Harvick Wins at Pocono, 6 Ford Mustangs in the Top 10

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Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA — June 27th, 2020

The Pocono Organics 325 kicks off the Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Providing the weather cooperates, it was raining Saturday morning and there is an 80% chance for more appreciation to fall.

NASCAR already postponed the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race that was scheduled to run prior to the cup event. The Trucks will now run Sunday morning followed by the Xfinity Series Race and the second half of the Cup Series doubleheader.

Race time is 3:30 pm, today on Fox. The 325-mile race consists of 130 laps around the 2.5-mile speedway. Stages for today’s event are 25/52/53 laps. Last year’s winner, Kyle Busch, will start on the 2nd row in 4th position. Aric Almirola sits on the pole with last week’s winner, Ryan Blaney, starting on the front row beside him.

The Start at Pocono Raceway / NASCAR Photo

Stage 1

The green flag fell almost an hour late as crews were still drying the track at race time. Almirola drove down into turn one with the lead as Kyle Busch slipped past Blaney for 2nd. Drivers quickly spread out into a single file line, testing the track with light sprinkles appearing on camera lenses.

The competition caution was displayed on lap 13, allowing teams to pit and make adjustments while taking on tires and fuel. However, drivers in the first eight positions stayed on the track. With Almirola and Logano bringing the field back to the restart.

Almirola Leads at Pocono / NASCAR Photo

Drivers spread out five wide after taking the green flag, looking to improve positions by timing the flag at the restart. Quinn Houff spun out of the 1st corner heading down the backstretch before a lap could be completed and the yellow came back on.

On the next restart with 5 laps to go in Stage 1, it was Logano who came off the first turn with the lead. A few drivers came to pit road with 3 laps to go in the Stage, intending to stay out at the Stage ending caution to gain track position.

Logano held off Almirola to take the Stage win, 3 Ford Mustangs sat at the top of the standings and held 5 of the top 10 spots after the first 25 laps.

Stage 1 Results

Position Car Driver
1 22 Joey Logano*
2 10 Aric Almirola*
3 12 Ryan Blaney*
4 18 Kyle Busch
5 9 Chase Elliott
6 1 Kurt Busch
7 21 Matt DiBenedetto*
8 2 Brad Keselowski*
9 88 Alex Bowman
10 20 Erik Jones

*Ford Mustang Drivers

Stage 2

Logano and Almirola did not pit during the Stage ending caution, holding onto the front row for another restart. With Almirola returning to the lead when the race went back to green.

Pit strategy was all over the board, as the leaders that stayed out finally pitted at laps 45 and 46. Martin Truex Jr. inherited the lead, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Chris Buescher.

The caution came out with 13 laps to go in Stage 2, as JJ Yeley shredded a tire and spread debris around the track. Most everyone took the opportunity to come in for 4 fresh tires and a full tank of fuel. Leaving Almirola, Logano, and Blaney back out front when the Stage resumed with 8 laps to go.

The first wreck of the afternoon occurred with six laps to go in the Stage. Erik Jones moved down to avoid the slower car of Kurt Busch. Tyler Reddick ran into Jones, severely damaging both cars. Sending Jones to the garage into a backup car for Sunday’s race.

The race restarted with two laps to go in Stage 2. Almirola held onto the lead and earned his first Stage win of the season, with Logano finishing 2nd. Five Ford Mustangs again finished in the top 10.

Stage 2 Results

Position Car Driver
1 10 Aric Almirola*
2 22 Joey Logano*
3 19 Martin Truex Jr.
4 12 Ryan Blaney*
5 21 Matt DiBenedetto*
6 88 Alex Bowman
7 4 Kevin Harvick*
8 18 Kyle Busch
9 11 Denny Hamlin
10 9 Chase Elliott

*Ford Mustang Drivers

The Final Stage

The front of the pack was jumbled up as a number of cars drove into the mix for the top spot. As the race settled down into single-file racing Almirola led with Kevin Harvick 2nd. Followed by Matt DiBenedetto, Truex, and Logano in the top 5.

Three Wide Racing at Pocono / NASCAR Photo

With 39 laps to go, those on the long run pit strategy began to pit for fuel only. Inside of 40 laps is the window for enough gas to finish the race. Hamlin inherited the lead, followed by Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, Buescher, and Ryan Preece. All who will have to pit before the end of the race.

After everyone made their stops it was Harvick in the lead. Hamlin, Almirola, Truex, and Christopher Bell making up the top 5. Harvick held on for the win, his first at Pocono in 39 tries. Almirola, who led the most laps(66), finished 3rd. Christopher Bell, the highest finishing rookie came 4th.

Kevin Harvick Wins at Pocono / NASCAR Photo

Ryan Preece made a late pass to finish in 20th, which will give him the pole position for tomorrow’s second half of the doubleheader as the first 20 finishers are inverted to set the field.

Results of the Pocono Organics 325 at Pocono Raceway

Position Car Driver Behind Laps
1 4 Kevin Harvick 130
2 11 Denny Hamlin 0.761 130
3 10 Aric Almirola 15.224 130
4 95 Christopher Bell 17.163 130
5 18 Kyle Busch 18.944 130
6 19 Martin Truex Jr. 25.152 130
7 14 Clint Bowyer 26.072 130
8 34 Michael McDowell 26.841 130
9 2 Brad Keselowski 27.465 130
10 17 Chris Buescher 30.071 130
11 42 Matt Kenseth 31.312 130
12 12 Ryan Blaney 31.726 130
13 21 Matt DiBenedetto 32.713 130
14 24 William Byron 32.897 130
15 6 Ryan Newman 33.539 130
16 41 Cole Custer 40.283 130
17 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 40.578 130
18 1 Kurt Busch 41.094 130
19 3 Austin Dillon 41.140 130
20 37 Ryan Preece 41.784 130
21 48 Jimmie Johnson 48.122 130
22 43 Bubba Wallace -1 129
23 32 Corey LaJoie -1 129
24 38 John Hunter Nemechek -1 129
25 9 Chase Elliott -1 129
26 13 Ty Dillon -1 129
27 88 Alex Bowman -1 129
28 96 Daniel Suarez -2 128
29 15 Brennan Poole -3 127
30 8 Tyler Reddick -4 126
31 27 JJ Yeley -5 125
32 7 Josh Bilicki -5 125
33 53 Garrett Smithley -5 125
34 77 James Davison -5 125
35 66 Timmy Hill -5 125
36 22 Joey Logano -6 124
37 51 Joey Gase -9 121
38 20 Erik Jones -60 70
39 78 BJ McLeod -94 36
40 0 Quin Houff -111 19