Party In The Poconos
Mother Nature rained on the kickoff to NASCAR’s Party In the Poconos on Friday. The all day rain forced cancellation of qualifying which means the starting grid for Sunday’s race was set by the rule book.
The starting lineup for the 32nd annual Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway was set by the top 36 in owner’s points, then by race attempts with ties broken by owners’ points rank. Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards will start on the first row followed by Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth in row two. Dale Earnhardt Jr. starts fifth.
In Saturday morning’s practice session, points leader Jimmie Johnson was fastest. Johnson is looking to bounce back after a controversial call on a restart near the end of the race last week at Dover took away what looked to be another win for the 48 team.
Last week’s winner Tony Stewart was seventh fast in Saturday’s morning practice at Pocono. Stewart’s win a week ago is fairly typical for him – as the weather heats up, so does Tony. Consider this, Stewart has won 48 Sprint Cup Series races in his career and only six of them happened before June.
The first half of the Sprint Cup Series regular season is already over as Sunday’s race marks the start of the second half of the 26 races before the Chase for the Championship begins.
In other NASCAR racing this weekend, the Camping World Truck Series ran at the Texas Motor Speedway Friday night with Ward Burton’s son, Jeb Burton getting the win over Ty Dillon. The Nationwide Series cars race under the lights at the Iowa Speedway Saturday night.