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Entry lists for Cup, Trucks at Pocono and Xfinity at Iowa

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This weekend’s NASCAR action will be split between Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania and Iowa Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup series and NASCAR Camping World Truck series will be at Pocono, while the Xfinity Series is part of a standalone event along with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West series in Iowa.

The Cup teams will compete Sunday in the Overton’s 400 on Pocono’s 2.5-mile tri-oval.

The Truck Series teams, fresh off last Wednesday’s race on the dirt at Eldora Speedway, get back on pavement in the Overton’s 150 on Saturday afternoon.

Over in America’s heartland, the Xfinity Series will take part in Saturday afternoon’s U.S. Cellular 250 on the 7/8 mile paved oval.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race:

Cup – Overton’s 400

There are only 38 cars entered for this 160 lap/400 mile race.

Chris Buescher is the defending winner of this race, which was a rain-shortened event (completed 138 of the scheduled 160 laps).

Earlier this year on June 11, Ryan Blaney earned his first career NASCAR Cup win at Pocono.

This will be the final Cup race at Pocono for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is retiring at season’s end. Junior has two career wins at Pocono, both coming in 2014.

Just one car is entered without a driver, the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota.

Six cars do not have a primary sponsor listed on the entry list.

Click here for the entry list.

 

 Xfinity – U.S. Cellular 250

The second Xfinity race of the season at Iowa has a full 40-car field entered for Saturday’s 250-lap (218.75 mile) race on the 7/8-mile paved track in Newton, Iowa.

All driver spots are filled, with the exception of the No. 78 Chevrolet Camaro owned by B.J. McLeod.

With the NASCAR Cup series racing nearly 1,000 miles east at Pocono, no Cup regulars are entered in this race.

Erik Jones won this race last year, while Hornish won the race a month and a half earlier there.

On June 24 of this year, William Byron won at Iowa.

Among notable entries:

* Brian Scott comes out of retirement to drive the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

* Two-time Iowa winner Sam Hornish Jr. is back, driving for Team Penske.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Trucks – Overton’s 150

There are 30 trucks entered in the Overton’s 150, the eighth straight year the Trucks have raced on Pocono’s Tricky Triangle.

This race will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and is scheduled for 60 laps (150 miles).

All driver seats are filled, but there is one crew chief vacancy on the entry list: the No. 57 Chevrolet driven by B.J. McLeod.

Eleven of the 30 trucks also do not have a primary sponsor entered.

The only driver from the NASCAR Cup series entered in this race is Kyle Busch, who is the only driver with multiple truck wins at Pocono, having also won the 2015 race.

William Byron is the defending winner of this race last year. Byron is not entered in this race, as he’s been promoted to the Xfinity Series.

Click here for the entry list.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

 

 

Denny Hamlin grabs Homestead pole, Martin Truex Jr. also on front row

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Denny Hamlin was last to make a final qualifying run but took the pole for Sunday’s and championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400.

Hamlin (173.980 mph) knocked Martin Truex Jr. (173.952) off the pole with a bonsai run around the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Love this racetrack, wish we would have a chance, but it’ll be another day and another year for us,” Hamlin told NBCSN. “I want to win, that’s all I care about.”

This is Hamlin’s second pole of his career (and second in the last three races) at Homestead, where he’s also a two-time Cup winner.

Truex is the highest qualifying driver of the four Championship 4 contestants.

“It was a good day overall,” Truex told NBCSN. “Hopefully, we’ll just make some minor adjustments (in Saturday’s two practice sessions) and get comfortable and get ready to race on Sunday.”

The other drivers are: Kyle Busch (qualified third, 173.930), Brad Keselowski (fifth, 172.452) and Kevin Harvick was the slowest of the four (ninth, 171.876).

“Not a bad lap, definitely was pole-worthy, so I hate that we weren’t able to get the No. 1 pit stall,” Busch told NBCSN. “I think we’re further ahead than we were 2015 when we won the whole thing.”

Keselowski told NBCSN: “It sure doesn’t feel bad, but there’s a long way to go. It’s just one day of a three-day weekend. … This is like a poker game. This is the deal, it’s qualifying. Tomorrow you start to see the turn of the cards with race trim. We’re not in a bad spot, not where we want to be, we still need a little speed obviously to run with the Toyotas, but we’re kind of first in class (among Ford teams) today.”

Harvick said to NBCSN: “Not exactly how I wanted it to go, but all-in-all I think we’re going to be fine. It’s not like we’re starting 39th or something.”

In addition to Hamlin, non-championship drivers that qualified in the top 12 include Matt Kenseth (fourth, 172.678), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (sixth, 172.359), Kyle Larson (seventh, 172.205), Kurt Busch (eighth, 172.106), Daniel Suarez (10th, 171.789), Ryan Blaney (11th, 171.255) and Trevor Bayne (12th, 171.124).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start last because of an engine change in practice Friday. … Danica Patrick, who announced she will race next year in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 before retiring, qualified 25th. … Sunday’s race will have 39 cars in the field.

Click here for qualifying results.

William Byron fastest in final Xfinity practice at Homestead-Miami

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William Byron was fastest in Friday’s final Xfinity Series practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Byron, who is one of four drivers in contention for the Xfinity Series Championship in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300, was the only driver to top 166 mph (166.087 mph).

Byron will jump to the NASCAR Cup Series next season, replacing Kasey Kahne.

The other three Championship 4 drivers in Saturday’s race were ninth-fastest Elliott Sadler (164.144 mph), 13th-fastest Justin Allgaier (163.503) and 15th-fastest Daniel Hemric (163.438).

Second through eighth were Ben Kennedy (165.685), Cole Custer (165.487), Christopher Bell (165.158), Sam Hornish Jr. (165.138), Casey Mears (165.057), Brennan Poole (164.880) and Tyler Reddick (164.179). Tenth-fastest was Ty Majeski (163.939).

Saturday’s championship race will be televised on NBCSN at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Click here for the full practice speed chart.

Chase Briscoe earns Miami Truck pole; Austin Cindric highest of Championship 4 drivers

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Chase Briscoe took the pole for tonight’s Camping World Truck Series season-ending and championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Briscoe was fastest with a speed of 167.499 mph, followed by Ben Rhodes (167.348 mph), who will also sit on the front row when the green flag drops tonight.

Three of the four Championship 4 drivers didn’t qualify as well as they might have liked.

One did, however, as 19-year-old Austin Cindric qualified third (166.831). Cindric and Briscoe are both competing in the final race for Brad Keselowski Racing, which is folding after this season.

As for the other three Championship 4 drivers, two-time Truck champ Matt Crafton qualified eighth (165.614), defending series champ Johnny Sauter (165.092) qualified 11th, and Christopher Bell (165.309) failed to advance past the first round of qualifying. He’ll start tonight’s championship race 13th.

As for the rest of the top 12 qualifiers who are not running for the championship, Grant Enfinger was fourth (166.590) followed by Noah Gragson (165.909), Ryan Truex (165.848) and Justin Haley in seventh (165.705). Also, Stewart Friesen qualified ninth (165.431), Kaz Grala was 10th (165.203) and Myatt Snider was 12th (161.575).

The Ford EcoBoost 200 will take the green flag shortly after 8 p.m. ET. The race will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the full qualifying grid.

Kaz Grala joining JGL Racing full-time in Xfinity next season

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Kaz Grala will make the move to the Xfinity Series in 2018 when he competes full-time in the No. 24 Ford for JGL Racing, the team announced Friday.

Grala, 18, makes the move after one season in the Camping World Truck Series with GMS Racing. Grala earned one win, in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. He is the youngest driver to win a national NASCAR race at Daytona.

Multiple drivers piloted the No. 24 this season, including Dylan Lupton, Corey LaJoie, Jeb Burton and Drew Herring. JGL Racing also fielded the No. 28 for Dakoda Armstrong, but the car hasn’t run since Kentucky due to a lack of sponsorship.

“I am beyond excited about the opportunity to drive for JGL Racing next year full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” Grala said in a press release. “I’ve been watching Xfinity races since I was a little kid, so to be able to compete at that high of a level is nothing short of a dream come true. I can’t thank James Whitener (owner of JGL Racing) and everyone at JGL enough for this opportunity.”

Grala has five top fives and an average finish of 14.1 in the No. 33 truck ahead of tonight’s season finale in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

JGL Racing’s move from Toyota to Ford coincides with the team entering a technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing.

“These are exciting times for the JGL Racing organization,” Whitener said in a press release.  “We appreciate the support we have received from Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last few years. We felt that in order for our team to make the next step in our growth process that we needed a more robust technical alliance behind us – and this opportunity with Ford Performance and Roush Fenway Racing provided us that and made the most sense. We look forward to finishing out the season in our No. 24 car and then we will turn our attention to 2018 and getting all of the proper pieces into place.”