The ARCA Menards Series continues their summer stretch by visiting Pocono Raceway located in Long Pond, Pennsylvania this Friday night after a short turnaround racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway last Thursday night.
Chad Bryant Racing driver Ty Majeski visited victory lane at Charlotte for the first time of his ARCA Series career and is once again entered in this week’s ARCA race at Pocono.
There are only 19 cars are entered in this week’s General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200.
Riley Herbst and Harrison Burton are the only repeat winners that are entered for Friday’s race. Herbst won in 2017, while Burton is the race winner of last year’s spring race at Pocono.
Raphael Lessard will be making his second ARCA start this year, his previous coming at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida where Lessard finished eighth after starting sixth driving for Mike Bursley. He will once again drive for Bursley, but this time he will be piloting the No. 28 KBR-Development Chevrolet.
It will be a stacked field of NASCAR’s future stars like Thad Moffitt, Christian Eckes, Riley Herbst, Harrison Burton, Joe Graf Jr, Raphael Lessard and Hailie Deegan.
Here are five drivers you should keep an eye on in this weeks #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway.
- Harrison Burton – Burton is the previous race winner. He will also make his first Truck Series track debut at Pocono but will be preparing for that by driving in the ARCA race Friday night. This year, Burton has three ARCA starts winning at the season opener in Daytona. Since then, his best finish came last week at Charlotte by finishing fourth. In last year’s race at Pocono, he led 24 of the scheduled 80 laps to win. After pulling a different double duty last week, racing on Thursday night and graduating high school the next day, Burton can now focus on racing this summer.
“This track is amazing,” said the recent high school graduate. “Pocono is a technical race track with every corner being completely different than the last so that’s a lot of fun for the drivers. It creates a lot of good racing opportunities, good passing zones, there’s drafting on the straightaways and I’m excited to be back to defend.”
- Christian Eckes – Eckes will be visiting his home track this weekend, as he grew up not too far from Pocono being born in New York. He has just two starts at Pocono, both coming last year. The Tricky Triangle was tricky last year for Eckes and his No. 15 Venturini Motorsports team. Both finishes came outside the top-10 with a finish of 11th in his first outing and 13th in his second outing. He has had an up and down season so far, and bad luck has bitten him as of late. In last week’s race, Eckes had to deal with two flat tires and spent two laps down throughout the race before rebounding to finish seventh. However, the ARCA Series had an open test on Wednesday before being canceled early due to thunderstorms. Eckes topped the speed charts, completing 36 laps with a best time of 53.17 seconds. Whether this speed will transfer to the race is yet to be seen, but it is encouraging for the New Yorker who is ready to turn his season around this Friday.
“Pocono has always been a place I’ve enjoyed going to,” said Eckes. “Being almost a ‘Home Race’ for me it’s pretty cool to have my whole family out to watch. The race track itself has been super fun. We haven’t gotten the results we deserved in our two attempts but we’re here to change that this week. Everybody on the JBL team has been working really hard, we’re ready to take the triangle head on.”
- Riley Herbst – Aside from Burton, Herbst is the other winner entered for this weeks race at Pocono. He won the 2017 race after leading well over half the race (45 laps). To date, it’s Herbst’s only ARCA win of his career. Aside from not competing in one race that year, he has two full seasons under his belt in the ARCA Series. In last year’s spring race, Herbst finished fifth after leading 11 laps to continue his success at Pocono. Herbst is only doing a part-time schedule this year, sharing the ride with Ty Gibbs. He only competed in three races this season with a best finish of second at Talladega. Herbst and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team was sixth fastest in the afternoon test session.
- Ty Majeski – It’s hard to not to count out last week’s winner Majeski who is looking to carry momentum from his race win at Charlotte. He has just one start in an ARCA car coming in 2017 driving for the Cunningham Motorsports team finishing seventh. For those who don’t know, Chad Bryant Racing took over the reins from Briggs Cunningham last year. If Wednesday’s test means anything, Majeski was fourth fastest. Chad Bryant brought two other cars to the test with Corey Heim who was third fastest and Joe Graft Jr. who was 10th fastest.
- Travis Braden – Braden only has two starts at Pocono in the ARCA Menards Series with a best finish of fourth in the spring race last year. In his other start later in the summer, he finished ninth, giving Braden one top five and one top-10 finish.
“As a driver, you need to hit all three corners just right,” Braden said. “if you miss one corner it messes up all three of them. Everyone looks at the long straightaways and you think you want to reduce drag, but the corners are where the speed is at.”
Who To Watch:
Hailie Deegan will be making her second ARCA start this season, piloting the No. 55 iK9 Toyota for Bill Venturini.
Cole Glasson returns to the ARCA Menards Series driving the No. 32 Win Tron Racing Chevrolet. Glasson has one ARCA start coming in last year’s season finale at Kansas, finishing 10th.
Raphael Lessard makes his track debut at Pocono this Friday. Lessard was fifth quickest Wednesday in ARCA’s afternoon test.
Michael Self will look to rebound after finishing a disappointing fifth when he led a dominating 91 laps.
Wayne Peterson Racing will bring a new Toyota after their Chevy was destroyed last week in a crash.
Venturini Motorsports looks to continue their qualifying streak by qualifying on the pole this Friday.
The ARCA teams had a morning and afternoon open test session before the afternoon session was shortened by thunderstorms. Christian Eckes was the fastest in the afternoon session.
2. Chandler Smith
3. Corey Heim
4. Ty Majeski
5. Raphael Lessard
6. Riley Herbst
7. Michael Self
8. Harrison Burton
9. Cole Glasson
10. Joe Graf Jr
11. Hailie Deegan
12. Bret Holmes
13. Scott Melton
14. Ed Pompa
15. Bobby Gerhart
16. Jonas Fors
17. Tim Richmond
The ARCA Menards Series has visited Pocono Raceway before it was known as The Tricky Triangle since 1987. Since then, the track has hosted 63 races with multiple race winners. The winners include Bob Schacht, Lee Raymond, Bob Keselowski, Jimmy Horton, Ben Hess, Tim Steele, Jeff Purvis, Mike Wallace, Frank Kimmel, Blaise Alexander, Kerry Earnhardt, Ryan Newman, Damon Lusk, Casey Atwood, Casey Mears, Scott Riggs, Ryan Hemphill, Chase Miller, Chad McCumbee, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Justin Allgaier, Joey Logano, Justin Lofton, Craig Goess, Robb Brent, Tim George Jr, Ty Dillon, Brennan Poole, Chad Hackenbracht, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Justin Allison, Trevor Bayne, Cole Custer, Grant Enfinger, Chase Briscoe, Justin Haley and Zane Smith to name a few.
After an open test session on Wednesday, the ARCA teams will have a one day show Friday with one practice session on Friday morning at 9 a.m. ET lasting an hour. Qualifying is slated for 12 p.m. ET and will be live on Arcaracing.com.
The #AnywhereIsPossible 200 is scheduled to get underway shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports 2 and is scheduled for 80 laps. There will be a same-day replay on Fox Sports 1 later that night.