Rain plays havoc with race action
This week’s column will be a little shorter as Mother Nature played havoc with the racing action in the region this past weekend. Rain once again washed out the event at Elkins Raceway after part of the hot lap sessions was completed. There was a cloud burst finally as we completed our AMRA Open Wheeled Modified session. I just love loading up in the rain! Clouds and brief showers had threatened all evening and this had a negative effect on the crowd and car counts.
We will try once again Friday evening to run a complete Thunder in the Mountain show. Make plans to bring the whole family and all the neighbors out to support local dirt track racing action. Don’t forget to visit the concession stand while you are there. The staff cooks up some of the best race track food anywhere!
Tyler County Speedway postponed their big Modified Mega 100 weekend and it will be run later in the month.
NASCAR action was at the ‘Tricky Triangle’ Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. The Camping World truck series enjoyed a week off in their schedule.
On Saturday the Xfinity Series ran the Pocono Green 250 Recycled at Pocono. Kyle Busch dominated the event once again; however, a pit road speeding penalty kept him from leading the whole event.
Kyle led and won the first stage and had no challenges. He seemed to be able to pull away at will from the rest of the field which contained several Cup series drivers. He received a speeding penalty and had to restart the race in the rear of the field.
Paul Menard was able to capture the second stage win as Kyle was making his way back to the front passing cars high and low, sometimes three wide. It’s nice to be provided such a dominant car by the JGR team. Kyle quickly resumed the lead in the final stage and drove away to a three-second victory over fellow Cup competitor Chase Elliott, who was filling in as driver of Spencer Gallagher’s GMS Racing ride. Daniel Hemric showed some speed finishing in third place. Austin Cindric and Cole Custer rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
I’m just not a fan of Cup series drivers and teams dominating the Xfinity series races. The win by Busch was overshadowed by a post-race penalty. The left front of the car was too high after the race. I’m really not sure why this was a problem but apparently there is a rule about this area too. Usually teams will try to keep the car as low as possible to gain an advantage. Either way this makes it even more ridiculous that a Cup team would cheat in order to be the dominant car in this series.
On Sunday the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series ran the Pocono 400. Ryan Blaney grabbed the pole and pulled out to an early lead. He began to have handling issues and dropped through the field.
Kevin Harvick showed some muscle once again and led some laps. Martin Truex Jr. had a very strong car on long runs and won the first stage. Harvick was able to work his way back to lead and win stage two. In the final stage Truex made his way to the front and won the race.
Kyle Larson wasn’t making any friends as he was pushing his way to a second-place finish. Larson spun out the slow car of Derrick Cope, who was running laps down. This caused a caution flag which helped Larson pit for new tires which he desperately needed. It could have been just a racing incident but Cope is a seasoned veteran and is trying to help a struggling independent team make races and laps to hopefully find sponsorship to provide money for better equipment. He had gone laps down while everyone else seemed to have no problem passing him.
Larson turned him around at a very opportune time for himself. Kyle Busch lurked around the top five all day and finished up third. Harvick fought handling issues also but was able to finish fourth. Brad Keselowski also ran in the top five most of the day and held on to round out the top five.
This week’s action moves to Texas Motor Speedway for a stand-alone Camping World Truck series event Friday evening. The Monster Energy Cup series and the Xfinity series will be in the Irish Hills of Michigan at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
So remember, whether it’s the high banks of Michigan or Texas or the fast dirt of Elkins Raceway, at the end of the straightaway there’s always another left turn!