CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Cup Series head to Long Pond, Pennsylvania, for this weekend's race at Pocono Raceway.
The 2.5-mile track commonly known as "The Tricky Triangle" will provide unique challenges for drivers as the circuit is unlike that of any other on the calendar. Competitors will have to navigate long straightaways at high speeds as well as different levels of banking in each corner. Turn one, modeled after Trenton Speedway, measures at 14 degrees of banking. Turn two, also referred to as the "Tunnel Turn", is modeled after Indianapolis Motor Speedway at eight degrees of banking. Finally, turn three has a mere six degrees of banking and is similar to the Milwaukee Mile.
Last season’s stop in East Pennsylvania showcased two races in the same weekend. The Saturday race saw Alex Bowman take the checkered flag after Kyle Larson’s left-front tire went down heading into the final corner. The weekend’s second race saw Larson rebound and finish second with Bowman also ending up inside the top 10.
Cliff Daniels will return to the pit box of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet this weekend after completing his four-race suspension following the team inadvertently losing its right-front tire at Sonoma Raceway last month.
While Chase Elliott has yet to taste victory at the Long Pond, Pennsylvania, venue in a Cup Series race, he does have top 10s in seven of his 12 starts. The points leader comes into the weekend with four straight top-two finishes this season, with two wins in that stretch.
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William Byron has also run well in his career at "The Tricky Triangle." Going back to 2016, Byron won at Pocono in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with current crew chief Rudy Fugle on top of the box. The 24-year-old's 9.1 average finish at the track is the best among all drivers with more than one start. He also has landed inside the top 10 in 62 percent of his starts in the Cup Series at the facility and his five top 10s are tied for the most the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has had at one track.
As an organization, Hendrick Motorsports has 18 victories at Pocono in the Cup Series, the most all-time by any organization and its fourth-most victorious track. Eight different drivers have gone to victory lane at the Pennsylvania venue, with Bowman the most recent to add his name to the list. Jeff Gordon leads the way with six victories. Tim Richmond and Jimmie Johnson each earned three wins, while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. picked up two triumphs at the 2.5-mile track. Geoffrey Bodine, Terry Labonte and Kasey Kahne also each won once.
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Here is what you need to know to catch this weekend’s action.
WHAT TIME IS PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING?
On Saturday, July 23, Cup Series group practice will start at 2:35 p.m. ET on USA Network. Group qualifying will also take place on Saturday at 3:20 p.m. ET and will also be broadcast on USA Network. Both sessions will have coverage available on the NBC Sports App.
Byron and Larson will be in Group A, while Bowman and Elliott will be part of Group B.
WHAT TIME IS THE RACE?
The 400-mile Cup Series main event is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 24, and will be broadcast on USA Network.
CAN I LISTEN ON THE RADIO?
Both races will be on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90).
CAN I STREAM ONLINE?
FIVE FAST FACTS HEADING INTO POCONO
Data courtesy of Racing Insights
3: Bowman’s streak of top-10 finishes at "The Tricky Triangle" is the second-best of any active driver.
5: From Aug. 5, 2012 to Aug. 3, 2014, Hendrick Motorsports won five straight races at Pocono.
7: The number of top-10 finishes Elliott has earned at Pocono since the start of 2016. He stands fifth-best among active drivers in this category.
8: In 14 starts, Larson has finished in the top 10 eight times at the Pennsylvania venue, including two runner-up results.
9.13: With this average finish, Pocono is statistically Byron’s best track on the Cup Series calendar and he has the best average finish among all drivers with more than one start at the 2.5-mile track.