Matt Mills

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Cole Custer wins Xfinity pole at Pocono

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Cole Custer will lead the field to the green flag for today’s Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway. Custer nipped Christopher Bell for the pole.

Custer won the pole with a lap of 170.707 mph. Bell’s lap was 170.681 mph.

It is Custer’s third pole of the season and ninth of his career. This marks the third consecutive race he’s started on the front row.

Bell was seeking his second consecutive pole.

Click here for starting lineup

Austin Cindric (170.145 mph) starts third and is followed by Michael Annett (169.113) and Ryan Sieg (169.043). This marks Annett’s first top-20 start at Pocono.

Tyler Reddick (transmission change), Matt Mills (backup car), John Hunter Nemechek (backup car) each will go to the back of the field.

The Xfinity race is scheduled to take the green flag at 1:18 p.m. ET today.

Today’s Xfinity race at Pocono: Start time, lineup and more

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Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer have combined to win the last five Xfinity races.

The last time Reddick, Bell or Custer did not win a series race was two months ago when Kyle Busch won at Texas. Busch isn’t entered in today’s race at Pocono Raceway.

Will the winning streak by Reddick, Bell and Custer continue?

Here’s all the info for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Robert Venditti, J.P. Mascaro & Sons, assistant director of maintenance & training, will give the command to start engines at 1:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:18 p.m.

PRERACE: Qualifying is at 10:05 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 11:15 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1 p.m. by Billy Mauldin, CEO and President of Motor Racing Outreach. Dave Bray, U.S. Navy veteran and national recording artist, will perform the National Anthem at 1:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 100 laps (250 miles) around the 2.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 25. Stage 2 ends on Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 12:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 74 degrees and a 15% percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Busch won last year and was followed by Chase Elliott and Daniel Hemric. None of those drivers is entered in today’s race.

TO THE REAR: Tyler Reddick (transmission change), Matt Mills (backup car), John Hunter Nemechek (backup car), Ronnie Bassett Jr. (unapproved adjustments).

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

Tommy Joe Martins returns to BJ McLeod Motorsports for 2019 Xfinity season

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B.J. McLeod Motorsports on Thursday announced that Tommy Joe Martins will return to the Xfinity Series team for a third season.

Martins joined the team in 2017. In 28 starts, his best finish with the team has been 11th at Iowa (in 2017).

“It is with great enthusiasm to have Tommy Joe Martins back with the team,” team co-owner Jessica McLeod said in a media release. “Martins has played a great part in helping us improve our on-track performance over the last two years and we are looking forward to what’s to come.”

The team, which recently moved into a new shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, will field three full-time cars in the Xfinity Series in 2019, its fourth year of operation.

Its two full-time drivers will be Vinnie Miller in the No. 78 and Matt Mills in the No. 8, while Martins will be part of a rotating cast of drivers in the No. 99 that will also include team co-owner B.J. McLeod, J.A. Avila Jr., and other drivers that may be added.

Click here to read the full press release.

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Brett Moffitt wins Truck race at Michigan

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Brett Moffitt passed Johnny Sauter in the final corner on the last lap to win his fourth win of the season. With this victory, he was able to tie Sauter for the most wins with one race remaining in the regular season. Moffitt crossed the finish line with a bumper advantage over Sauter.

John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top five.

The final run to the checkers was set up when a late-race caution was waved for an incident involving Myatt Snider, Dalton Sargeant and Grant Enfinger.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

HOW BRETT MOFFITT WON: Stalking Johnny Sauter during the final 10 laps, Moffitt laid off Sauter on the final lap and got a run entering turn three. With a little aero dynamic push from John Hunter Nemechek, he was able to get a run to the inside of the No. 21 and won the drag race to the finish line.

MORE: Complete Results
MORE: Points Standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Noah Gragson finished fourth to score his ninth consecutive top-10 in the Truck series. … JH Nemechek’s third-place finish was his fourth consecutive result of seventh or better.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Matt Mills spun in a single-truck incident on lap 27 and backed hard into the wall. … Running 19th at the time, Justin Fontaine spun on lap 35 and made heavy contact with the right side. … With 22 laps to go, Snider was hit from behind by Sargeant and spun into Enfinger entering pit road.

NOTABLE: Friesen seemed to gain an advantage when he got onto pit road when caution waved, but was penalized for improper fueling on that stop because his fuel man pushed his truck out of the stall. That dropped him from first to the last car on the lead lap (19th). Friesen charged back to eighth at the finish.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I knew Johnny (Sauter) was fast. Our Toyota engine, we were lacking a little raw speed today with that. So I was really waiting to time it. … The whole last however many laps I was behind him, I was running wide open. When I’d get to him and I’d push him with that air bubble between our bumpers, so I tried to back up 1, tried to let him get out there a little bit. I knew the 8 was behind us and I was hoping, he’d actually be able to get to us and push us.” – Brett Moffitt on FS1.

WHAT’S NEXT: UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 8:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 16 on FS1.

JD Motorsports completes Xfinity driver lineup with Garrett Smithley

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Garrett Smithley will return to JD Motorsports with Gary Keller for a third season, the Xfinity Series team announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old Smithley will again drive the No. 0 car.

He completes JD Motorsports’ driver roster for 2018. Smithley’s teammates will be Ross Chastain, Vinnie Miller and Matt Mills.

“I’m so excited to be back with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller this season,” Smithley said in a statement from the team. “We’ve had two very successful seasons together and to be given the opportunity to continue to build on that is something I do not take for granted.

“Each and every year JD Motorsports with Gary Keller grows and improves. This offseason has been an extremely strong one for this organization, and I knew that if the opportunity presented itself to return, I wouldn’t pass it up. I can’t thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunities they have given me and this entire team for all that they do. We’re a family, and we’re in this together. It will be awesome to work with Ross once again, as well as Vinnie and Matt this season.”

Smithley finished 21st in the points last season. He finished a season-best eighth in the season opener last year at Daytona International Speedway.

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