Kyle Larson Wins Rain-Shortened Pocono Green 250by Camille Jones June 5, 2016 0 comments
Kyle Larson won Saturday’s rain-shortened inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono Raceway, claiming his first victory of the 2016 season.
Larson’s last victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series came at Homestead in 2015.
The Pocono Green 250 was scheduled for 100 laps, but as rain approached, the battle to the halfway mark was underway. When the field crossed the stripe after 50 laps were complete, the race was official. The field completed 53 laps before the rain arrived, bringing cars down pit road. After multiple attempts to dry the track through rain showers, NASCAR declared Larson the winner.
The driver of the No. 42 Cessna/NTT Data Group Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing has been close to wins in both the XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series this season.
Larson expressed his excitement for finally capturing a victory following the event, “All you can ask for is to put yourself in position to win each and every weekend. It’ll happen for you.”
“We’ve been close week after week now in both series, Cup and XFINITY. Thanks to everybody on this team at Chip Ganassi Racing for working their tails off in both series. They’ve had a lot of fun recently. It’s been a blast.”
Larson was able to lead 27 of the 53 laps raced before he was declared the winner.
Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing finished second, claiming his seventh top-10 finish of the 2016 season.
“Just not enough time,” a disappointed Jones said. “We by far had one of the best cars in the field, but we couldn’t get back to the lead there before it started raining. It’s unfortunate. The Sport Clips Camry was good, just not enough time to get back to the lead and have a shot at it. Pretty unfortunate, but we’ll move on from here.”
Ty Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Rheem Chevrolet, started eighth and finished third. Dillon collected his eighth top-10 finish of the 2016 season at Pocono.
Larson, Jones and Dillon made up the top-3, while Kyle Busch and Joey Logano rounded out the top-5 finishing positions in Saturday’s race.
There were 5 cautions for a total of 14 laps over the course of the 53 laps raced. On lap 21, Justin Allgaier made contact with the wall, bringing out the caution. On the 40th lap, just as rain approached, Ryan Reed made hard contact with the wall, before spinning into the path of an oncoming Jeremy Clements, ending both of their races early. The final caution was for rain, which ended the race after a long wait under red-flag conditions.
Daniel Suarez remains the leader in the NASCAR XFINITY Series points-standings with an 11- point lead over Elliott Sadler.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to competition next weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the Menards 250 presented by Valvoline on Saturday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. Race coverage will be found on FS1 and MRN.
Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images