By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
It’s the 12th race of the season and only three full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars has scored a victory. The Xfinity Series returns to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono Green 250 Recycled by JP Mascaro & Sons. The return of the aero package used at Indianapolis last year, Cup drivers, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the 12thrace of the season.
Coverage for the Pocono Green 250 is scheduled to start Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Pocono was added to the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule in 2016 and has hosted the 12th race of the season ever since. Two different drivers have won the two races at the 2.5-mile Triangle. NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars have yet to score a victory at the ‘Tricky Triangle.’ There are no former winners entered in Saturday’s race.
The last time the Xfinity Series visited Pocono, Keselowski took the victory in exciting fashion. Keselowski took the lead from fellow Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Larson on the final lap, winning by 0.615 seconds. Only five drivers that finished in the top-10 that day to be entered in Saturday’s field.
By the Numbers
What:Pocono Green 250, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race 12
Where: Pocono Raceway – Long Pond, Pennsylvania (Opened: 1971)
TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1, 1:00 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90
Track Size: 2.5-mile Triangle
Banking: 14 degrees in the turn 1, 8 degrees in turn 2, and 6 degrees in turn 3.
Race Length: 100 Laps, 250 Miles (Three Stages, 25/50/100)
2017 Race Winner: Brad Keselowski – No. 22 SKF Ford Mustang (Started eighth, 29 laps led).
Track Qualifying Record: Kyle Larson (175.926 mph – 2016).
Storylines Heading into the Pocono Green 250:
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Cole Custer will have double duty for the second time this season as he competes for Rick Ware Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and in his regular No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing.
- Shane Lee returns to the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
- Ryan Truex will have Phantom Fireworks as the primary sponsor of his No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro SS for Kaulig Racing.
- Austin Cindric will be in the No. 12 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Kyle Busch returns to the No. 18 Comcast Salute to Service Juniper Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Paul Menard will make his first appearance of the season in the No. 22 LTi Printing Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Chase Elliott will be in the No. 23 Hooters 22ndInternational Pageant Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing
- Dylan Lupton returns to the No. 28 Fatal Clothing Ford Mustang for JGL Racing.
- John Hunter Nemechek returns to the No. 42 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Chase Briscoe returns to the No. 60 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
- Kaz Grala will be in the No. 61 NETTTS Ford Mustang for Fury Race Cars LLC. The team debuted last week, finishing an impressive 10th-place.
Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)
Friday, June 1
- NXS Practice 1 (1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m., on Fox Sports 2)
- NXS Practice 2 (3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., on Fox Sports 2)
Saturday, June 2
- NXS Qualifying (9:35 a.m., on Fox Sports 1)
- NXS Pocono Green 250 (1:00 p.m. – 100 laps, 250 miles – on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network)