Post-Race Reactions: Pocono Mountains 125
Listen to what all the top finishers ahd to say about today's Pocono Mountains 125 .
Pocono Raceway adds XFINITY race for '16
Pocono Raceway officials announced Tuesday the addition of a NASCAR XFINITY Series event to the track's 2016 racing schedule. The 250-mile race is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, and will be part of a three-race weekend at the 2.5-mile track. The Sprint Cup Series' Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 is slated for Sunday, June 5 while the Pocono 200 ARCA Racing Series event will kick off the weekend's racing activities. It will be the first appearance for the XFINITY Series at Pocono , which has hosted NASCAR-sanctioned events since 1974. Track president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky said race fans "have been asking for this to happen for several years." Comcast, parent company of series sponsor XFINITY , is based in Philadelphia. "From Day 1 we've been focused on enhancing the way fans experience NASCAR and highlighting the competition and youth in the XFINITY Series," Matt Lederer, director of sports brand marketing for Comcast, said. "The addition of an event at Pocono Raceway in our home state ... will help carry the momentum built in the first year of our partnership into 2016." In addition to the June race weekend, the Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for July 31 at Pocono , along with the Pocono Mountains 150 Camping World Truck Series race and Modspace 125 ARCA event. Camping World Truck Series teams have been competing at Pocono since 2010 while the ARCA Series began competing at the track in 1987. " Pocono is a very unique track," current XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher said. "I'm excited that we are adding a new track to the XFINITY Series schedule. I've raced there a considerable amount in the ARCA Series and have always enjoyed it. It will be a good challenge for the XFINITY teams."
H2H: Would 600 win mean more to Junior or Busch?
RELATED: Full 600 coverage A winner's trophy for the marathon, reputation-making Coca-Cola 600 is certainly one of the most prized possessions in all of NASCAR. The longest race (600 miles) on the NASCAR circuit is about so much more than just distance, too. There's the history of having such a contest at the 1.5-mile track just north of the Charlotte, North Carolina, NASCAR hub, not to mention this is the only race with three unique sets of elements: A race that starts under the sun, traverses to dusk and ends at night under the lights makes for three time frames with three unique sets of circumstances. Yes, it is truly a battle of man vs. machine. That's what makes it so difficult to win the Coca-Cola 600 , which both Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr . have never done. In fact, neither has won a points-paying event at Charlotte Motor Speedway . So which driver would benefit most from a win Sunday? Brad Norman and George Winkler set out to answer the question. PHOTOS: All of Busch's victories " See Junior's patriotic scheme NORMAN: So sorry, Junior Nation, but Sunday's race is more important to Kyle Busch . "Rowdy" has been on an incredible hot streak since returning from a broken leg last season -- eight wins in 37 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Four of those victories were his first at the tracks in Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville and Kansas, respectively. There are only two tracks remaining on the circuit where Busch has not won a Cup race -- Charlotte and Pocono . The career-sweep is a mind-boggling feat, making Sunday's event a massive deal for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. WINKLER: Sure, it would be impressive for Kyle Busch to add to his resume with a victory at Charlotte, but it would be an all-out celebration for Junior to win the Coca-Cola 600 . From downtown Kannapolis, North Carolina, (where Junior grew up) to Charlotte Motor Speedway is just a 25-minute drive, so one can only imagine the type of attention a victory like this would get. Plus, Junior has said repeatedly that winning the Coca-Cola 600 is a top priority of his and one of the gaps he'd most like to fill on his resume. NORMAN: Yeah, it's a big 'un for Junior on a personal level. History is at stake for Busch, though. Not just personal history, either -- team history. Check out some of the most historic races on the NASCAR circuit and their results over the past year -- 2015 Coca-Cola 600 ( Carl Edwards wins); 2015 Brickyard 400 ( Kyle Busch wins); 2015 Southern 500 ( Carl Edwards wins); Homestead finale ( Kyle Busch wins, and wins 2015 championship); 2016 Daytona 500 ( Denny Hamlin wins). JGR has a ridiculous streak at stake in these types of races, too. There's simply way more on the line for both "Rowdy" and the organization at large. WINKLER: See, I think the reverse is true. Because JGR has been so dominant this season, I think it's more important for Hendrick Motorsports , and particularly Junior, to re-establish their mojo. Earnhardt Jr. has wrecked in two of his last three points-paying races, has had some races where he qualified poorly but came through the field and others where he overcame in-race issues and the odds to post top fives. Considering how Junior has battled this season, I think he's tested and ready to fight for the whole 600 miles and be in a good position to win.
Pocono hosting Goodyear tire test
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams representing Richard Childress Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Team Penske and Furniture Row Racing are scheduled to participate in a two-day Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19-20 at Pocono Raceway . The Sprint Cup Series visits the 2.5-mile track for the first of two annual stops June 3-5 for the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 . Drivers expected to take part in the test are Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota), Brad Keselowski ( Team Penske No. 2 Ford), Kyle Larson (CGR No. 42 Chevrolet) and Ryan Newman (RCR No. 31 Chevrolet). "It's kind of in line with what we've done at the other tests," Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear said Sunday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway . "Looking at the 2016 package for Pocono and looking to increase grip." The Pocono track was repaved in 2012, and Stucker said even before that project "it had grown to be on the conservative side (tire-wise), so we're looking to try and increase grip levels." With only three corners and each one drastically different, Pocono presents its own set of unique challenges both to teams and Goodyear. While teams often compared it to Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the series will visit later this summer, those similarities, such as from a tire-wear standpoint, had begun to lessen. Now, though, Stucker said "It's getting to be more like Indy was -- the two used to be lined up and that's one of the things we're actually looking to see, if maybe we can align those two," Stucker said. "But it's still not heavy wear by any stretch of the imagination. It's just lost some grip; it's not overly abrasive. The grip is starting to go away since the repave." In addition to the June race weekend, Pocono also hosts a second Sprint Cup event at the end of July.
Post-Race Reactions: Pocono Mountains 150
Clint Bowyer and Johnny Sauter talk about their solid runs in the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, a track Sauter describes as one he isn't particularly fond of.
Jones earns fourth pole of 2015 at Pocono
KBM teammates will line up 1-2 RELATED: Full Pocono lineup Erik Jones won the 21 Means 21 Pole Qualifying Award at Pocono Raceway on Saturday and will lead the field to green in the Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). This is the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver’s first pole at Pocono and his fourth of the 2015 season. Lining up next to Jones on the front row will be the 18-year-old's boss and mentor, Kyle Busch , who qualified second. Truck Series points leader and two-time series champion Matt Crafton will start the race third. Brad Keselowski will line up fourth. Defending race winner Austin Dillon qualified fifth for the race. Dillon and Kevin Harvick , who qualified seventh, are the only two previous Pocono winners in the field. The Truck Series ran a single-car qualifying format on Saturday, which they were supposed to run at Kentucky Speedway a few weeks ago before it got rained out. Driver of the No. 03 Timothy Viens failed to qualify. Tune into FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET as the green flag drops for the Pocono Mountains 150 (MRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Harvick to drive JR Motorsports Truck at Pocono
Reigning Sprint Cup champ won 2011 event at the Tricky Triangle BUY TICKETS: Pocono Kevin Harvick will return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the first time in two years when he pilots the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Pocono Mountains 150 on August 1. In his only previous Pocono Raceway start in the series, Harvick won the 2011 edition of this race after leading 44 of 53 laps in a Kevin Harvick Inc. vehicle. His last start in the series came in 2013 at Martinsville. "I'm excited to be back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with JRM at Pocono Raceway," Harvick said in a team release. "A lot has changed at Pocono with the repave, but I was fortunate enough to find Victory Lane in my last Truck Series start there and I hope we can do the same thing this time around with the Haas Automation Chevrolet." JRM made its series debut this season, fielding a Silverado for 17-year-old Cole Custer , who earned his first win with JRM and second career victory last month at Gateway Motorsports Park. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older to run national series tracks greater than a mile in length so Custer must wait until next season to run full time after his 18th birthday on Jan. 23. He will return to the No. 00 next month at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne earned the first victory for JRM's Truck program in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he beat Erik Jones by .005 seconds for the second-closest finish in series history. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch wins Truck Series race at Pocono
Tyler Reddick emerges as new Truck Series points leader RELATED: Full race results " Series standings LONG POND, Pa. -- As Kyle Busch sat sidelined with a broken right leg and left foot from February until May, the prevailing question was "When will he win again?" Now it's "Will he ever lose?" In a race that began with major drama and ended with three overtime periods, Busch took the checkered flag in Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, winning in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start since returning from the Feb. 21 accident at Daytona that kept him out of action. It was the fourth straight NASCAR national series victory for the driver of his own No. 51 Toyota. Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 19 at New Hampshire and swept last weekend's XFINITY and Sprint Cup events at Indianapolis. On Sunday he will try for his fourth straight Cup victory in the Windows 10 400 at Pocono (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). With his fuel cell running low, Busch had to survive three straight attempts at green-white-checkered-flag finishes, with accidents interrupting the first two. Finally, on Lap 69 -- 22.5 miles beyond the scheduled distance of 150 miles -- Busch crossed the finish line 1.225 seconds ahead of runner-up Kevin Harvick . The victory was Busch's first at Pocono in any series, and it marked the 10th straight year he has one at least one race in each of NASCAR's top three touring series. "It's great to win and put Toyota in Victory Lane," Busch said. "It's my first Pocono win as well, so that was cool." Busch was happy he got to watch the last few restarts in his rear view mirror, rather than through his windshield. "They weren't too bad from my seat, but it looked like, beyond me, it was crazy back there," Busch said. "I'm glad we were in a really good position." Behind Harvick, Tyler Reddick ran third and snatched the series lead from two-time defending champion Matt Crafton , who was embroiled in the early drama. Crafton and Brad Keselowski , Reddick's teammate and truck owner, were racing in close quarters on Lap 5 when Harvick took them three-wide to the inside. In what appeared to be a no-fault accident, the left-front of Keselowski's Ford snagged the right rear quarter of Crafton's Toyota. Both trucks smacked the outside wall. After repairs, Crafton finished 28th, 56 laps in arrears. While his crew was working on the Tundra, Crafton fumed, blaming Keselowski for the wreck to the point of accusing the 2012 Sprint Cup champion of deliberately trying to help Reddick win the Truck Series title. "I guess maybe he wants to win a championship with that 19 truck (Reddick)," Crafton said, vowing to prevent a Reddick championship from happening. "That's your Cup champion? That's pretty much an idiot." Keselowski dismissed Crafton's comments, asserting he wouldn’t want to win a title by wrecking an opponent. "I don’t know if I came down (the track) or he came up," Keselowski said. "It’s unfortunate ...These trucks are expensive, and they cost a lot to fix. I feel badly for Matt and his team, but I don't really know what (I could have done) differently." RELATED: Keselowski, Crafton lock horns Reddick leaves Pocono with an 11-point lead over Crafton. Polesitter Erik Jones , who battled Busch, his team owner, for most of the afternoon but was the victim of late contact that caused the fourth of five cautions, rallied to finish 10th and is third in the standings, 16 points behind Reddick. Cameron Hayley posted a career-best fourth-place finish, one spot ahead of last year's Pocono winner, Austin Dillon . Johnny Sauter , Timothy Peters , Matt Tifft , Daniel Hemric and Jones completed the top 10. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Crafton, Keselowski collide at Pocono
Crafton on Kes: 'That's pretty much an idiot right there' RELATED: Series standings " Full race results LONG POND, Pa. -- Matt Crafton and Brad Keselowski were involved in an early crash in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 on Saturday at Pocono Raceway that left the two-time defending series champion unhappy and in second place in the driver championship standings. Crafton and Keselowski made contact to bring out a caution on Lap 6 as the points leader entering Pocono went up to the outside and Keselowski made contact with his right side, sending both into the wall near Turn 3. The wreck left both with significant damage and ultimately Keselowski was out of the race, while Crafton's crew got to work to get him back on track. The No. 88 ThorSport Racing crew did get him back out, but he finished 56 laps down in 28th-place, his worst finish of the season. Keselowski, meanwhile, finished 30th. RELATED: 'Rowdy' wins at Pocono Crafton came into the race with a 14-point lead in the standings over Tyler Reddick . However, he left Pocono 11 points behind Reddick. The two national series champions -- Keselowski won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012 -- had a brief exchange in the garage before heading their separate ways. "That's your Cup champion," Crafton said while walking to examine his damaged truck. "That's pretty much an idiot right there right-rearing the guy racing for a championship. I guess maybe that's the way he wants his 19 truck to win the championship, but they've got a long ways to come right now. I'm telling you that." Crafton later added, "He's got another thing coming, I promise that truck won't win it. If that's the way he wants to do it, we'll get it done." Keselowski, making just his fourth Truck Series start of the season in the No. 29 Ford for his race team, told FOX Sports 1 he wasn't exactly sure what happened. "Something happened where obviously we made contact, I'm not entirely sure," Keselowski said. "After the 33 just passed me under in Turn 2, the 88 got a good run to pass me. We were entering Turn 3, and I heard someone say, the spotter, the 00 ( Kevin Harvick ) was going to make it three-wide. Then the next thing I knew, it looked like he went straight into the corner is what it looks like. Next thing I knew, we made contact. I was trying to get inline. "The last thing I want to do is wreck the points leader ... and end my own day as well. That's exactly what happened. These trucks are expensive, and it'll cost a lot to fix. I feel bad for Matt and his team, but I don't really know what to do differently. I was trying to fall inline. Somehow we just got together. "I have no interest in coming to the Truck Series and wrecking someone on purpose. Tyler Reddick is doing good job. He's got a ways to go to run with Matt. Matt's an awesome driver, and that's a great team. The last thing I want to do is go out and wreck him. I have no interest in going out and wrecking somebody intentionally." During a media availability on Friday, Crafton shared his thoughts about running with some of the Sprint Cup Series drivers in this race and in the series in general. "It's really cool to see the Cup guys come run the Truck Series. I wish more of them would. It always helps the Camping World Truck Series to get some of the Cup guys down here and for the regular Truck guys like myself we love to go race against them because they're great race car drivers. "They get to do it a lot more than we do. We get 23 races a year. Kyle (Busch) and Kevin (Harvick) and Austin (Dillon) and all of those guys get to run the ( XFINITY ) races and Cup races. They're definitely very good at what they do because they get so much seat time and it's very good for the series and I wish they ran more of them." The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back in action on Aug. 15 at Michigan International Speedway for the Careers for Veterans 200 presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). MORE: Full 2015 Truck schedule FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Truck Series pit stall assignments for Pocono
See where drivers will pit for the Pocono Mountains 150 (1 p.m. ET, FS1) The Camping World Truck Series pit stall assignments are out for Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) and the 21 Means 21 Qualifying Pole Award winner Erik Jones chose the first pit stall off pit road. Jones chose a pit stall that has an empty space in front of him, as did Kyle Busch (stall 7), Austin Dillon (stall 12), Kevin Harvick (stall 17), John Hunter Nemechek (stall 22), John Wes Townley (stall 31) and Daniel Hemric (stall 37). Caleb Roark chose the first stall onto pit road (stall 40) with three empty spaces behind him. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule