- Did you mean:
Preview Show: Pocono
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman and Chris Rice recap Kyle Busch's dominance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and tell you what to expect from NASCAR's return to Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 400 .
Menard charges atop opening Pocono practice
RELATED: Practice 1 results Paul Menard, potentially benefiting in his first race weekend with a new crew chief, topped the opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Friday at Pocono Raceway. Menard, driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 27 Chevrolet, clocked a best lap of 177.438 mph on the 2.5-mile track. It's the first weekend that Menard will be paired with crew chief Danny Stockman, who replaced Justin Alexander midweek. Denny Hamlin, a four-time Pocono winner, was second-fastest at 177.406 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota. He was just ahead of defending Sprint Cup champ Kyle Busch, his teammate and last weekend's winner at Indianapolis, in the JGR No. 18 Toyota. Carl Edwards was fourth, keeping the line of Coach Joe Gibbs' entries going. He was fourth-best at 176.977 mph in the No. 19 Toyota. Kevin Harvick, still seeking to end an 0-for-31 drought at the Tricky Triangle with his first Pocono win, completed the top five at 176.620 mph in preparation for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Danica Patrick had the best 10 consecutive lap average (171.094) with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. behind her at 167.161 mph. The two were the only drivers to run 10 consecutive practice laps. Jeff Gordon turned the 22nd-fastest lap in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, making his second straight appearance this weekend as an interim fill-in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms. The session, originally scheduled for 85 minutes, was abbreviated to 63 minutes by water seeping up through seams in the 2.5-mile track's surface. Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN).
Garagecam truly behind the scenes in Pocono
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner walks through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Pocono Raceway where drivers and teams prepare their cars to tame the Tricky Triangle.
Fantasy Fastlane: Pennsylvania 400
Click here for analysis of the top drivers and sleeper plays for Pocono
Full schedule for Pocono and Iowa
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will gather for a doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway while the NASCAR XFINITY Series is at Iowa Speedway this week. Check out the full weekend schedule below. Note: All times are ET FRIDAY, JULY 29: ON TRACK: POCONO -- 11 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBCSN ( Results ) -- 12:30-1:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 3-3:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 4:15 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN ( Follow live ) -- postponed to 4:35 p.m. GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 10:30 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- noon: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 9:45 a.m.: Brad Keselowski -- 10 a.m.: Matt Kenseth -- 10:15 a.m.: Daniel Hemric -- 1:30 p.m: Jeff Gordon -- 2 p.m.: Danny Stockman (Crew chief for the No. 27 Sprint Cup team) and Richard Childress Racing Competition Director Dr. Eric Warren -- 2:30 p.m.: Kyle Busch -- 2:45 p.m.: Joey Logano -- 3 p.m.: Kyle Larson -- 5 p.m.: (approx.) Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying ON TRACK: IOWA -- 5-5:50 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBCSN will start coverage at 5:30 p.m. on a delay ( Follow live ) -- 7-8:20 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN ( Follow live ) SATURDAY, JULY 30: ON TRACK: POCONO -- 9:05 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Follow live ) -- 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN ( Follow live ) -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 (60 laps, 150 miles), FS1 ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 10 a.m.: Aric Almirola -- 3 p.m.: (approx.) Post-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race ON TRACK: IOWA -- 4:15 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN ( Follow live ) -- 8 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series US Cellular 250 (250 laps, 218.75 miles), NBCSN ( Follow live ) SUNDAY, JULY 31: ON TRACK: POCONO -- 1:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 (160 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5 p.m.: (approx.) Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
Live chat: Pocono and Iowa
Chat with fans this weekend during the NASCAR action at Pocono Raceway and Iowa Speedway.
Keselowski talks safety, details Watkins Glen wreck
LONG POND, Pa. -- Brad Keselowski's bone-jarring crash at Watkins Glen International earlier this week was the result of an improperly installed brake line on his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford. "There was an installation error with the brakes," Keselowski said Friday at Pocono Raceway, site of Sunday's Pocono 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "The brake line wasn't installed in the proper way and it broke." Keselowski's accident occurred July 26 during the first day of a two-day organizational test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at WGI. The series is scheduled to compete there Aug. 5-7. Moments after completing a session-leading lap of 124.572 mph on the 2.45-mile road course, Keselowski's Ford went off track and nose-first into the tire barrier located at the end of the frontstretch. He was not injured in the high-speed impact, and was back on track the following day in a backup entry. "I understand the whole tire barrier concept," Keselowski, said. "In general, I'm not comfortable with tracks that have runoffs that lead to very harsh angles, and that's certainly the situation that (WGI) has, and always has had it. "Road courses remain the most dangerous tracks in motorsports for a good reason because of that, but we know that going in. Some place has to be the safest and some place has to be the most dangerous." Safety advances made by NASCAR as well as many of the teams competing today have lessened the likelihood of serious injury, but the threat remains. In 2011, Keselowski won at Pocono less than a week after chipping a bone in his ankle during a hard crash during testing at Road Atlanta. That incident led to a complete evaluation by the organization of its safety protocols. The result was a redesign of the pedals, floorboard and seat, he said, and the evolution of steering wheels and other interior pieces have lessened the threat of serious injury as well. "From what I can tell at this moment, all of the pieces that we were able to redesign performed very well," Keselowski said of the WGI incident. "The one piece that we weren't able to redesign was the steering column. That's probably the weakest link in those type of impacts at the moment." What else needs to be done? Keselowski admitted he doesn't have the answer. "The answers I do have," he said, "is that there's only so many of those hits you are going to take before someone gets killed. It's just the way it is. "It's not something I'm comfortable with, but I think as a sport there are a lot of different ways to look at it. At the end of the day I'm still standing here. "That's something that the smart guys that work on that stuff are going to have to figure out some time."
Dale Jr. out, Gordon in No. 88 at Indianapolis, Pocono
RELATED: Pictures of Gordon through the years " Junior through the years Jeff Gordon is not done after all. The recently retired Hendrick Motorsports driver will compete for the first time this year Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. , who will be sidelined at least two more weeks due to concussion-like symptoms, according to a team release. Gordon will also sub for Earnhardt Jr. the following week at Pocono . Earnhardt Jr. missed last Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Alex Bowman piloted his No. 88 Chevrolet as a replacement, but Hendrick general manager Doug Duchardt revealed last week that Gordon would sub for Earnhardt at Indianapolis if needed. Hendrick Motorsports said Wednesday morning that Earnhardt has not been cleared to resume competition. In addition to this weekend's Sprint Cup event at Indianapolis, Gordon will also drive the No. 88 Chevrolet in the series' event July 31 at Pocono Raceway. Gordon retired at the end of the 2015 season and joined the FOX broadcast booth. Sunday will be his 798th Sprint Cup Series start, and his first in a number other than the 24 he made so iconic. Gordon's history at the Brickyard makes him a natural pick for Sunday's Crown Royal Presents The Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM). The four-time series champion has a NASCAR-record five Indy wins, the most recent coming in 2014. "Jeff's a team player," longtime car owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement provided by the team. "I know he'll be ready, and I know Dale has incredible trust in him. It's going to be an emotional weekend (at Indianapolis) with Dale not being there and seeing Jeff back behind the wheel. (Crew chief) Greg (Ives) and the team did a great job at New Hampshire, and they have the full support of our organization." Earnhardt was evaluated Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program after missing last weekend's New Hampshire 301, according to a team release. On Monday, the 41-year-old driver provided an update on his condition during his "Dale Jr. Download" podcast, saying he had been struggling with balance and nausea in the days leading up to the New Hampshire event. Earnhardt also said Monday that there was no firm timetable for his return. NASCAR officials indicated last weekend that the sanctioning body would require notice from an independent board-certified neurologist with at least five years' experience in the field of sports-related head injuries before Earnhardt would be cleared to return to competition. "Our focus is giving Dale all the time he needs to recover," Hendrick said. "There's nothing we want more than to see him back in the race car, but we'll continue to listen to the doctors and follow their lead. What's best for Dale is what’s best for Hendrick Motorsports and everyone involved with the team. We're all proud of him and looking forward to having him racing soon." NASCAR has made neurocognitive testing mandatory for its drivers since 2013. Earnhardt also missed time in the 2012 season after sustaining two concussions in a six-week stretch. Regan Smith replaced him for two races -- Charlotte and Kansas -- in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs that year. After sitting out last weekend, Earnhardt slipped two spots to 15th in the Sprint Cup driver standings, also fading to the 16th and final spot in the provisional Chase postseason grid. The Hendrick organization indicated that Earnhardt will not travel with the team to either Indianapolis or Pocono . &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Paint scheme preview: Pocono and Iowa
See the paint schemes for Pocono and Iowa for this weekend's NASCAR events .
Pocono truck trivia stumps drivers on GarageCam
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner takes you through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage at Pocono Raceway, where he test drivers knowledge with some tricky Pocono trivia.