NASCAR America Scan All: Cautions make scanners come to life

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The first two stages of the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway were free of incidents, but the scanners came to life in the final segment and the chatter was caught in the week’s edition of Scan All.

On lap 126 of 160, Kyle Larson got into the back of Derrike Cope and sent him into a harmless spin. It triggered the first caution for an incident and the old adage of “cautions breed cautions” was once more reaffirmed.

“My nose should be fine,” Larson said after the contact. “I barely got him.”

“I probably should have given him the outside,” Cope responded to his spotter. “That’s why I said I was going to go down low.”

Other highlights from Scan All include:

    • “32’s leaking oil bad. Tell him to pull off.” – Michael McDowell
    • “Whoa. My brake pedal went straight to the floor into the tunnel for some reason.” – Matt DiBenedetto
    • “Shut it off, shut it off. We’re done.” – Mike Wheeler, crew chief for Denny Hamlin.
    • “Tell (Erik Jones) I’m sorry. He went to the bottom and then went to the top and I caught him. It’s my fault.” –Joey Logano

For more, watch the video above.

Kyle Busch’s Xfinity crew chief suspended one race for Pocono violation

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NASCAR has issued a one-race suspension and a $10,000 fine against Eric Phillips, crew chief for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Xfinity team, for a violation last weekend at Pocono Raceway.

The team, which won the Pocono Green 250 with Kyle Busch, was issued an L1 infraction for failing post-race heights inspections.

Post-race height measurements were outside NASCAR’s allowed tolerances.

In addition to a loss of 10 owner points, the win will not apply to seeding in the owners points playoffs or tiebreakers.

JGR will not appeal the penalty. Dustin Zacharyasz will serve as crew chief.

In its penalty report, NASCAR also announced that Jeremy L. Murphy has completed its Road to Recovery program and that his suspension has been lifted.

NASCAR America: All four Hendrick cars ‘strong’ at Pocono

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The 2.5-mile, three-turn Pocono Raceway is a track that “exposes” the “weaknesses” a team has in its cars, Parker Kligerman said on NASCAR America.

It’s because of this that the performance of Chase Elliott and the rest of Hendrick Motorsports stood out to him.

Kligerman said the four-car team has largely had an “abysmal” year through 13 races, with no wins and just six top fives.

But Jimmie Johnson finished eighth and Elliott placed 10th, later saying on Twitter he considered it his best race of the year.

“All four Hendrick cars looked really strong, including William Byron, who was in his first Cup start at Pocono,” Kligerman said.

Byron placed 18th after flirting with the top 10 throughout the race, while Alex Bowman finished 27th after being in a wreck with Denny Hamlin.

“For Chase to leave Pocono and say ‘This was our best performance of the year’ tells a lot to me at Pocono because that means they have made legitimate progress on their cars at Hendrick,” Cassill said.

Watch the above video for more

NASCAR America: What happened to Clint Bowyer, Bubba Wallace at Pocono

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In Sunday’s race at Pocono, both Clint Bowyer and Bubba Wallace had their days impacted by transmission problems.

Wallace finished last in 38th after he shifted from third to second gear on a Lap 107 restart, resulting in a blown transmission.

Bower had a top-10 performance turn into a 20th-place finish after a missed shift on the final restart of the race.

On NASCAR America, Landon Cassill and Parker Kligerman explained why shifting can be a problem at Pocono.

Bowyer’s bad shift came on the straightaway between Turns 1 and 2.

“That shift down the backstretch is a third to fourth-gear shift,” Cassill said. “For me it’s a very fast shift, especially late in the race he’s trying to get that top-five finish. You almost are not even lifting completely out of the throttle, you’re maybe lifting to 10 percent and going right back to wide open as quick as you can and you miss that timing by the littlest bit. … Fortunately, he didn’t blow the whole thing up.”

Cassill later compared missing a shift to “missing a free throw” in basketball.

Watch the above video for more.

 

Track position overcomes tires for Kyle Larson at Pocono

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With old tires, Kyle Larson had to be perfect on three restarts over the last 16 laps of Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Otherwise, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver would jeopardize a shot at his fifth top five of the season.

During a debris caution with 20 laps to go, Larson stayed out with Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott while the rest of the leaders pit.

Larson succeeded, managing to hold off a Kyle Busch, who had newer tires, to place second, earning his third runner-up result of the season.

“Was happy about that because I felt like obviously we were at a little bit of a disadvantage on tires there, but the track position overcame that,” Larson said. “But I felt like if I didn’t have a good restart on any one of those, I would have fell back outside the top five from those guys on fresher tires. Happy we finished second but needed a lot more to kind of compete with the three guys that ran up front all day.”

MORE: Martin Truex Jr scores win at Pocono

Larson earned his second top five in three races and just his third since the April 16 race at Bristol, where he finished second.

The No. 42 team has consistently been the highest performing Chevrolet in a year when Chevy teams are getting acclimated to the new Camaro model. Larson was the highest-placing Chevy driver Sunday with Jimmie Johnson next in eighth.

“I felt like my car today was kind of as good as it’s been all year,” Larson said. “I feel like the Hendrick (Motorsports) guys have definitely gotten better, as well as (Richard Childress Racing) guys. But I feel like I’ve kind of just been a step behind (Busch, Truex and Harvick).

“I definitely felt like (Harvick) had the most power down the straightaways today, the little bit I was in front of him there at the end. I felt like even when I get a good exit off of (Turn) 3, he would close on me a lot, compared to (Busch) and (Truex) a little bit, but (Harvick) was definitely really fast.”

Larson and the series now head to Michigan International Speedway, the 2-mile track where Larson has won the last three Cup races.

He will be looking to earn his first victory since last year’s regular-season finale at Richmond.

“I hadn’t really thought about Michigan yet,” Larson said. “But yeah, I’m excited to go there off of three wins in a row. … For whatever reason, we’ve been fast there. We actually weren’t that fast the last one we had, but we were able to have some good restarts at the end.

“Hopefully we can go and have our car as competitive as it was the first two times and try and get a fourth win.”