The Truck Series race took 29 caution laps and one day to complete, but the finish was well worth the wait. Atlanta, Georgia native Brandon Jones finally nabbed his first career Truck Series win at Pocono Raceway.
“That was a heck of a battle,” said Jones, a full-time NASCAR Xfinity competitor who has won twice in that series. “I know it was fun to watch on TV-it was really fun for me there.”
“It’s not really that much pressure, honestly,” Jones said. “There’s so much they provide for us. We were all on a call with him (owner Kyle Busch) last night after the Cup race. He gave us so much information that led to this win today.”
In what was originally scheduled to be a Saturday event, weather forced the series officials to postpone the Truck Series event to early Sunday morning and in some aspects, the race did not disappoint.
On the pole was, Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 Ford F-150 via a random draw from earlier in the week. Jones and the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports group, drew 10th.
Stages 15-15-30 made up the 60 lap event.
Stage 1 Lap 1- Lap 15
The Pocono Organics was action packed from the get-go, especially on the first lap of the race, and the first turn. Austin Wayne Self in the No. 22, got loose and climbed up the track, which caused the No. 9 of Codie Rohrbaugh to get into the No. 88 of Matt Crafton. Rohrbaugh and Crafton collided with each other and made hard contact with the wall. Unfortunately, their day was cut short, and was credited with 39th and 40th.
Two more cautions slowed the stage again. One on lap 5, as Wayne Self was involved in another incident, this time with the No. 4 of Raphael Lessard. Lessard got into the grass going into Turn 3, which then made his Truck loose. It was unfortunate timing for Wayne Self, as he was right there when Lessard spun. Like Rohrbaugh and Crafton, Lessard’s and Wayne Self’s day were done early. They would end up finishing 37th and 38th, respectively in the running order.
Then on lap 11, Niece Motorsports Ty Majeski, pounded the inside wall going into Turn 1. This left the No. 45 Toyota heavily damaged. The Wisconsin native was unable to return to the event and forced to retire.
A two lap dash to the finish of Stage 1 was taken by Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 GMS Racing team. Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum, Brandon Jones, Todd Gilliland, Grant Enfinger, Johnny Sauter, Zane Smith, Ross Chastain, and Ben Rhodes completed the top 10.
Stage 2 Lap 19- Lap 30
Like Stage 1, the second stage was filled with numerous accidents.
On lap 21, the No. 30 of Brennan Poole scraped the wall on the fronstretch. Moments later, Poole would cut down a tire and slam the wall in Turn 3 bringing out the fourth caution. There was some strategy played under caution, as Chastain, Derek Kraus, and Zane Smith were among the ones who pitted.
A restart was seen with four to go in the stage. However, another yellow flew, due to the No. 3 of Jordan Anderson spinning in Turn 1. A few laps before the yellow, Sauter, Enfinger, Gilliland, Jones pitted to get adjustments to their truck. During the stop, Enfinger was penalized after being too fast on pit road.
With the caution coming out so late in the stage and not enough time to get back going, the stage ended yellow and Creed once again picked up the stage victory. Eckes, Rhodes, Friesen, Tanner Gray, Ankrum, Smith, Moffitt, Bayley Currey, and Spencer Davis were the top 10 for Stage 2.
On pit road, Clay Greenfield and Tyler Ankrum, were penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon. Christian Eckes and Chase Purdy also made slight contact on pit road as well.
Stage 3 Lap 33 – Lap 60
Off the restart for the final stage, rookie Zane Smith, grabbed the lead and led for a short while. Unfortunately, a few laps later with 25 to go, the No. 02 of Tate Fogleman hit the wall in Turn 3 after contact from Tanner Gray.
Finally after an early caution filled race, we saw a short green flag run of 11 laps. During those 11 laps, Brandon Jones and Christian Eckes traded the lead a couple of times, before Eckes pulled away from his teammate Jones. Looking for his first Truck Series win as well, the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver had a right-rear tire go down, which caused him to spin out in the tunnel turn and crash. Eckes would wind up 33rd in the overall results.
Before we could get to the thrilling finish, the final yellow was flown with six laps to go. Tim Viens in the No. 83 spun around in Turn 1. With the late race yellow, a restart would come with two laps to go.
There were multiple battles for the lead between Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed and Brandon Jones. Jones split the middle right before the entry off the tunnel turn. Eventually, Jones took the checkers ahead of Creed by .864 seconds for his first career Truck Series win.
There were nine cautions for 29 laps and eight lead changes among five different leaders.
Jones twice for 11 laps en route to the victory circle.
- Brandon Jones, led 11 laps
- Austin Hill
- Sheldon Creed, led 31 laps, won both stages
- Todd Gilliland
- Ben Rhodes
- Ross Chastain, led 1 lap
- Brett Moffitt
- Stewart Friesen
- Tyler Ankrum
- Derek Kraus
- Grant Enfinger
- Tanner Gray
- Johnny Sauter
- Zane Smith, led 7 laps
- Parker Kligerman
- Bayley Currey
- Jordan Anderson
- Spencer Davis
- Tyler Hill
- Robby Lyons
- Chase Purdy
- Spencer Boyd
- Josh Reaume
- Korbin Forrister
- Cory Roper
- Bryan Dauzat
- Ray Ciccarelli
- Jesse Iwuji
- Tim Viens, 1 lap down
- Norm Benning, 1 lap down
- Clay Greenfield, 2 laps down
- Jennifer Jo Cobb, 6 laps down
- Christian Eckes, OUT, Crash
- Tate Fogleman, OUT, Crash
- Brennan Poole, OUT, Damage Vehicle Policy
- Ty Majeski, OUT, Crash
- Raphael Lessard, OUT, Crash
- Austin Wayne Self, OUT, Crash
- Codie Rohrbaugh, OUT, Crash
- Matt Crafton, OUT, Crash
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series will take the Fourth of July weekend off, before heading to Kentucky Speedway on Saturday July 11.