Back to racing with regular downforce package, Truex eyes repeat win at Pocono


Just like the rest of his peers in the Sprint Cup Series, Martin Truex Jr. has gone through three different aero rules packages in the last three races: Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis.

“It hasn’t been that big of a deal driver-wise, adapting to the packages,” Truex said Friday at Pocono Raceway during his weekly media availability. “It’s all relative. When they take downforce off everyone, the good cars still seem like the good cars.”

Now comes a return to NASCAR’s regular downforce package in this weekend’s race at Pocono. And it’s an event that’s all the more important for Truex, as he won there in early June, all but assuring his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“It feels a little different coming back this time,” said Truex, who will also be driving a new race car in Sunday’s race. “It feels good, for sure. It was definitely a huge weekend for us.

“Hopefully, we can repeat what we did last time. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re up for the challenge.”

And challenges are something Truex has had to endure quite a bit of late. Since winning at Pocono in early June, he was third at Michigan and then things went downhill in a hurry.

He wrecked at Sonoma (finished 42nd) and Daytona (38th) before things started going back in a positive direction at Kentucky (17th), Loudon (12th) and his fourth-place finish last Sunday at Indianapolis.

“We definitely ran into a string of bad luck there in Sonoma and Daytona, getting caught up in crashes,” Truex said.

“I felt like we had a real good car at New Hampshire, one of the better ones we’ve had in years, and then got caught a lap down by the caution. And then last week at Indy, we had a pretty good car but we didn’t have the speed to lead, but it was a good top-five.

“So it’s been kind of up and down here lately, but I still feel we have speed in our race cars. We haven’t been at any tracks where we feel like we’ve really performed well at. I think we’ve got some more good tracks coming up and still feel like we have that momentum, we’ve just had some bad luck along the way.”

Truex hopes to pick up where he left off at Indy when it comes to momentum and success. He feels confident he can double-up and win both of this season’s races at Pocono, much like former teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. did last year.

“We have that bit of a safety net, so to speak and I think we can tend to take chances a little bit more, but we’re still here to win and get the best finishes we can,” Truex said. “I definitely feel a little more pressure because we were so good here the last time, but at the same time, you don’t want to screw it up.

“But at the same time, the track’s a little bit different (with the bumps over the tunnel turn now gone) and everybody’s gotten better.”

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Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.