Monday, June 6, 2016

Kurt Busch Saves Enough Fuel to Win Pocono!

Kurt Busch was able to hold off a fuel saving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a hard charging Brad Keselowski. Chase Elliott led more laps today than he has in his whole NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career but finished 4th. 25 Cars finished on the Lead Lap which shows today is one of the most competitive throughout the field race. Kevin Harvick couldn't seem to catch a break in the race but still managed to finish 9th. This is Kurt Busch's first win of the 2016 Season and Kurt will become the newest driver to lock into the Chase. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano rounded out the Top 5. There was a total of 14 Lead Changes with according to the Xfinity X1 NASCAR App there was 711 Quality Passes.

NASCAR News Source Driver of The Week!

Today the Rookie from Dawsonville, GA once again showed that he deserved to be in the Cup Series. Chase Elliott led 51 laps which is more in one day then Chase had led in his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career. Chase in only his 2nd appearance at Pocono did very well against some seasoned veterans who have had wins at Pocono including his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. We want to congratulate Chase Elliott on becoming this week's Driver of The Week! 

Results from Pocono

  1. Kurt Busch
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Carl Edwards
  9. Kevin Harvick
  10. Ryan Blaney
  11. Kyle Larson
  12. Ryan Newman
  13. Trevor Bayne
  14. Denny Hamlin
  15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  16. AJ Allmendinger
  17. Jamie McMurray
  18. Clint Bowyer
  19. Martin Truex Jr.
  20. Aric Almirola
  21. Ty Dillon
  22. Regan Smith
  23. David Ragan
  24. Casey Mears
  25. Chris Buescher
  26. Greg Biffle
  27. Josh Wise
  28. Reed Sorenson
  29. Jeb Burton
  30. Cole Whitt
  31. Kyle Busch
  32. Danica Patrick
  33. Paul Menard
  34. Tony Stewart 
  35. Jimmie Johnson
  36. Landon Cassill
  37. Austin Dillon
  38. Michael Anett
  39. Brian Scott
  40. Matt DiBenedetto

Next Weekend

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads Michigan on Sunday for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Former Michigan Winners like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, and Ryan Newman all are still winless entering Michigan. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has some momentum after finishing 2nd at Pocono. Also this weekend a new rule package will be used where changes to the rear spoiler, front splitter and rear deck fin will be put into play. This package will also be ran at Kentucky.

Ray Black Jr. Secures Top-25 Finish in Rain-Shortened Pocono Green 250

LONG POND, Pa.  (June 5, 2016) – It was a rainy weekend for NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)
driver Ray Black Jr. at Pocono Raceway, but that didn’t stop him from grabbing his seventh Top-25 finish of the season. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet placed 21st in the first NXS race at the 2.5-mile triangle track Saturday afternoon.

Black and his SS Green Light Racing team used Thursday’s two test sessions to dial in the car’s handling for Saturday’s race. Right away, Black was pleased with how the car charged the corners but felt it was a little too snug for the race. He consistently got faster throughout the two sessions, laying his quickest laps down later in the afternoon.

With all on-track activity rained out Friday, Black went on to qualify 26th for the Pocono Green 250 Saturday morning. Once the green flag flew on the main event, he remained consistent with his lap times, reporting the car’s handling was coming to him when the competition caution came out at Lap 15.

As additional yellow flags came out during the first 50 laps of the race, Black and his team worked out their fuel mileage strategy and came in to top off every chance they got. The team was also able to use pit strategy during one of the cautions to have Black stay out and lead his first NXS lap of his career.

With the threat of rain growing closer towards the halfway point of the race, the team debated coming in to top off on fuel under caution at Lap 39 or holding out to see if the rain would come in and stop the race in its tracks. Ultimately, they decided to pit and restarted 23rd at Lap 42.  Black would drive up to 21st on that restart before cars were called down pit road due to rain on Lap 53. The race would be unable to resume later that afternoon.

“It’s a bummer the rain came when it did!” said Black after the race. “We were running lap times consistent with the Top-15 there at the end and just ran out of time to get up there. Overall it was a solid weekend for us. We kept getting faster throughout it, and I got to lead my first XFINITY Series lap! We’ll take this Top-25, move on to Michigan next week and get another.”

Next up for Black and his team is the Menards 250 Presented by Valvoline on Saturday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. ET at Michigan International Speedway.

Fans can keep up with Ray Black Jr. by following him and his sponsor, ScubaLife, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @RayBlackJr and @TeamScubaRacing. Learn more about Ray Black Jr. and Team Scuba by visiting www.rayblackjr.com and www.teamscuba.com.

Blake Koch Completes a Trifecta at the "Tricky Triangle"

Long Pond, Pa. (June 4, 2016)- Making his way to Pocono Raceway for the first time in his racing
career, Blake Koch made his first laps around the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track during the two NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) practice sessions Thursday afternoon, posting the 19th and 12th-fastest laps in his No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro. However, rain washed out the remaining two practice sessions that were scheduled for Friday.

Returning to the track Saturday morning, Koch made it to the final round of qualifying for the fourth time this season, snagging a 12th-place starting position for the afternoon's Pocono Green 250.

Wanting to adjust to race conditions on a new track, Koch settled into a rhythm early on once the
green flag dropped on the inaugural NXS race at the "Tricky Triangle." Just as Koch radioed in that his LeafFilter Gutter Protection™ Chevrolet Camaro was "tight but loose through the dog-leg," the competition caution was displayed on lap 10.

Coming down pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to "loosen" him up, the Kaulig Racing™ driver restarted the race 16th, but worked his way within the top-15 after only 25 laps.

With rain closing in on Pocono Raceway, pit strategy became a topic of discussion among the front runners as the yellow flag was displayed on lap 32. Crew chief Chris Rice elected to bring Koch down pit road for fuel only in anticipation of rain in the area.

Restarting 15th, the yellow flag would be displayed once again on lap 40, just 10 laps shy of the halfway mark. With tensions ramping up due to the unpredictability of the weather, Koch held his ground to maintain his top-15 running position.

Unfortunately the rain couldn't hold off any longer, causing the caution flag to come out one final time on lap 53. Despite NASCAR's efforts to dry the track, Mother Nature didn't cooperate, ending the Pocono Green 250 short of its scheduled distance and leaving Koch was a 15th-place finish, his third consecutive top-15 finish.


Quote:

"We qualified 12th, and finished in the top-15 for the third week in a row. Plus we're now 11th in the
point standings, back inside the Chase now. Those are the results we've been working towards. We probably could have finished a bit better had the race stayed green, but this was a 'big picture' race for us after a few of the drivers we're battling had issues. I'm happy with a top-15 finish after only my first start at Pocono (Raceway)."

Notes:

  • Blake Koch was 19th and 12th in the two NXS practice sessions Thursday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. The final two practice sessions scheduled for Friday were cancelled due to rain.
  • Koch qualified a track-best 12th Saturday afternoon and raced to a track-best 15th-place finish at the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track.
  • The Kaulig Racing™ driver jumped two spots to the 11th position in the 2016 NXS driver point standings, after the 12th race of the season, only 142 points behind leader Daniel Suarez, and within the Chase cutoff point.
  • Kyle Larson won the Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway followed by Erik Jones (second), Ty Dillon (third), Kyle Busch (fourth) and Joey Logano (fifth).