Track: Pocono Raceway, 2.5-mile oval
Race: 4 of 20
Event: General Tire 200 (200 miles, 80 laps)
Friday, June 26
6:00 p.m……….Race (FS1)
(all times ET)
Hailie Deegan, No. 4 Monster Energy Ford Fusion
In three ARCA Menards Series starts this season, rookie driver Hailie Deegan has earned one top-five and three top-10 finishes. She hopes to keep that streak alive this weekend at Pocono Raceway. The 18-year-old from Temecula, Calif., has one previous ARCA start at “The Tricky Triangle,” finishing seventh there last year.
Deegan spent Monday morning on the Ford Performance simulator in Concord, N.C., to prepare for Pocono. The DGR-Crosley team is taking the same Monster Energy Ford which Deegan raced at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway in March. She finished seventh in that race.
The ARCA Menards Series drivers will get one hour of practice on Friday afternoon prior to the race, which will help many of the rookie drivers, including Deegan. Like Talladega practice, drivers will not get the full hour to practice since they will be allowed out in groups for a limited amount of time.
The General Tire 200 will be live on FS1 at 6 p.m. ET on Friday. The race will be 80 laps and 200 miles.
Deegan on Pocono: “Pocono is a fun track. It’s really hard to get your car set up and good for every single corner. I think going there with DGR-Crosley, with all the guys working hard here, that I’m going to come with a good set-up. I’ve been on the simulator a lot and getting a lot of practice. I’ve been trying a lot of different stuff seeing what I’m comfortable with and seeing what we want to baseline with since we’re not getting much time on the track. It’s going to be fun.”
Tanner Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance Fusion
Tanner Gray is hoping to break his streak of bad luck this weekend at Pocono and will have two chances since he is competing in both Friday’s ARCA Menards Series race, as well as Saturday’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race. Gray has never raced at “The Tricky Triangle” before, so Friday’s ARCA race will be beneficial track time for the rookie.
This will be Gray’s fourth ARCA start this season. Last weekend at Talladega, a bad spark plug wire early in the race cost him two laps before he was able to pit to replace it. Without any cautions in the second half of the race, he was never able to regain those laps. A leak in the oil cooler ended his race early at Daytona, but he did earn a fourth-place finish at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway in March.
This weekend the DGR-Crosley team will take a Ford Performance Fusion which was rebuilt in the off-season. Shane Wilson, who is the crew chief for Gray’s truck team, will also be his ARCA crew chief this weekend. His regular ARCA crew chief, Blake Bainbridge, will be at the Utah Motorsports Campus with Gray’s younger brother, Taylor, for the ARCA West race Saturday afternoon.
Gray on Pocono: “I don’t know what I need to do to turn my luck around on both the ARCA and Truck Series sides. I might need to start looking for four-leaf clovers, or put a lucky horseshoe in my hauler, or something. I’m looking forward to racing twice at Pocono this weekend. This will be my first time there, so getting the extra seat time in the ARCA car will help me on Saturday since I’ll already be familiar with the track. Thad (Moffitt) has raced there twice before, so I’ll probably lean on him for some advice, as well as David (Gilliland, team co-owner) since he’s got a lot of experience there.”
Thad Moffitt, No. 46 Richard Petty Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion
Thad Moffitt is ready to get back on track coming off another top-10 finish last weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The 19-year-old grandson of NASCAR champion, Richard Petty, is always happy to be at the race track, especially when he knows he is competitive. Moffitt has finished in the top-10 in two of his three ARCA starts this season, including his best-career finish of fifth at Daytona in the season-opening race.
Moffitt has the most experience of the three DGR-Crosley drivers at Pocono. He has two starts at “The Tricky Triangle” with his best finish of 11th coming in last year’s race. In 2018, an accident took him out of contention on lap 29 of 80.
The team is taking a new No. 46 Richard Petty Performance Plus Oil Ford, at least new to them. This car raced last year, but was rebuilt with a Ford Fusion body in the off-season.
Moffitt on Pocono: “Pocono is very unique and challenging. I’ve kind of struggled there in the past, but I think I have a better shot this year. I’m in better equipment and I’ve got a better starting spot already based on 2020 points, so I’m pretty confident going into this. DGR-Crosley is bringing fast cars to the track right now and all of our Fusions have been fast so far this year. I think we’ll just keep it up going into Pocono and I believe that we have a good shot at running top three and possibly winning the race this weekend.”