Friday, June 26, 2020

PREVIEW: Multiple series regulars return at the Pocono double-header

PHOTO: @RLRacing2
Saturday, June 27, 2020 (12:30 P.M. Eastern)
TRUCKS Race 6 of 23
Pocono Organics 150 to Benefit Farm Aid
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Stewart Friesen

There are exactly 40 trucks entered to attempt the 40-truck field as the series kicks off another packed four-race schedule in Pocono.

Welcome back Chase Purdy, who we haven’t seen run a Truck Series race since November 9, 2018, when he drove Matthew Miller’s #99 Chevrolet to a 13th-place finish. Purdy will once again be sponsored by Bama Buggies as he takes over for Cup regular Chase Elliott in the GMS #24.

A difficult string of races at Charlotte and Atlanta led to Bryan Dauzat skipping the most recent round in Homestead. This weekend, driver and team are back at a track where team owner Jim Rosenblum has a long history. Time will tell if the team has fully worked out the issues with their trucking dragging something on the track surface.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Jesse Iwuji returns to the Truck Series for the first time since his hard crash at Charlotte, and will again drive for Josh Reaume in the #33 Chevrolet. Iwuji takes the place of Gray Gaulding, who ran 26th with the team in Homestead.

MISSING: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
The third Reaume truck, which finished last with Bryant Barnhill at Homestead due to a lack of tire money, is not entered this week.

DRIVER SWAP: #40-Niece Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Natalie Decker also returns to the circuit for the first time since Charlotte, and will again drive the #44 fielded by Al Niece. UPDATE: Make that Bayley Currey in the #44 after Decker had a medical emergency on Friday. This bumps Ross Chastain back to the #40 in place of T.J. Bell, who isn’t entered this week after a 35th in Homestead.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Kyle Busch will not run in Saturday’s race, but XFINITY Series regular Brandon Jones will.
Dupont Air Filtration and Menards are the listed sponsors.

RETURNING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Parker Kligerman will make his first Truck Series start since last November at Homestead, where he ran a season-best 10th with the Charlie Henderson team. Kligerman will run on Saturday after the #75 was abruptly sent home both at Charlotte and Atlanta, ranked on the wrong side of the 40-truck cut line due to their rank in Owner Points and lack of qualifying. Kligerman has not run a Truck Series race at Pocono since back in 2012, when he ran 7th for Brad Keselowski Racing.

RETURNING: #83-CMI Motorsports
MISSING: #03-Mike Affarano Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli brings back his second truck which was withdrawn last week in Homestead. The driver will be Tim Viens, who parted ways with Mike Affarano Motorsports after two technical infractions forced the team’s #03 to withdraw from what would have been a guaranteed starting spot. The Affarano team is not entered this week.

RETURNING: #97-Diversified Motorsports Enterprises
Robby Lyons and his longtime sponsor Sunwest Construction will take the place of Jesse Little as the Logan Puckett-owned team returns to the track for the first time since Atlanta. Lyons has himself not run in the Truck Series since the 2019 opener at Daytona, when he ran 30th for Jeff Finley’s #42 team. Lyons did run last week’s XFINITY race at Talladega, where he was shuffled back to 19th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
Josh Reaume drives his own #00 for the first time this year, taking the place of Angela Ruch, who isn’t entered. According to Ruch, her sponsor is awaiting the end of current COVID-19 restrictions to be able to entertain guests at the track. Reaume hasn’t started a Truck Series race since Las Vegas earlier this year, but has run in each of the last two series races at Pocono, finishing 19th and 20th.


Saturday, June 27, 2020 (3:30 P.M. Eastern)
CUP Race 14 of 36
Pocono Organics 325 at Pocono
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Austin Dillon (400-mile June race)

There are 40 drivers entered for as many spots.

RETURNING: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
Josh Bilicki returns with sponsorship from Insurance King, and will run for Tommy Baldwin’s team for the first time since last month’s midweek race in Charlotte. The Baldwin team itself makes its series return for the first time since Martinsville, where electrical issues left Reed Sorenson finishing 38th in a field of 39.

DRIVER SWAP: #27-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #53-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
James Davison will now get to make his Cup Series debut this Saturday as he takes the controls of Spire Motorsports’ #77 Chevrolet. This moves B.J. McLeod, his last-minute replacement at Talladega, back to his own #78. McLeod bumps Garrett Smithley back to Rick Ware Racing’s #53, which also bumps J.J. Yeley back to the Ware #27. Yeley takes the place of Gray Gaulding, who isn’t entered.

MISSING: #62-Beard Motorsports
Brendan Gaughan, 21st at Talladega, is not entered and is expected to return for the originally scheduled late-August race in Daytona. Since he is only running the superspeedway races, Daytona will be his next-to-last NASCAR start before calling it a career during the Playoff race in Talladega.

Sunday, June 28, 2020 (12:30 P.M. Eastern)
XFINITY Race 12 of 33
Pocono Green 225 at Pocono
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Brandon Jones

There are 36 drivers entered for Sunday’s XFINITY Series race, down three entries from last week in Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Daniel Hemric takes the place of Talladega 3rd-place finisher Jeb Burton in Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s #8 Chevrolet, this time carrying On Deck Capital as sponsor. Hemric’s most recent XFINITY start was the second round of the Homestead double-header, where he finished 31st after a late crash. The wreck ended his streak of four straight finishes of 6th or better.

MISSING: #16-Kaulig Racing
A.J. Allmendinger, the third musketeer of Matthew Kaulig’s team, is not entered this week after a 7th-place run in Talladega.

DRIVER SWAP: #21-Richard Childress Racing
MISSING: #38-RSS Racing
Jeff Green’s #38 entry isn’t entered this week after a wreck left him a disappointing 29th in Talladega. Green slides over to RSS Racing’s full-time #93, though does not yet have a sponsor listed. This moves Myatt Snider from the #93 to the RCR #21, taking the place of Anthony Alfredo, who isn’t entered. Snider will again run the Tax Slayer scheme on his Chevrolet.

MISSING: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
Colin Garrett isn’t entered after his car was destroyed in a Turn 3 wreck at Talladega, leaving him 35th.

Welcome back Dexter Bean, who runs the #36 this week. Bean hasn’t run an XFINITY race since last November at Phoenix, where he ran the DGM team’s #92 to a 35th-place finish before brake issues. Bean’s return bumps Alex Labbe to the team’s #90, taking the place of Caesar Bacarella, who isn’t entered after a last-lap tangle with Brandon Jones left him 17th at Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #47-Mike Harmon Racing
Kyle Weatherman takes over for Tim Viens, who ran 36th at Talladega after a crash, and will instead run the Truck Series race on Saturday (see above). Weatherman’s last XFINITY starts were in the Homestead double-header, where he challenged for Stage 1 points in each race before fading back in Stage 2.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Stephen Leicht takes over for John Jackson, who isn’t entered after his last-place run at Talladega. The team is in position to take their third consecutive last-place run on Sunday, and have no sponsor listed.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Bayley Currey rejoins the Harmon team for the first time since his own strong showings at Homestead, taking over for Mike Harmon himself, who ran 25th at Talladega. Although his streak of top-twenty finishes came to an end in Homestead, he has still finished 26th or better in that same stretch, finishing under power each time.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Stefan Parsons returns to the McLeod #99 team for the first time since Homestead, where he ran 22nd and 32nd in the two races. He takes the place of Mason Massey, 20th at Talladega, and carries as the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Carson Ware is another of the competitors from Homestead returning this weekend, taking the place of Gray Gaulding, who ran 8th in his return to the team at Talladega. Ware’s best series finish in two previous starts remains his 22nd in his debut at Bristol.


Sunday, June 28, 2020 (4:00 P.M. Eastern)
CUP Race 15 of 36
Pocono 350 at Pocono
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Chase Elliott (400-mile July race)

The same 40 drivers and teams from the Saturday race are set to run on Sunday with no scheduled driver or team changes yet reported. The finishing order of Saturday’s race will determine Sunday’s lineup with the lead-lap finishers inverted.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (June 26, 1971): Ernest Eury is flagged off the track after just one lap of the Pickens 200 at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway. His #05 1969 Chevrolet started last in the 29-car field. This happened to be Eury’s first start since 1966, and the last of his career. His best finish came on May 13, 1966, when he took part in a 250-lap race against other independent drivers at the Starlite Speedway dirt track. Eury finished 6th of the only 7 drivers to finish, taking the checkers a full 27 laps behind winner Darel Dieringer.

1 comment:

Darrin said...

Thanks for all the updates!!