Motor Racing Outreach Chaplain Nick Terry offered a grateful prayer ahead of another spirited rendition of the National Anthem sung by Allentown’s own Adeline Santos, alongside sign language interpreter Taylor Beagle, of Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
The race has since gotten off to an exciting start.
5:45 p.m.: Rajah Kirby Caruth, driving the No. 44 Chevrolet Camaro for Alpha Prime Racing, collided with Alex Labbe’s No. 36 car on the second lap on the first straight away coming out of Turn 3, effectively taking both cars out of the race.
No. 7 driver Justin Allgaier took the lead by the ninth lap of the first stage. The Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 will go 90 laps, 225 miles.
Check back for more updates as race continues.
Hamlin takes Pocono pole, Kyle Busch makes 1-2 start for JGR
Denny Hamlin turned the fastest lap at the Tricky Triangle and will lead the field to green Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin is joined on the front row by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.
Hamlin went 169.991 mph on the 2½-mile tri-oval track Saturday to win his second pole in the last five races and second straight overall for JGR.
Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson start third and fourth. Chris Buescher, whose only career Cup win was at Pocono, starts fifth.
The back end of the top 10 is as interesting as the start of the field. Ryan Blaney starts sixth, Bubba Wallace starts seventh and Martin Truex Jr. eighth in a pack of winless drivers on the bubble of the NASCAR playoff field.
There are 14 drivers already in the 16-driver field with six races left before the field is set. Blaney is 105 points above the cutline and Truex is 68 points above the line.
— The Associated Press
Smith takes the CRC Brakleen 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
12:00 p.m.: Allentown’s Adeline Santos belted the National Anthem with pride after No. 34 driver Michael McDowell lead the throng in prayer ahead of today’s CRC Brakleen 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The trucks will soon vie for the win after 60 laps, 150 miles, on the Tricky Triangle for the regular season finale. Drivers will have to contend with the challenges of the track without having the opportunity to practice Friday night due to weather.
Todd Bodine, who was mic’d up from the driver’s seat, told FOX Sports he “couldn’t believe” he was gearing up for his 800th start with NASCAR. Bodine, who hails from New York, has 22 truck series wins, including a win at Pocono, under his belt. The No. 62 Toyota Tundra driver is a member of the Halmar Friesen Racing team.
12:30 Chandler Smith had an early lead by 12:30 at Pocono. Smith drives the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
No. 40 driver Dean Thompson, a first timer at the Triangle, narrowly avoided a collision with a teammate but lost control of his back end and slid across the track, resulting in at least one flat tire.
12:40 p.m.: Bodine’s No. 62 truck collides with other drivers after what appeared to be a rear hit.
“I’ve been so blessed to be able to do what I love to do…” Bodine told reporters after he was released from the care center.
“That’s racin’.” Bodine continued. “I’ve been here before, I’ve wrecked here before. Maybe I’ll have to make it 801.”
12:50 p.m. Chandler Smith continues to retain his lead and secures the first stage. Christian Eckes (No. 98) and Carson Hocevar (No. 42) take second and third in Stage 1.
1:15 p.m.: Chandler Smith (No. 18) recovered his lead after conceding the second stage to Christian Eckes.
Eckes had fallen to 10th by 1:17 p.m. with 24 laps to go.
1:25 p.m.: Spencer Boyd (No. 12) narrowly missed the barrier, prompting a caution. By 1:37 p.m., drivers Ryan Preece (No. 17) and Smith were competing for first with only 8 laps to go.
1:40 p.m.: By the 57th lap, Preece was seeking clean air from behind Smith in No. 18, but No. 4 driver Nemechek and No. 51 Corey Heim made it difficult for him. Preece kept on Smith’s rear bumper at the start of the final lap, but couldn’t hold his position.
Chandler Smith eases across the finish to take the CRC Brakleen 150 Camping Truck World Series race, delighting fans with a burn out before waving the checkered flag.
“God is good,” Smith told reporters. He dedicated the win to his “baby boy”, due to be born soon. “This is for you.” He said.
Friday at the Tricky Triangle
After a passing thunderstorm canceled the ARCA Menards and Camping World Truck Series qualifiers, drivers were finally able to hit the Tricky Triangle Friday night at Pocono.
Seventeen-year-old Taylor Gray took the ARCA Menards Series General Tire Delivers 200 at Pocono Raceway when the race was called 16 laps early, due to nightfall.
Gray had his share of ups and downs, the Raceway said in a press release, leading more than half of the event before losing a lap during the first of two scheduled race breaks after a slow pit stop— meaning he couldn’t beat the pace car off pit road. He had to regain his place by forcing his way back onto the lead lap.
Park Chase’s stalled car on Lap 46 resulted in a caution, allowing Gray to lead once again. According to the Raceway, Gray’s crew chief Chad Johnston “wisely called his driver to pit road to top off with fuel during the caution period while the leaders stayed out.”
From morning yoga to carnival rides:Fun things to do NASCAR weekend at Pocono Raceway
“All props to Chad Johnston for making a good call,” Gray said following his series-best third ARCA Menards Series victory this year. “Heck of a call by Chad being able to make it on fuel.”
Gray, who hails from North Carolina, avoided a multi-car crash involving Amber Balcaen, Andy Jankowiak, Sean Corr and Ed Pompa between Turns 2-3 that brought the caution back out with 31 laps left in the scheduled distance. Following a lengthy red flag for clean-up, all of the leaders that opted not to pit during the previous caution made their pit stops for fuel.
That gave the lead to Gray, a position he held for the remainder of the race. The event was ultimately called after 64 laps following a caution flag for a spin by Jesse Love.
Rev Racing’s Nick Sanchez was within a second of Gray in the final laps, but the caution for Love’s spin ended his hopes of scoring his third ARCA Menards Series victory of the season.
NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Brandon Jones crossed the finish line third, followed by ARCA Menards Series championship points leader Rajah Caruth in fourth and Daniel Dye in fifth.
Connor Mosack, Jake Finch, Kris Wright, Jason Kitzmiller and Toni Breidinger completed the top-10 finishers.
Saturday Pocono Raceway schedule
Saturday brings another day of excitement up in Long Pond. Pocono Record reporters are up at the Tricky Triangle, so be sure to check back for more updates.
Here’s today’s racing schedule:
12 p.m.: CRC Brakleen 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
2:35 p.m.: NASCAR Cup Series practice
3:20 p.m.: NASCAR Cup Series qualifier
5:30 p.m.: Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 NASCAR Xfinity Series
The M&M’S Fan Appreciation 400 NASCAR Cup Series main event is slated for Sunday at 3 p.m.