Ross Chastain wins at Pocono for third Truck Series victory of season

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Ross Chastain held off Tyler Ankrum and Harrison Burton to win Saturday’s Gander RV 150 at Pocono Raceway.

It was Chastain’s third career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win, all of which have come this season. He won earlier at Kansas and Gateway. In addition, Chastain is now the only driver in the Truck Series to have three wins thus far this season.

“We stomped them in the dirt, we pressed the attack, I’m so excited,” Chastain told FOX. “We’ll go try to press the attack (in the next race, Thursday night at Eldora Speedway). We don’t back down at all. We just keep going.”

Eldora will be Chastain’s first career Truck race on dirt, prompting him to quip, “I’ve always thought dirt was for farming and asphalt was for racing, but we’re going to learn something next week.”

Christian Eckes finished fourth, followed by Brett Moffitt, Matt Crafton, Todd Gilliland, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger.

Click here for results.

Click here for updated point standings

The race didn’t even get past Turn 1 on the opening lap when Stewart Friesen’s Chevrolet spun and collected the Toyota of Anthony Alfredo. Both trucks were damaged beyond repair.

I’m not really sure,” Friesen told FOX when asked what happened in the incident. “I spun around and made contact with the wall.

I got to the apron there and it’s just a bummer. I had a lot of friends and family here today and just really, really disappointed. I wish I could have done more to last a little longer out there. We’ll be back but it just sucks right now.”

Natalie Decker and Ben Rhodes were also involved but both suffered only minor damage and were able to continue on.

Stage 1 winner: Ross Chastain (second stage win of season)

Stage 2 winner: Harrison Burton (first stage win of season)

Who had a good race: Harrison Burton continued in his bid to make the playoffs with a strong third-place finish.

Who had a bad race: Stewart Friesen’s first lap wreck could have significant playoff ramifications for him. Friesen came into the race seventh in the hunt for the eight playoff spots, and left in eighth place, on the playoff bubble. Because he has not won a race this season, he only has two more races – August 1 at Eldora and August 10 at Michigan – to lock himself into the playoffs.

Notable: Before he went to victory lane, Chastain — nicknamed “The Melon Man” —  had some fun by tossing a watermelon-shaped beach ball back and forth with fans in the frontstretch stands. Chastain’s family is watermelon growers.

What’s next: There will be a short turnaround for Truck Series teams, who are back at it – and on the dirt this time – this Thursday, August 1, in the Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.

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