Austin Dillon conquered a green-white-checkered restart on Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway to drive the No. 3 Yuengling Light Lager Richard Childress Chevrolet to victory in the Pocono Mountains 150. For the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion it was his sixth career Truck win and first of the 2014 season where he has competed in five of the 11 races.
A late race altercation between Tyler Reddick and German Quiroga set up a green-white-checkered overtime finish and Dillon got a great push on the outside lane from Johnny Sauter to sail off into Turn 1 and then cruise the final two laps to victory.
"I love coming back and running in the trucks, it's fun," Dillon said in victory lane. "Great job by Nick Harrison (his crew chief)."
The win by Dillon was the first for Chevrolet in the Truck Series since Texas in November of 2013 when his younger bother Ty Dillon won. Toyota had won 12 straight races in the trucks.
Kyle Larson was on his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole after earning that on Saturday morning in knockout qualifying. He had the dominant truck early in the race.
On lap 16 of the scheduled 60 the first caution flew when Ray Black Jr spun off Turn 2. He finished 28th of the 32 trucks. Larson pitted and would restart in fifth behind the trucks of Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick, Justin Lofton, and Ryan Blaney who stayed out.
On the lap 22 restart Reddick got loose in Turn 1 and Larson lifted and lost his momentum and by Turn 2 Larson was back to ninth. Larson surged forward though and was fourth by lap 25 and passed Ryan Blaney for second on lap 28.
Timothy Peters was the first to hit pit road on lap 29 when his team felt he was into his fuel window to make the finish. Austin Dillon pitted from the lead on lap 30 which put Larson back in front. On lap 32 Reddick pitted and when he left his pit stall he hit Mason Mingus' truck who was turning into his pit box. Mingus' crew serviced his truck facing the wrong way in his pit box and then sent him on his way. Reddick meanwhile ended up being hit with a speeding off pit road penalty and then served a pass through penalty which put him down a lap.
Larson pitted on lap 34 from the lead which put Clint Bowyer into the lead. Bowyer was making his 13th career Truck Series start and first since 2011 as he filled the seat of the No. 05 Athenian Motorsports Toyota normally piloted by John Wes Townley. Townley was not cleared to race Saturday after crashing in ARCA Racing Series qualifying on Friday. Bowyer pitted on lap 39 and Matt Crafton led lap 40 before pitting. That put Ben Kennedy into the lead.
On lap 38 the complexion of the race changed when Kyle Larson experienced a loss of power down the long Pocono straights. On lap 42 Clint Bowyer passed Larson to become the first driver on the track that was good to make the finish on fuel.
Kennedy pitted on lap 45 and Joe Nemechek led but Ron Hornaday Jr passed him on lap 46. The second caution then flew on lap 47 when Kyle Martel had a tire go down on the front stretch. He lost control into Turn 1 and crashed hard. Martel finished 27th.
Some trucks like Hornaday and Nemechek that needed more fuel pitted and Clint Boywer was scored the leader ahead of Austin Dillon for the lap 53 restart. Dillon got a good inside run and passed Bowyer for the lead off Turn 1.
Then on lap 54 the third caution flew when Tyler Reddick, who had gotten back on the lead lap when Kennedy pitted from the lead, was battling for sixth with German Quiroga in the tunnel turn. Reddick got loose and up into Quiroga. On exit Quiroga then hit Reddick's right-rear and Reddick spun and back hard into the wall. Both crews would fix the trucks and keep both drivers on the lead lap.
That set up a restart on lap 58. Austin Dillon was able to keep the lead over Bowyer but the fourth caution flew before the lap was completed because Reddick and Quiroga came together in Turn 2 again. This time Reddick got into the back of Quiroga into the corner which got Quiroga into Tyler Young. Young slammed the outside wall hard and then Reddick finished the job on Quiroga and spun the No. 77 Toyota into the wall. Young took his truck to the garage and finished 26th. Reddick was parked by NASCAR and finished 23rd and Quiroga was 22nd.
That set up a green-white-checker finish and leader Austin Dillon chose the outside line. Boweyer was on the inside in second with Erik Jones in third behind him. Johnny Sauter was fourth behind Dillon's truck. Dillon got a great push from Sauter and both trucks along with Joey Coulter, who restarted sixth, were all able to pass Bowyer by Turn 1. Dillon set sail from there to score the win.
Johnny Sauter finished second, Joey Coulter third, Clint Bowyer fourth, Ryan Blaney fifth, Erik Jones sixth, Ron Hornaday Jr seventh, Darrell Wallace Jr eighth, Justin Lofton ninth, and Joe Nemechek tenth. Jason White was 11th, Timothy Peters 12th, Ben Kennedy 13th, Matt Crafton 14th, Spencer Gallagher 15th, Jeb Burton 16th, Mason Mingus 17th, and Kyle Larson 18th.
After 11 of the 22 races this season Ryan Blaney holds a seven point lead over Johnny Sauter. Matt Crafton is 12 points back in third, Ron Hornaday Jr is 20 points back in fourth, and Darrell Wallace Jr is 31 points back in fifth. German Quiroga is sixth, Ben Kennedy seventh, Timothy Peters eighth, Joey Coulter ninth, and Jeb Burton tenth.
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16th.
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Tags: Austin Dillon, Camping World Truck Series, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, German Quiroga, Joey Coulter, Johnny Sauter, Kyle Larson, Matt Crafton, Motorsports, NASCAR, Nick Harrison, Pocono Raceway, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick