NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Truck SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Kyle Larson, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland on Pocono poles

5 Mins read
Credit: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Four races among three divisions await the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck Series at Pocono Raceway. On Saturday, Todd Gilliland will lead the Truck field to green in the CRC Brakleen 150 while Kyle Larson does so for the Cup Series’ Pocono Organics CBD 325. Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 will see Harrison Burton on the Xfinity pole. The Xfinity event will be by the Cup Series’ second race, the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350, which will have its starting lineup set by invert of the top twenty from the Saturday round.

Cup: Larson seeking fourth straight from pole

Larson has been on a tear in his first season with Hendrick Motorsports. After the first fourteen races of the season featured eleven different winners including Larson, he has won every Cup event he has taken part in since late May. Riding a three-race win streak (four if including the All-Star Race), Larson will start on the pole at Pocono for the first time since his rookie year in 2014. In twelve starts, his best finish is second in 2018; he won the Xfinity race there in 2016.

Hendrick team-mate William Byron starts second at one of his stronger tracks. The 2019 Race #1 pole sitter has top tens in all but four starts at Pocono.

A trio of driver changes from Nashville took place. Cody Ware returns to his #51 Rick Ware Racing car after skipping Nashville to make his NTT IndyCar Series début (J.J. Yeley drove the #15), while James Davison is back in the #15 RWR machine last driven by Joey Gase. Timmy Hill will run his first Cup race since Talladega in April in MBM Motorsports‘ #66, who fielded the #66 for David Starr and the #13 for Chad Finchum at Nashville. Finchum, whose Nashville start marked his first Cup run of the season, is not entered at Pocono.

The Sunday race will have its starting lineup set by an inversion of the top twenty from Saturday, meaning Saturday’s twentieth place starts on the pole for Sunday. Such a plan was initially set for the 2020 weekend—Pocono’s first year with a doubleheader—before being switched out for cars on the lead lap as multiple tracks held doubleheaders to make up for lost dates due to COVID-19.

15Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
224William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
34Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord
422Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord
518Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
642Ross ChastainChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
747Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
81Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
920Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
1011Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
1110Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord
123Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
1348Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
1499Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet
1519Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
168Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
1734Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord
182Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord
196Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord
2023Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota
2121Matt DiBenedettoWood Brothers RacingFord
2243Erik JonesRichard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
237Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet
2438Anthony AlfredoFront Row MotorsportsFord
2517Chris BuescherRoush Fenway RacingFord
2641Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord
2712Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord
2814Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord
299Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
3053Garrett Smithley*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
3137Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
3278B.J. McLeod*Live Fast MotorsportsFord
3352Josh BilickiRick Ware RacingFord
3477Justin Haley*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
3551Cody Ware*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
3615James DavisonRick Ware RacingChevrolet
3700Quin HouffStarCom RacingChevrolet
3866Timmy Hill*MBM MotorsportsToyota
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points
Credit: Logan Riely/Getty Images

Xfinity: Burton on pole for second time

Burton, who finished third at Nashville last Saturday, rolls off the grid in first. He last started on the pole at Martinsville in April. The sophomore will hope his race goes better than his maiden Xfinity start at Pocono in 2020, where he finished thirty-second after crashing out; conversely, his lone Truck race there in 2019 saw him finish third.

Justin Allgaier starts second after finishing second. He has two top tens in five starts at Pocono with a best finish of second in 2017 and placing sixth in 2020.

With Kyle Busch once again focusing on the Cup Series after scoring his 100th Xfinity win at Nashville, Ty Gibbs is back in Joe Gibbs Racing‘s #54. Sam Mayer will run his first race in JR Motorsports‘ #8 as he prepares to contest the rest of the season in the car; Josh Berry, the #8’s previous driver, moves to Jordan Anderson Racing‘s #31 that he drove at Mid-Ohio. Santino Ferrucci is back in Sam Hunt Racing‘s #26 for the first time since Atlanta in March, while Blaine Perkins takes over the Our Motorsports #23 from Natalie Decker. Carson Ware is in SS-Green Light Racing‘s #17 for his first start of the season, which shifts Joe Graf Jr. back to his traditional #07. Whelen Euro Series points leader Loris Hezemans is in DGM Racing‘s #90. Jimmy Means Racing‘s #52 is being filled by Gase rather than the original full-timer Gray Gaulding, though the team has asserted that Gaulding is still within the organisation.

JD Motorsports drivers Colby Howard and Jeffrey Earnhardt, who failed to qualify at Nashville, are locked in. Hill and MBM’s #13, on the other hand, are not.

120Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
27Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet
316A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet
419Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
510Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet
618Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
79Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet
81Michael AnnettJR MotorsportsChevrolet
951Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet
1098Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord
1111Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet
1239Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord
1322Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord
1454Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
1561Austin Hill*Hattori Racing EnterprisesToyota
1636Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet
1702Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet
1844Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet
192Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
208Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet
216Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet
2292Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet
234Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet
2468Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet
2566David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota
2626Santino FerrucciSam Hunt RacingToyota
275Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet
2878Jesse LittleB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota
2948Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet
3047Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet
3123Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet
3217Carson WareSS-Green Light RacingChevrolet
3331Josh BerryJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet
3474Bayley Currey*Mike Harmon RacingChevrolet
3507Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet
3699Mason MasseyB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota
3715Colby HowardJD MotorsportsChevrolet
380Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet
3990Loris HezemansDGM RacingChevrolet
4052Joey GaseJimmy Means RacingChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Trucks: Gilliland on pole

Gilliland followed fellow Ford truck Ryan Preece to the finish at Nashville, which has rewarded him with the pole for Pocono. It is his second first-place start after Charlotte in May. He has three top tens in as many starts at Pocono, with his 2020 start ending with a fourth.

Zane Smith joins him on the front row. He finished fourteenth in his lone Pocono start last year. Preece starts eighth and hopes to go two-for-two after winning in his series début.

Busch is entered in the #51 for his own team while Christian Eckes returns to ThorSport Racing‘s #98, the latter of which bumps Grant Enfinger to CR7 Motorsports‘ #9. Bayley Currey is in Niece Motorsports‘ #45 and Tyler Hill is in the family-run #56. Todd Peck will run his first Truck race since 2018 in the #41 for Cram Racing Enterprises. FDNY Racing and the #28 for Bryan Dauzat return after last entering the seaosn opener at Daytona.

Drivers who DNQ’d at Nashville but are locked in for Pocono include Spencer Boyd, Jennifer Jo Cobb, and Josh Reaume.

138Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord
221Zane SmithGMS RacingChevrolet
399Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota
416Austin HillHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota
588Matt CraftonThorSport RacingToyota
652Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota
74John Hunter NemechekKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota
817Ryan Preece*David Gilliland RacingFord
924Jack WoodGMS RacingChevrolet
102Sheldon CreedGMS RacingChevrolet
1118Chandler SmithKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota
1213Johnny SauterThorSport RacingToyota
1342Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
1466Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingToyota
1523Chase PurdyGMS RacingChevrolet
1698Christian EckesThorSport RacingToyota
1715Tanner GrayDavid Gilliland RacingFord
1826Tyler AnkrumGMS RacingChevrolet
191Hailie DeeganDavid Gilliland RacingFord
2025Josh Berry*Rackley WARChevrolet
2122Austin Wayne SelfAM RacingChevrolet
2251Kyle Busch*Kyle Busch MotorsportsToyota
2340Ryan TruexNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
2419Derek KrausMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingToyota
2512Tate FoglemanYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet
2602Kris WrightYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet
2745Bayley CurreyNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
2830Danny BohnOn Point MotorsportsToyota
2934Lawless AlanReaume Brothers RacingToyota
3056Tyler HillHill MotorsportsChevrolet
319Grant EnfingerCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet
3241Todd PeckCram Racing EnterprisesChevrolet
333Howie DiSavino IIIJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet
3420Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet
3533Josh ReaumeReaume Brothers RacingChevrolet
3610Jennifer Jo CobbJennifer Jo Cobb RacingFord
376Norm BenningNorm Benning RacingChevrolet
3849Ray CiccarelliCMI MotorsportsToyota
3928Bryan DauzatFDNY RacingChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Truck points
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About author
Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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