The NASCAR Cup Series won’t race two this time at Pocono Raceway, but Sunday’s lone 400-miler at “The Tricky Triangle” still has plenty to watch out for.
At the top is the evolving Cup Playoff picture. With Christopher Bell’s win last weekend at New Hampshire, there are just two Playoff spots up for grabs with six races left in the regular season.
The winless Ryan Blaney (+105 over 17th place) and Martin Truex Jr. (+68 over 17th) hold those spots on points. But the pressure to lock those spots down with a win is continuing to build.
Both drivers have past victories at Pocono. Blaney earned his first career Cup win there in June 2017. Truex won there twice (June 2015, June 2018) with the former Furniture Row Racing.
For other key storylines to follow Sunday, check out our viewer’s guide.
Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono
(All Times Eastern)
START: Sammy Wilson, “super fan” of race sponsor M&M’s, will give the command to start engines at 2:54 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:05 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at Noon … Driver introductions are at 2:10 p.m. … Motor Racing Outreach chaplain Nick Terry will give the invocation at 2:46 p.m. … Gold Star family member Talia Walsh will perform the National Anthem at 2:47 p.m.; the National Anthem will be signed by Taylor Beagle of the Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children (Clarks Summit, Penn.).
DISTANCE: The race is 160 laps (400 miles) on the 2.5-mile triangular oval.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 30. Stage 2 ends at Lap 95.
TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Countdown to Green begins on USA at 2 p.m. Post-race coverage begins on USA at 6:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at MRN.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
STREAMING: NBC Sports
FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy, high of 91 degrees, 15% chance of rain around start of the race
INSPECTION ISSUES: The cars of Denny Hamlin, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher, Josh Bilicki and Corey LaJoie failed twice in pre-race inspection. Each of their teams has had a crew member ejected and lost their choice of pit selection.
TO THE REAR: Ty Gibbs. He is replacing Kurt Busch in the No. 45 car. NASCAR’s medical staff did not clear Busch to race after his crash in qualifying Saturday. Cars of Ross Chastain, William Byron, Erik Jones, Cody Ware and Justin Haley all for unapproved adjustments.
STARTING LINEUP: NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono
LAST YEAR: The Cup Series ran back-to-back races in consecutive days last June at Pocono. In Race #1, a blown tire for leader Kyle Larson on the final lap enabled teammate Alex Bowman to take the checkered flag. The following day, Race #2 became a fuel mileage derby that was ultimately won by Kyle Busch.
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