By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
After struggling in the last three races, Ryan Truex looks to return to form in the Overton’s 150 at Pocono Raceway.
This weekend, Truex will have a new sponsor on his No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra in the grocery chain ShopRite. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli is also bringing a brand new Toyota Tundra, chassis No. 006, to the track this weekend.
Truex has never competed in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono. However, he has two previous starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the 2.5-mile track nicknamed the ‘Tricky Triangle.’ In those two races in 2014, Truex finished 32nd and a career-best finish of 20th respectively.
Truex looks forward to returning to the site of his best-career Premier Series finish,
“We’ve had strong runs this year at the intermediate tracks, since our two best finishes this year came at Charlotte and Texas. Pocono is somewhat similar to those places with the smooth surface and the high speeds, so we should have good opportunity to run well this weekend with our ShopRite Toyota. I enjoy racing at flat tracks, and Pocono is a fun place to race. It’s reasonably close to my hometown and I had my best-career finish in the Cup Series there a few years ago, so I always look forward to Pocono. It’s a short, 60-lap race on Saturday, so we’ll do everything we can to keep our ShopRite Toyota Tundra up near the front for both stages and put ourselves in contention near the end on Saturday.”
With just five races left before the Playoffs, Truex enters Pocono eighth in the Championship Standings and ninth in the Playoff Standings. He sits just one point behind Ben Rhodes who currently holds the cutoff position for the Playoffs.
Truex had been as high as sixth in the standings until his truck overheated at Iowa. A crash at Kentucky, and inexperience on dirt at Eldora prevented the 25-year-old from regaining the points he lost. However, Truex’s competitors also suffered their own bad luck, keeping the battle for a position in the Playoffs tight.
Now Truex and his entire No. 16 ShopRite Toyota Tundra team will look to capitalize on Saturday at Pocono.