Monday, August 1, 2016

CUP: Open Team Roundup - Pocono (August)

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums

#21 Wood Brothers Racing
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Started 18th, Finished 11th

Blaney showed aggression in Monday’s race, determined to turn around a skid of finishing outside the Top 20 in three of the last five races.  He banged doors with Chase Elliott in the early stages, hounded the rear bumper of Tony Stewart past the halfway mark, and ran as high as 5th during pit stops.  In the end, he finished outside the Top 10, but in so doing tied his best finish since the previous race at Pocono, seven races ago.

Blaney prepares to make his Watkins Glen debut next Sunday, having never before run there in Cup or XFINITY.  The Wood Brothers will be making their 25th start at The Glen and their first since 2008, when Marcos Ambrose finished 3rd.  The Woods also stand out in Watkins Glen as one of only three winners on the course’s old 2.3-mile configuration: Marvin Panch took the checkers in 1965.

#98 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Cole Whitt
Started 36th, Finished 31st

During his pre-race interview on Monday, Cole Whitt expressed excitement for the chance to race on tracks requiring shifting.  Whitt ended up ranking second among the Open teams, coming home the third driver one lap down.  Next week, Whitt returns to Watkins Glen, where he hopes to pick up where he left off during his strong early run at Sonoma.  After a last-place run at The Glen after a hard Turn 1 crash in 2014 similar to Brad Keselowski’s last week in testing, Whitt rebounded last year to finish a solid 21st.

#30 The Motorsports Group
Driver: Josh Wise
Started 38th, Finished 34th

Locked-into the Pocono field following a disappointing DNQ at Indianapolis, lost a handful of laps in the first half of the race, and came home under power, six circuits behind.  Both Wise and Whitt previously drove for Front Row Motorsports, which broke through with its second Sprint Cup victory with rookie Chris Buescher.  Next week, Wise aims for his third Watkins Glen start - his first in two years - and looks to improve on the 38th-place runs he earned both times.

#55 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Reed Sorenson
Started 40th, Finished 40th

Reed Sorenson finished last in Monday’s race, the second time in three races that an Open team trailed a Cup field.  Next week at Watkins Glen, road racer Alex Kennedy will take the controls of Sorenson’s #55.  For more information, check out his feature.




#26 BK Racing
#35 Front Row Motorsports
#40 Hillman Racing
#59 Leavine Family / Circle Sport Racing
#93 BK Racing

None of the other part-time Open teams attempted the race in Pocono.

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