“Graduation” Guarantees A First Time Pocono Winner

Chase Briscoe

The short history of the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono Raceway features four winners, none of whom will be racing in Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 (12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The top two finishers from last year’s race—Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick—have graduated to the NASCAR Cup Series. That, coupled with the event’s status as the final race of the year in the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash program, guarantees a fresh face in Victory Lane on Sunday.

Three-time 2020 winner Chase Briscoe, who finished third last year, is a leading candidate, but he’ll have to slow the Kaulig Racing express. Kaulig drivers have enjoyed an eminently successful and lucrative three-week period, starting with part-time driver AJ Allmendinger’s June 6 victory at Atlanta.

Allmendinger subsequently added the June 14 Dash 4 Cash race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to his schedule and collected the $100,000 bonus as the highest finisher among four eligible drivers there. Ross Chastain qualified for the Dash 4 Cash payday at Homestead and pocketed another $100,000 with a second-place run at Talladega—behind Kaulig teammate Justin Haley.

Both Chastain and Haley are eligible for the bonus at Pocono (along with Austin Cindric and Alex Labbe), giving Kaulig a 50-50 chance to add another $100,000 to its bankroll.

“It’s a really tough race track,” says Haley, who now has won races in all three of NASCAR’s top touring series, as well as in the ARCA Menards Series. “Having no practice is going to be difficult at a track that is so different from the others. I can’t wait to get there, though.

“We’re coming off some momentum at Talladega, and hopefully we will have some speed and get that 100 grand at the end of the weekend.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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