By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Although NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Dalton Sargeant earned his career-best finish at Pocono Raceway, he was best in class. Sargeant finished third, behind two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the Gander Outdoors 150.
Sargeant restarted in the final stage in the lead in his No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet Silverado. However, he was unable to hold off eventual race-winner Kyle Busch, and Erik Jones, who was filling in for an ill Noah Gragson. After several laps, Sargeant broke away from Stewart Friesen, Joe Nemechek, and his GMS Racing teammate Justin Haley. This left him running the final 20 laps virtually on his own.
In the first stage, Sargeant ran an alternate strategy to Busch, remaining on track to finish the stage in third. For the second stage however, his crew chief Doug Randolph chose to mirror the strategy of Busch, bringing the 20-year-old driver onto pit road. This gave Sargeant the track position to restart in the lead for the final stage.
“Overall, it was definitely a great run for everyone on the 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Truck,” Sargeant said. “We definitely needed some good momentum. This third-place definitely helps out. We’re trying to make the Playoffs right now, and it looks like we will need a win to get in. This should be some good momentum going into Michigan as well as Bristol. You can’t be too upset getting beat by two Cup drivers. Just a great day.”
The third-place finish was the first career top-five finish for Sargeant. It was also his fourth top-10 finish of the season. Sargeant remains 11th in the Championship Points Standings, 236-Points behind Points Leader, and GMS teammate, Johnny Sauter, and 114-Points behind the Playoff Cutoff, held by Matt Crafton.
Now Sargeant and his GMS Racing team will look to carry that momentum into the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 11.