NXS: Rain Rules at Pocono; Larson Hangs On for Inaugural Pocono XFINITY Series Victory

Kyle Magda Featured, NASCAR, Northeast 0 Comments

LONG POND, Pa. — Recap by Race Chaser Online Northeast Correspondent Kyle Magda — Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America photo —

Kyle Larson is once again a winner in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Larson got a little help from Mother Nature and was just ahead of Erik Jones when the rains came to Pocono Raceway Saturday and forced NASCAR officials to call the inaugural Pocono Green 250 three laps past half-way  for Larson’s first XFINITY win this season.

“Had we’d kept racing, Erik was really close to me there in the last lap before the caution came out,” Larson said. “I know the 18 was coming, but there’s been a few races this year we’ve always beat them and just come up a little bit short. Just shows how hard everybody’s working, staying positive, not giving up and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Larson made a bold three-wide move to take the lead on lap 35 and held off the No. 20 SportClips Toyota on his back bumper right before a rain shower hovered over the track on lap 53.  Jones slipped in the race’s first run, but gathered it back up to run down leader and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch before the competition caution.

“Ithink we just ran out of time overall,” Jones said. “If we were able to keep racing, we needed probably about two more corners or a lap at most to really get there and get around Kyle (Larson). We had a good Sport Clips Camry, but it’s just a matter of running out of time and the way strategy worked out. We knew it was coming. We saw it. We tried to play the best we could for it. I was doing all I could right there to try to get back in the lead the quickest I could. We didn’t think we’d get to halfway, honestly.

“We knew it was coming and tried to play the best we could into it, but, at the same time, you’ve still got to run your race and try to put yourself in a good position to run all the way to the end.”

Jones has yet to win at the Tricky Triangle having won the pole for last year’s Truck race at Pocono and also a runner-up finish to Chase Elliott in the June ARCA event in 2013.

“Not enough time, so thought we by far had one of the best cars in the field, but just couldn’t get back to the lead there before it started raining, so it’sunfortunate, but Sport Clips Camry was good. Just not enough time to get back to the lead and have a shot at it. Pretty unfortunate, but move on from here.”

The XFINITY Series never raced at Pocono Raceway until Saturday afternoon as JGR completed a 1-2-3 sweep in qualifying, but no victory to show for the speed.

“It’s tough to pass, I forgot kind of how hard it was to pass here,” Jones said. “It seemed like if – even if you were a lot better than the guy in front of you and you ran them down, it still took you a lap to really set them up and work them over and get around them, get a run. You’ve just really got to set yourself up to get that run on the straightaway and try to get up next to them and drag them down and hope you can clear them, but it’s tough to pass, but I think it was fun for me to try to setup those passes and change your entry to try to get a good run down the straightaway and get a run on them.”

Ty Dillon finished third as Cup drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five.

Inaugural Truck Pocono winner Elliott Sadler came home in sixth, with Paul Menard making his first series start since three weeks ago at Dover finished seventh. Brandon Jones, Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman completed the rest of the top-10.

The XFINITY Series heads to Michigan International Speedway next Saturday for the Menards 250 in the Irish Hills of Michigan.

RESULTS: NASCAR XFINITY Series; Pocono Green 250; Pocono Raceway; June 4, 2016

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Erik Jones
  3. Ty Dillon
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Elliott Sadler
  7. Paul Menard
  8. Brandon Jones
  9. Daniel Suarez
  10. Alex Bowman
  11. Aric Almirola
  12. Brennan Poole
  13. J.J. Yeley
  14. Brendan Gaughan
  15. Blake Koch
  16. Darrell Wallace Jr.
  17. Ryan Preece
  18. Dakoda Armstrong
  19. Ross Chastain
  20. Mario Gosselin
  21. Ray Black Jr.
  22. BJ McLeod
  23. Joey Gase
  24. Alex Guenette
  25. Ryan Ellis
  26. Brandon Gdovic
  27. Garrett Smithley
  28. Todd Peck
  29. Ryan Sieg
  30. Mike Harmon
  31. Jeremy Clements
  32. T.J. Bell
  33. Ryan Reed
  34. Jeff Green
  35. Morgan Shepherd
  36. Josh Wise
  37. Derrike Cope
  38. Carl Long
  39. Justin Allgaier
  40. Matt DiBenedetto

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