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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 .
Following Pocono 'big moment,' Buescher steadies Chase focus
RELATED: Standings post- Pocono WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Chris Buescher has seemingly embraced the spoiler role of his upset victory last weekend at Pocono Raceway , saying he's "throwing a wrench at a lot of people's brackets" in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. In the five remaining races that will determine the 16-driver postseason field, though, the 23-year-old rookie has work to do -- namely making up the six-point deficit to reach the required top-30 threshold in the series standings. Before Friday's on-track activity at Watkins Glen International , Buescher said he was confident that he and his Front Row Motorsports No. 34 Ford team could cross the points portion off the checklist. "They are hustling and working extremely hard to make sure we make this Chase," Buescher said about his team's efforts to make the tight turn from weather-delayed Pocono to Watkins Glen ahead of Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen (2:30 p.m. ET, USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "We are going to get there. I have a ton of confidence in these guys. I love where our program was heading previous to Pocono . We have been on the right path and we will make up those points." Buescher, last year's XFINITY Series champion, said he hasn't had much chance to celebrate last Monday's surprise win in the Pennsylvania 400 , saying that the short week between Pocono and Watkins Glen was consumed by road-racing practice in Utah on Tuesday and making the media rounds with a full schedule of phone interviews the last two days. "It is a really good problem to have," Buescher said. "I killed my phone battery twice in one day, which is a new record for me. It has been wild how everything has played out and I haven't had time for it to settle in and feel like we won a race. It has been so crazy." Though Buescher's performance has lagged behind fellow first-year drivers Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney this season, his Pocono breakthrough has given him a feather in his cap that his fellow rookies can't claim on their portfolios. His first victory came in his 27th Sprint Cup start, making him the first rookie winner since Joey Logano converted the feat in 2009. Buescher's first full season in NASCAR's premier series coincides with the first year of a technical alliance between Roush Fenway Racing and the Bob Jenkins-owned Front Row organization, a partnership that he hopes pays dividends in the push to the playoffs. In the meantime, the momentum from a maiden trip to Victory Lane can't hurt. "It is just a matter of getting the team jacked up and everybody on the same idea going forward that this is for real, a big moment," Buescher said. "This win with the Chase being the way it is and the point system different from last year in XFINITY , a win basically turns our whole season around. It changes everything. It is no longer one win and you move up a spot or two in points. It is one win and you potentially have a spot in the playoffs of our sport. "We are not there yet because we have to get into that top 30, but with that win it gets everybody excited to get to that point."
Race Rewind: 2015 Pocono Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400
Check out the 2015 Pocono Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 where Martin Truex Jr. snapped a long winless streak and claimed an emotional win.
Pocono , Microsoft announce Windows 10 400
Official Technology Partner of NASCAR to sponsor Aug. 2 race BUY: Pocono tickets RELATED: NASCAR, Hendrick team with Microsoft to drive innovation Pocono Raceway and Microsoft, an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR, announced Tuesday that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Aug. 2 will be named the Windows 10 400 . The event will be held two days after the launch of Windows 10 when the new operating system will be offered as a free upgrade to customers with qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices. "Today is an exciting day for us," Pocono Raceway President/CEO Brandon Igdalsky said in a track release. "Microsoft has been on the cutting edge of technology and innovation since its founding in 1975. The launch of their Windows 10 platform is something Pocono Raceway is extremely proud to promote during our final NASCAR race weekend of 2015. We look forward to celebrating with everyone from Microsoft, NASCAR and, most importantly, the race fans on Sunday, August 2nd." The sponsorship deal is the second new title-sponsor partnership for Pocono Raceway this year. In January, the track announced a deal with Axalta Coating Systems as title sponsor of its Sprint Cup race in June. Martin Truex Jr . prevailed in the 2.5-mile triangular track's first Sprint Cup event of the year. The Furniture Row Racing driver will be aiming to replicate Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s 2014 season sweep in next month's 400 -miler. Earnhardt Jr., the defending winner of the event, will drive the No. 88 Microsoft Chevrolet SS. He debuted a Microsoft paint scheme last month at Sonoma Raceway, finishing seventh at the California road course. BUY: Earnhardt Jr.'s paint scheme "We're thrilled to build on our relationships with NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports by engaging race fans in unique ways," GM of Windows Product Marketing at Microsoft Jeremy Korst said in the track release. "We're upgrading their experiences not only at the Pocono Windows 10 400 race, but also off the track with Windows 10. It's the best Windows ever. In fact, we built it in collaboration with our fans -- over 5.5 million Windows Insiders. And we're excited to offer a free upgrade, so that people all over the world can use Windows 10 to do great things." Pocono's Fan Fair and paddock areas will have displays and interactive experiences for fans and members of the NASCAR industry to relax and enjoy Windows 10 devices while interacting on social media with the hashtag #Windows10_400. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Snapshot: Pocono 400
Catch up quickly before Sunday's running of the Pocono 400
Turn 2 bumps ramp up challenge at Pocono
Drivers' opinions of track surface mixed after opening practice RELATED: Stewart says 'driver error' led to wreck " Complete lineup for Pocono 400 LONG POND, Pa. -- NASCAR drivers were greeted Friday by a challenging new wrinkle to an already treacherous turn at Pocono Raceway . A wrinkle, a bump -- or even a motorcycle jump, depending on whom you ask. The 2.5-mile speedway's second corner -- otherwise known as the "tunnel turn" for the location of the track's infield entry lanes -- provided rough terrain during opening Sprint Cup Series practice, spawning mixed reviews from drivers and a promise from track president Brandon Igdalsky to find a remedy before the circuit returns Aug. 2. Barring an unforeseen development, a fix won't happen before this Sunday's Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM), which could produce interesting competition in the 14th of 36 races this season. "I've still got a headache," former Pocono winner Joey Logano said. "Apparently, winter was really harsh here or something. It's unbelievable. I figure (extreme sports and motocross star) Travis Pastrana would be really good here with the jump in the tunnel turn. It's brutal. It's a big, big jump." The triangular facility was last repaved ahead of the 2012 season, relatively recently in terms of track surface age. But Igdalsky said the trouble with asphalt settling in Turn 2 was accelerated by severe cold and snowfall the past two winters, and the fact that far less dirt is packed between the infield tunnel and the track's asphalt. "Those bumps have been there since we did the repave," Igdalsky told reporters Friday afternoon. "The first year, they weren't there. The second year, they were there. Last year, they were a little bigger. It's just been gradual, and the winter this year -- these guys will tell you, living in Pennsylvania, the roads this year just got disintegrated. Everything just got beat up so bad because it was so cold. And it's basically two back-to-back years of awful winters, and they're taking their toll. "A road is not any different than a race track at the end of the day. When the ground gets frozen, it does bad, bad things." Igdalsky said the issue had nothing to do with a new decorative rock wall and waterfall added at the tunnel entrance in an offseason beautification project. But Kurt Busch , Friday's Coors Light Pole Award winner, hinted that the notion might have some merit. "For some reason the top side of the entry way was compromised," Busch said. "There are literally speed bumps the size that you would put in grocery store parking lots up on top of the track. Where did they come from? They had to have come from the underside where they were creating a beautiful fancy entryway. It is what it is. The sooner you get over it the better you are going to be." Because NASCAR returns to Pocono for opening-day practice July 31, the turnaround time for a track renovation project is tight but doable, Igdalsky said. After the visit by the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series, Indy cars race here three weeks later. "We're going to try to get something done before the next race," Igdalsky said. "If it's as bad for these guys, it's going to be worse for the Indy cars. So we've got to look at them, too. Those races being so close, we're not going to have time between those two races to get it done. We have a really busy track schedule. We've got cars out there just about every day, so it's just a matter of finding enough days to do something, get the track cleared, do something and then make it work." The court of garage opinion seemed split on the tunnel turn's transformation. Reigning Sprint Cup champ Kevin Harvick was among those in favor, tweeting, "Love the character of Turn 2. Makes you really have to change your car up!" Then again, Harvick may have had extra reasons for saying so after finishing opening practice atop the leaderboard. Tony Stewart spun exiting Turn 2, but blamed his crash into the inside wall's water barrels on driver error instead of bumps. Dale Earnhardt Jr . wasn't far behind Harvick in fourth place in opening practice, but his review initially was less favorable. Even then, Earnhardt said he felt Igdalsky and the Pocono track management had a handle on the situation. "I think everything is going to work out," Earnhardt said. "I would be worried had they not been aware of it and not had any interest in fixing it. Brandon does a great job with this place. I've gotten to know him really well over the last couple of years. He listens to the drivers, the series officials and really takes what everybody has to say to heart. He just wants to have a good facility people enjoy coming to whether you are a driver or a fan or what have you. "I'm happy that they are going to tune on it. Whatever they do, anything to improve it. I just think over time another hard winter and it is just going to be a little bit too much." Among those surprised by the abrupt development in the track surface was Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon , who offered hope that the coarse nature of Turn 2 might produce an intriguing 400 -miler here Sunday. "It's extremely rough," Gordon said. "It's going to make it an interesting race, for sure. It seems like at speed, you can get through there and get over pretty good. It gets your attention, but if you were inside of a car or something like that, it's really going to get your attention. We'll maybe see what we can do to address that when we leave here if there is something that can be done because it did catch a lot of us by surprise. But I don't know. It might make for a great race and add some unique challenge that we weren't expecting." WATCH: Denny Hamlin spin ends Cup qualifying early FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sights and Sounds: Pocono 400
Go behind the scenes for an inside look at the best action form Sunday's Pocono 400 .
Stats advance: Analyzing the Pocono 400
A statistical lookahead to the first of two Sprint Cup Series' stops at Pocono
Rain at Pocono Raceway postpones Sprint Cup race
RELATED: Live radar, weather updates Intermittent fits of rain postponed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway to an 11 a.m. ET Monday start. Wet weather moved into the area Saturday evening, and it was raining hard Sunday morning as teams went through pre-race inspection. A fleet of Air Titan 2.0 trucks were on hand to get the track ready as the clouds broke near the scheduled 1:30 p.m. ET start time, but rain began to fall again at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET to halt the track-drying process. The rescheduled 400 -mile event will be broadcast on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM. Martin Truex Jr. is the polesitter for the 21st of 36 points-paying races of the Sprint Cup season. Truex, who prevailed in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, is one of five drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a victory at Pocono . MORE: Full starting lineup The series' first stop at the 2.5-mile triangular track was delayed until Monday due to rain, and Kurt Busch went on to find Victory Lane. This is the first time in a single year that both Pocono races have been postponed to the next day. Rain also affected on-track activities early Saturday, canceling qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. William Byron went on to win the Pocono Mountains 150 later Saturday. &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Polesitter Truex Jr. has rough day at Pocono
Martin Truex Jr. had a tough day from the pole position and was involved in three incidents that led to a 38th-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. Truex was running third when he hit the wall in Turn 2 on Lap 19 of a scheduled 160 of Monday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. He came in for repairs and fell a lap down. On Lap 40, Truex's right-front tire went down, and he came down pit road for more repairs. The four-time career winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series went to the garage for repairs shortly thereafter and returned on Lap 59. Truex would find trouble for a third time on Lap 98, smacking the wall in Turn 1 to bring out a caution. The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota would bring his car around to the garage and call it a day after the last incident. "Just blew a right front (tire)," Truex said of the first incident. "A lug nut bounced off the ground, fell in behind the wheel behind a pit stop. It's just bad luck honestly. I knew something wasn't right in (Turn) one and two and I got real tight off of (Turn) two on that restart and went down the back and was like, 'Ah, it feels OK.' And, as I got closer to the tunnel turn I felt it start to go down and by the time I let off and tried to slow down it was just going straight for the fence." Truex came in as the polesitter and was one of the favorites after leading final practice. He was also running the same car that dominated to the tune of leading 392 of 400 laps in the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex was hoping that the team could get this particular car fixed up since it has been such a great car for the him and the organization "That was my initial thought after it happened is like, 'Alright, let's go to the garage and make sure we don't blow another tire and destroy the thing,' " Truex said. "The car was so good. I was literally on cruise control and driving away. I don't know -- frustrating but it's racing I guess." The Furniture Row Racing driver led the first 16 laps of Monday's race at Pocono before a scheduled competition caution. Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle, who stayed out, were the lead cars on a Lap 18 restart. During that restart, Paul Menard lost power and fell back in the field, causing cars to maneuver around him. Menard went to the garage and returned 16 laps down. Goodyear tweeted out the official diagnosis on both of Truex's incidents. Inner valve stem knocked out on RF wheel of 78 of @MartinTruex_Jr . Tire went down and brought out that caution. #GYRLive — Goodyear Racing (@GoodyearRacing) August 1, 2016 Rub from previous damage cut down RF tire on 78 of @MartinTruex_Jr . Pitted for RS tires and will now take car to garage. #GYRLive — Goodyear Racing (@GoodyearRacing) August 1, 2016