Camping World Truck Series:
Saturday 7/30, Pocono Mountains 150, Pocono Raceway, 12:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 7/30, U.S. Cellular 250, Iowa Speedway, 7:30pm, MRN
Sprint Cup Series:
Sunday, 7/31, Pennsylvania 400, Pocono Raceway, 12:30pm, MRN
RACING NEWS PROGRAMS ON 1290 WHKY-AM
Monday: Fast Talk, 7-8pm
Tuesday: NASCAR Live, 7-8pm
Wednesday: The Pit Reporters, 7-8pm
Monday-Friday: NASCAR Today, 6:50pm
Monday-Friday: Garage Pass, 8:30pm
NASCAR News (courtesy of John Singlar, MRN Radio)
NEXT STOP … POCONO RACEWAY … for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400. With just six events remaining in the regular season, defending race winner Matt Kenseth is one of five drivers who’ve clinched spots on The Chase Grid – joining Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski in the sixteen-driver title field. Those five account for fourteen wins through the first twenty races of the year … Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Junior, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart have one win apiece – leaving five post-season spots available based on the point standings. Kyle Larson currently holds a ten-point lead over Kasey Kahne in the fight for what would be the final “playoff” spot.
THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES … also competes at “The Tricky Triangle” with Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150. The 2016 season marks the first time the “Chase” format that’s been used by the Sprint Cup Series the past two seasons will also be implemented in the Camping World Truck Series. Eight drivers will qualify and if the post-season began today, the field would consist of Christopher Bell, fellow rookie and Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate William Byron, two-time champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick – who leads Ben Kennedy by eighteen points in the fight for the final “playoff” spot. Five races remain in the regular season. The Chase will open September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire.
THE X-FINITY SERIES … will run its second “stand-alone” race of the season, Saturday night’s U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Sam Hornish Junior won the first one on June 19th – also at Iowa, driving a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. This weekend, he’s entered in a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet … Ryan Blaney won last year’s race but is not entered this weekend. Brad Keselowski will drive the Number-22 Team Penske Ford.
► Despite finishing only fifteenth last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports holds a forty-nine-point lead over Ryan Blaney in the Sunoco Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year standings. Chris Buescher has moved into third place, now a single point ahead of fourth-place Brian Scott. Jeffrey Earnhardt completes the top five.
► In the X-FINITY Series rookie chase, Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing holds a commanding sixty-seven-point lead over Brandon Jones (no relation) early in the second half of the 2016 season. Brennan Poole, Ryan Preece and Garrett Smithley make up the rest of this week’s top five.
► With the Camping World Truck Series at the mid-point of its season, William Byron of Kyle Busch Motorsports holds a seven-point lead over teammate Christopher Bell in the rookie standings. Ben Rhodes is third, thirty-five points off the pace, with Cole Custer and Rico Abreu (A-brew) completing the top five.
Next month's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway will feature an additional, final test of NASCAR's provisional 2017 rules package. The reduced-downforce specifications will be the same ones that were used in the track's first 2016 race last month. The most prominent changes from the current rules package are a smaller rear spoiler and removal of rear-axle offsets (skew). These adjustments – combined with modifications to cooling fans, the front splitter and the rear-deck fin – continue the trend of limiting the effects of downforce and sideforce in an effort to promote passing and side-by-side racing.
TRACK INFORMATION: Pocono Raceway in Northeastern Pennsylvania is a two-point-five-mile triangle with six to fourteen degrees of banking in the turns and flat straightaways. The length of the frontstretch is 3,740 feet, the backstretch 3,055 feet with the short chute between Turns-Two and Three 1,780 feet long.
5th RUNNING OF THE PENNSYLVANIA 400 SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE
AT POCONO RACEWAY … Sunday, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Matt Kenseth played the fuel-mileage game to perfection, outlasting Joey Logano and Kyle Busch to record his second victory of the season – snapping Busch’s three-race winning streak but at the same time, extending Joe Gibbs Racing’s run of summertime success. Dating back to NASCAR’s All-Star Race in mid-May, J-G-R had won seven of the last eleven Sprint Cup races. Kenseth led just two laps, one at mid-race and the other at the end of the day in notching career win Number-33. Logano led a race-high ninety-seven laps, but his fuel tank ran dry less than three laps from the finish. He yielded the lead to Busch, who took the white flag in first place but the checkered flag in twenty-first place after running out of gas on his final trip around “The Tricky Triangle” and coasting to a stop. Busch was attempting to become the first driver to win four straight Cup Series races since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 and carried a sixteen-second lead over Kenseth into the fateful final lap. Jeff Gordon rode home in third place with Dale Earnhardt Junior and Greg Biffle completing the top five. Johnson’s sixth-place finish gave Hendrick Motorsports three of the top six spots.
This Year’s First Race at Pocono: On June 6th, Kurt Busch kept one eye on his fuel gauge and the other on a fast-closing Dale Earnhardt Junior down the stretch, winning the rain-delayed event. Busch got the jump on "Junior" on the day’s final restart and kept the Number-41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in front the rest of the way, stretching his fuel mileage through the final thirty-two laps to notch his first win of 2016. Busch’s margin of victory was one second over Earnhardt with pole sitter Brad Keselowski, rookie Chase Elliott and Joey Logano completing the top five. It was Busch’s twenty-eighth career victory and third at Pocono. The race was originally scheduled for a Sunday afternoon but persistent rain moved it to Monday … Practice Schedule: Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. (ET) … Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: TODAY at 4:15 p.m. (ET) … Kyle Busch won the pole last year and finished twenty-first in the race.
3rd RUNNING OF THE POCONO MOUNTAINS 150 CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RACE
AT LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA … Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Kyle Busch returned to the Camping World Truck Series after recovering from early-season injuries and it was as if he’d never left. Busch led a race-high fifty-three laps in his first series start of the year, beating runner-up Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by one-point-two seconds in notching his forty-third career victory in 126 starts – a winning pace of thirty-four percent. Busch led the final thirty-one laps and held the field at bay through four late restarts that sent the event nine laps past its scheduled distance … Matt Crafton went into the weekend as the points leader but tangled early with Brad Keselowski and finished twenty-eighth. Tyler Reddick, Keselowski’s teammate, placed third and took over first place in the standings, grabbing an eleven-point lead over Crafton – who had held the top spot since late March … Nelson Piquet Junior owns the track qualifying record of 169.504 miles per hour, established in 2012 … Ryan Blaney set the Pocono record for race speed with a winning pace of 128.300 miles per hour three years ago … Chevrolet has won four of the six races run at Pocono … The first four Truck Series events were contested at a distance of fifty laps – ten shorter than the current race distance.
Friday’s Practice Schedule: From 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. and 3 to 3:55 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: Saturday at 9:05 a.m. (ET) … Erik Jones won the pole last year and finished tenth in the race.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Sunday, 8/7, Cheeze-It 355 at the Glen, Watkins Glen International, 1pm, MRN
Saturday, 8/20, Irwin Tools Night Race 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, 6:30pm, PRN
Sunday, 8/28, Pure Michigan 400, Michigan International Speedway, 1:30pm, MRN
Sunday, 9/4, Bojangles Southern 500, Darlington Raceway, 6pm, MRN
Saturday, 9/10, Federated Auto Parts 400, Richmond International Raceway, 6:30pm, MRN
Sunday, 9/18, myAFibRisk.com 400, Chicagoland Speedway, 4:15pm, MRN
Sunday, 9/25, Sylvania 300, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1pm, PRN
Sunday, 10/2, AAA 400, Dover International Speedway, 1:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 10/8, Bank of America 500, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 6pm, PRN
Sunday, 10/16, Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway, 1pm, MRN
Sunday, 10/23, Alabama 500, Talladega Superspeedway, 1:30pm, MRN
Sunday, 10/30, Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500, Martinsville Speedway, 12 noon, MRN
Sunday, 11/6, AAA Texas 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 1pm, PRN
Sunday, 11/13, Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, Phoenix International Raceway, 1:30pm, MRN
Sunday, 11/20, Ford EcoBoost 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 2pm, MRN
NASCAR X-Finity Series
Saturday, 8/6, Zippo 200 at the Glen, Watkins-Glen International, 2:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 8/13, Nationwide Children's Hospital 200, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, 3pm, MRN
Saturday, 8/27, Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville, Road America, 2:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 9/3, VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200, Darlington Raceway, 3pm, MRN
Saturday, 9/17, Furious 7 300, Chicagoland Speedway, 5:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 9/24, Visit Myrtle Beach.com 300 Nationwide, Kentucky Speedway, 7:30pm, PRN
Saturday, 10/1, Hisense 200, Dover International Speedway, 3pm, MRN
Saturday, 10/15, Kansas Lottery 300, Kansas Speedway, 3:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 11/5, O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, Texas Motor Speedway, 3pm, PRN
Saturday, 11/12, Phoenix 200, Phoenix International Raceway, 3:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 11/19, Ford EcoBoost 300, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 2:15pm, MRN
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Wednesday, 8/17, UNOH 200 presented by Zloop, Bristol Motor Speedway, 8pm, MRN
Sunday, 9/4, Chevrolet Silverado 250, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, 1pm, MRN
Saturday, 9/24, UNOH 175, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 12:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 10/1, Rhino Linings 350, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 9:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 10/22, Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola, Talladega Superspeedway, 12:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 10/29, Kroger 200, Martinsville Speedway, 1pm, MRN
Indy Car Series
Sunday, 8/21, Pocono, Pocono Raceway, 3pm IMS