By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The last time the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visited Pocono Raceway, Kyle Busch took home the victory in dominating fashion, beating Kevin Harvick by over a second. Tyler Reddick was the highest finishing Truck Series regular in third.
The last time a contender for the Truck Series Championship took home the victory in Pocono was in 2013 when Ryan Blaney captured the checkered flag. There are no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers entered in this weekend’s race, nor are any past Pocono winners entered.
Truck Series Chase
11 races into the 2016 Camping World Truck Series Season, there have been seven different winners. Two of those winners, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson, are not eligible for the Truck Series Chase. Matt Crafton, William Byron, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Christopher Bell have all won at least one race, and are likely to be in the Chase thanks to those wins. Byron, who has four wins, is currently the only driver who is locked into the 2016 Truck Series Chase. Crafton with two wins, has likely boosted his odds of locking himself into the Truck Series Chase.
The reason why most drivers are not locked in as of now is the fact that only eight drivers will make the Truck Series Chase. Even though there is less than half of the regular season left, there is still a possibility that the series will have more than eight winners.
The other drivers currently in the Chase on points are Timothy Peters, Daniel Hemric, and Tyler Reddick. Reddick currently has a 18 point lead over Ben Kennedy, the first driver on the outside looking in.
John Wes Townley
Earlier this week John Wes Townley finally received medical clearance after sitting out the past two Truck Series races at Kentucky Motor Speedway and Eldora Speedway. Parker Kligerman filled in for Townley at Kentucky and Brady Boswell at Eldora. Townley was also granted a waiver for missing those two races. This means that if Townley can win a race and stay in the top 30 in points, that he will be eligible for the Truck Series Chase.
What to Watch For
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Many Truck Series regulars are looking at scoring their first win of the season and to lock themselves into the Truck Series Chase, while those with a win are looking for more security with their Chase position.
- Austin Hill will be in the No. 02 for Young’s Motorsports.
- John Wes Townley returns to the No. 05 Chevrolet Silverado for Athenian Motorsports after receiving medical clearance following a two week absence due to concussion-like symptoms.
- Brett Moffitt returns to the No. 11 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing.
- Ryan Ellis returns in the No. 28 FDNY Racing Chevrolet Silverado.
- Cody Coughlin returns for another start in the No. 51 JEGS Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
- Carlos Contreras returns to the No. 71 Chevrolet Silverado.
- Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender William Byron looks to increase his 37 point lead on teammate Christopher Bell. Meanwhile, Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes, and Rico Abreu continue to try to gain ground on the rookie point leaders.
- Points leader William Byron is looking to extend his nine point lead over Matt Crafton.
Where and When to Watch
Practice 1: Friday, June 29th, 12:30pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1
Practice 2: Friday, June 29th, 3:00pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1
Qualifying: Saturday, June 30th, 9:15am Eastern, Fox Sports 1
Race: Saturday, July 30th, 1:00pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, MRN Radio