him just the third driver in NASCAR history to win 100 or more races in a single series.
Justin Allgaier finished runner-up to Busch and Harrison Burton finished third. Josh Berry finished fourth, AJ Allmendinger fifth, Brandon Jones sixth, Jeb Burton seventh, Noah Gragson eighth, Austin Hill ninth and Riley Herbst rounded out the top 10. The race saw eight cautions for 46 laps with 12 lead changes and a margin of victory of 1.110 seconds.
This weekend the series prepares for Pocono Raceway and by virtue of Metric Qualifying Harrison Burton will lead the field to the green flag with Justin Allgaier joining him on the front row.
Winner Streak: Pocono Raceway is riding a streak of five different Xfinity winners
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Pocono Raceway, also known as the Tricky Triangle, for just the sixth time in series history. The previous five Xfinity Series races at Pocono have produced five different winners a streak that most certainly will extend as none of the former winners are entered in this Sunday’s event.
Last season’s Pocono race won by Stewart-Haas Racing’ Chase Briscoe saw 12 lead changes among six different leaders. There were nine cautions for 31 laps and 21 cars finished on the lead-lap. Briscoe, the led 24 laps en route to the win.
Among those entered this weekend, Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones are the only full-time Xfinity drivers that have made every start at the track and will make their sixth this weekend.
Ford is the winningest manufacture at Pocono with three Xfinity victories, while Chevrolet and Toyota each have one at the track.
Century mark for Rowdy helps others
Kyle Busch picked up his 100th career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with his overtime victory at Nashville Superspeedway last weekend. This made him the first driver in Xfinity Series history to reach wins in the triple digits and the third driver in NASCAR national series history to earn 100 or more wins in one series. NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (200), David Pearson (105) have also accomplished the achievement. To celebrate Busch’s 100 wins in the Xfinity Series, Comcast donated 100 laptops and a year of free Internet Essentials to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, which is also a Comcast Lift Zone.
Since September 2020, Comcast has been rolling out Life Zones as part of their ongoing effort to provide Wi-Fi to more than 1,000 community center across America by the end of 2021.
Bubble Trouble: Who is in, out of the Playoffs?
With five drivers locked in on wins so far this season, there are still seven spots left in the field for a driver to make it into the Playoffs by virtue of a win or on points. With 11 races left in the regular season there is still plenty of time for drivers to secure a spot.
The five Xfinity drivers locked into the postseason on wins are Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider.
Daniel Hemric holds the sixth spot in the standings and is the highest ranked driver without a win so far in 2021. He is 193 points above the cutline currently, extending his lead last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton is behind him in seventh, 166 points from the cutline. Both of these drivers have a good cushion right now, but a win would be preferred to make sure they’re locked-in the postseason.
Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley is sitting in eighth in the driver standings Playoff outlook, he’s 120 points above the cutline and the only Kaulig Racing driver not in the Playoffs on wins yet. Kaulig Racing announced this week they have purchased a Charter in the NASCAR Cup Series and plan on Justin Haley moving up next season.
Once we get to ninth in the standings, the points tighten up. Brandon Jones is in ninth (+89), Noah Gragson 10th (+56), Michael Annett is in 11th (+53) and Jeremy Clements is holding the final Playoff transfer spot just 48 points up on Brandon Brown in 13th – the first spot outside the cutoff.
Manufacturer, owner update
Team Penske is still leading the way in the NASCAR Xfinity Series owner points standings following the 15th race of the season at Nashville Superspeedway. Team Penske has 628 points and is 82 points ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing in second. Kaulig Racing is in third, 90 points behind the leader.
Chevrolet is leading the manufacturers championship standings with seven wins and 554 points. Toyota has five wins and 535 points and Ford is sitting in third with three wins and 502 points.
Chevrolet’s wins came at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Toyota’s five wins all came from Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch. They were at the Daytona Road Course, Circuit of the Americas, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway. Four of those victories have all come in the last five races.
Ford’s wins were in the season-opener at Daytona, Phoenix Raceway and Dover International Speedway.
Berry back on top of rookie standings; Gibbs competing this weekend
After making his 13th start of the season last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, JR Motorsport’s driver Josh Berry held onto the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie driver standings from Joe Gibbs Racing’s rising star Ty Gibbs. Berry is 19 points ahead of Gibbs after Nashville, where Gibbs didn’t participate.
Berry is entered to run this weekend’s race at Pocono for Jordan Anderson Racing and Gibbs is back behind the wheel of the No. 54 JGR Toyota this weekend. Both rookies will be making their Pocono Raceway debuts.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Loris Hezemans back in NXS at Pocono: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series points leader Loris Hezemans will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Sunday at Pocono Raceway in the No. 90 DGM Chevrolet with support from Reaume Brothers Racing. Hezemans competed at Phoenix Raceway earlier this season and finished 31st after starting 40th. This weekend will represent another step toward obtaining a license to compete on all NASCAR ovals. After Pocono, Hezemans will return to Europe to continue competing for the Whelen Euro Series title.
Kevin Harvick running NXS race at Indy: Kevin Harvick will run the August 14 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Road Course with Unibet as the primary sponsor. Unibet will debut with Harvick this weekend at Pocono Raceway in the Xfinity Series and be onboard for two Cup races and the Xfinity race at Indy. Unibet has partnered with Harvick to grow its presence in the United States and specifically within motorsports. Harvick has 347 starts in the Xfinity Series with 47 wins, 186 top fives, 260 top 10s and 25 poles.
Austin Dillon running NXS races for Our Motorsports: Our Motorsports announced that Austin Dillon will be added to the driver lineup for the No. 23 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series. Dillon will be behind the wheel at Watkins Glen International on August 7 and at the Indianapolis Road Course on August 14. Dillon, the 2013 Xfinity Series champion, has 146 Xfinity Series starts with nine wins, 65 top fives, 105 top 10s and 17 pole awards.
Gase back in NXS this weekend: Joey Gase will be driving the No. 52 Chevrolet for Jimmy Means Racing at Pocono Raceway this Sunday. Gase is returning to the team for the first time since 2017 and has sponsorship from Gift of Life. Back in 2012, Gase was the primary driver of the 52. Currently, the No. 52 is 39th in owner points. Gray Gaulding, who is the primary driver of the No. 52, drove the team to a best finish of 17th at Mid-Ohio. Gaulding will be back in the No. 52 after Pocono.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
What Turn 4? Pocono Raceway poses unique challenge
When it comes to racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series no track is more unique than the 2.5-mile, paved, three-turn Pocono Raceway aptly nicknamed the ‘Tricky Triangle’. This weekend the series heads to Pennsylvania for the CRC Brakleen 150 on Saturday, June 26 at 12 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Pocono Raceway has hosted 11 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The first Camping World Truck race at Pocono Raceway was on July 31, 2010, and the event was won from the pole by Elliott Sadler in a Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet.
The 11 Truck Series races at Pocono Raceway have produced eight different poles winners and 11 different race winners. With three of the Truck Series races having their qualifying sessions cancelled, the series lead in poles is shared among the eight different drivers with a pole – Elliott Sadler (2010), Kevin Harvick (2011), Nelson Piquet Jr. (2012), Kyle Larson (2014), Erik Jones (2015), Ben Rhodes (2017), Kyle Busch (2018) and Austin Hill (2019) – the 2013 and 2016 season races had qualifying cancelled due to weather and last season’s starting lineup was determined by random draw due to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Kyle Busch leads the series in wins at Pocono Raceway with two victories (2015, 2018). Busch is also the only driver entered this weekend at Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
This weekend’s starting lineup was determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Front Row Motorsport’s Todd Gilliland will start from the pole and GMS Racing’s Zane Smith will join him on the front row.
Playoff Bubble: Just three races till the Playoffs, six spots still up for grabs
With only three races left until the Playoffs, time is of the essence for the drivers trying to race their way into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series postseason. Currently four drivers have won and locked themselves into the Playoffs – John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland and 2020 series champion Sheldon Creed – leaving six spots still up for grabs heading into this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Four drivers without wins this season have decently sized points cushions between themselves and the Playoff cutline – 5. Austin Hill (+145), 6. Zane Smith (+108), 7. Matt Crafton (+73), 8. Stewart Friesen (+53). But rookies Carson Hocevar (+30) in ninth and Chandler Smith (+15) in 10th will have their work cut for them to maintain their small point advantages over the Playoff cutoff. Both rookies will be making their series track debuts this weekend at Pocono.
The drivers looking for their first career Truck win should be optimistic heading into this weekend, three of the 10 different Pocono winners scored their first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career victory at Pocono Raceway; including last season’s winner Brandon Jones (2020), Joey Coulter (2012) and Elliott Sadler (2010).
Of the drivers entered this weekend, Tyler Ankrum has the best average finish at Pocono Raceway with a 5.5 in three starts; followed by Todd Gilliland (6.0), Kyle Busch (7.3), Ben Rhodes (7.6) and John Hunter Nemechek (8.7).
Kyle Busch Motorsports stacks lineup for Pocono
After already claiming seven of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 12 races this season, Kyle Busch Motorsports has brought back their namesake owner/driver Kyle Busch to compete alongside the series driver standings leader John Hunter Nemechek and rookie Chandler Smith.
Kyle Busch Motorsports leads the series in wins at Pocono Raceway with five victories – Kyle Busch (2015, 2018), William Byron (2016), Christopher Bell (2017) and Brandon Jones (2020). And Busch leads the series in wins at 2.5-mile track with wo victories and is the only driver to win at Pocono in all three NASCAR national series.
Busch’s teammate and current driver standings leader, John Hunter Nemechek has yet to win at Pocono but has made three starts posting one top five and two top 10s. He also has the fifth best average finish (8.7) among active drivers at Pocono.
“The trickiest part of the Tricky Triangle is getting your truck to handle in all three corners,” said Nemechek. “What Turn 4? There is no Turn 4 there. Turn 1 is completely different from Turn 2 and Turn 2 is completely different from Turn 3 and Turn 3 completely different from Turn 1. There are a lot of differences, but you have to make your truck go around the racetrack and handle in all three in order for it to be fast. There are a lot of handling characteristics this weekend. There is a lot a driver can do as well in trying to manipulate what the truck can do handling wise trying to get speed out of it, especially for the long run.”
Nemechek and Busch will be joined by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, Chandler Smith, who will be making his series track debut this weekend at Pocono.
Todd Gilliland starts out front thanks to solid run at Nashville
Front Row Motorsport’s Todd Gilliland has hit his stride this season coming off his seventh top-10 finish in the last eight races; including a win at Circuit of The Americas and a runner-up finish last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Now heading into this weekend at Pocono Raceway, thanks to Metric Qualifying, the 21-year-old will be starting on the pole for the CRC Brakleen 150 on Saturday, June 26 at 12 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Gilliland from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, is already locked into the Playoffs with a win this season, but over the next three races to close out the regular season are great opportunities to rack-up Playoff points. He currently has seven Playoff points.
Looking to Pocono Raceway, Gilliland has made three starts at the 2.5-mile track posting one top five and three top 10s. His average finish in the series at Pocono is 6.0 – second-best among active drivers.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Preece is looking to go two-for-two – Last weekend’s Nashville Superspeedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner Ryan Preece, driving for Team DGR, grabbed the win in his very first start in the series. Now the Berlin, Connecticut native will be back in the No. 17 Ford this weekend at Pocono Raceway looking to become just the second driver to take back-to-back trips to Victory Lane in their first two series career starts joining Kasey Kahne (2004: Darlington, Homestead).
This weekend race will be Preece’s series track debut at Pocono Raceway.
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR