NASCAR CUP SERIES OVERVIEW:
● Event: HighPoint.com 400 (Round 21 of 36)
● Time Date: 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 23
● Location: Pocono (Pennsylvania) Raceway
● Layout: 2.5 mile triangle
● Laps/miles: 160 turns/400 miles
● Duration of the stages: Stage 1: 30 laps / Stage 2: 65 laps / Final stage: 65 laps
● TV/Radio: USA/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
SHR QUICK FACTS:
On June 27, 2020, in his 39th NASCAR Cup Series start at Pocono, Harvick finally picked up a coveted win at the “Tricky Triangle.” After starting ninth and methodically advancing forward, Harvick led the final 17 laps to take the checkered flag by 0.761 seconds over second-placed Hamlin in the first race of a dual weekend. Harvick then followed up his victory with a solid second place on Sunday, as Hamlin came home the winner.
The #10 Ford Mustang will sport a new Ford Motor Company livery this weekend at Pocono. Almirola was a Ford driver for his entire 12-year Cup Series career. Ford is one of the most successful global racing programs and is the only automaker to have won the world’s most prestigious races including the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Rolex 24 at Daytona, NHRA US Nationals, Baja 1000, Rally Britain, Bathurst 1000 and even Rallycross competition at the X Games. Ford has 722 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins by 88 different drivers, including Almirola’s three career wins. Additionally, Ford has won 10 Cup Series championships and 17 constructors’ titles.
Briscoe has visited Pocono’s victory lane twice – once in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and once in the ARCA Menards Series. In 2020, the Mitchell, Indiana native overcame a speeding penalty in the pits, a near miss in a multi-car accident and a late-race spin while leading to his fourth Xfinity Series win of the season and first home victory for HighPoint.com. He led 24 laps that day.
Sunday’s HighPoint.com 400 will mark Preece’s seventh Cup Series start at Pocono. His previous six outings were with JTG-Daugherty Racing, starting with the June 2019 race where he started 29th and finished 23rd. Preece started on pole but finished 25th in the second race of the Pocono double weekend of 2020. In his last Pocono appearance, the second race of the double weekend of the June 2021 weekend, Preece started 23rd and finished eighth, his best on the track. In two career starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Preece has a best finish of fourth, which came in 2019 with JR Motorsports after starting eighth. Preece also made two NASCAR Truck Series starts at Pocono, both with David Gilliland Racing. The first was in 2021, when he started eighth and finished ninth, and the second was last season, when he started 22nd and finished second after leading six laps.
OUR WEEKLY WRAPS:
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) July 19, 2023
WHAT OUR DRIVERS SAY:
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Peach Ford Mustang:
You mentioned the Tunnel Turn – what makes it so difficult?
“The tunnel corner is tough just because you’re trying to carry so much speed there. It’s not an extremely hard corner, but it’s an extremely hard corner to accelerate without the front pushing or the rear slipping. It’s not an extremely difficult corner as long as you try to get through it as fast as possible lap after lap. It’s an easy turn to make a mistake. You can spend a lot of time on it, but you can also save a lot of time.
Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Ford Mustang:
What is your fondest memory of Pocono over the years?
“My best memory of Pocono would be that double weekend we had in 2020 during the pandemic. I raced really well and led a lot of laps. We finished third in the first race, then we had to reverse the field, which put me in the middle of the field, and we raced very well in the next race. It was my best weekend in Pocono. That weekend, I was like, ‘Yeah, I finally got Pocono.’ »
Chase Briscoe, driver of the #14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang:
How do you keep your head in the right place for such a difficult track?
“I think some guys come in with the mindset or the mentality where they’re already a bit defeated before they get there because it’s such a tough track. It’s half the battle and I’ve always loved racing there. But it’s probably one of the most terrifying places we race. you’ll come out fine on the other side. The race is tough but the track has a great atmosphere with all the fans camping out, so if you can go into it knowing you have challenges to deal with, success will come and then you can go out and celebrate with all those people who held on all weekend.
Ryan Preece, driver of the #41 Ford Mustang Mohawk Northeast:
You have a good experience at Pocono and very good results there in the Xfinity and Truck series. What do you like about Pocono?
“It really fits my racing style. I really enjoy the races that Pocono offers. Our team really focused on a handful of trails and this is one of them, just like New Hampshire was. New Hampshire just didn’t come our way last weekend, which was a shame because I was really hoping for a better result. We worked very hard on the simulator and made sure our car was perfect when it came out of the truck. It’s important for our team, and qualifying well is key. We’ve seen how important lead qualifying is at these tracks, because you don’t know if you’ll be able to maneuver around the track and make the necessary overtakes to get there and fight. We are constantly moving in the right direction and this weekend will be no different.