High Point’s Blaney trucks to Pocono win
Sitting in the truck, High Point’s Ryan Blaney got some fatherly advice right before the green flag dropped.
Choose the right line on restarts.
With more than 570 NASCAR starts behind him, Dave Blaney sure knew what he was talking about.
Ryan Blaney pulled away on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish to win the Truck Series race Saturday at Pocono Raceway.
“It was pretty funny that we were talking about restarts before the race and that’s what it came down to,” Blaney said.
Blaney had the truck to beat on both restarts to win his second career Truck race in 20 starts. He dipped low and took the lead off the first restart, then would not be denied a second time.
“It was just a matter of being able to get close to make the move,” Blaney said. “Once the final restarts came, I really had to be aggressive.”
The 19-year-old Blaney drove a Ford into Victory Lane in the Truck Series for the first time in four years. About the only one who missed out on the fun was team owner Brad Keselowski. Keselowski, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, was off to Iowa to drive in the Nationwide Series race.
Blaney gave Keselowski a happy landing.
Pole-sitter Miguel Paludo finished a career-best second and German Quiroga matched a career best with a third-place finish. Joey Coulter and Ross Chastain rounded out the top five. Series points leader Matt Crafton was eighth and now leads Jeb Burton by 52 points.
The field was set by practice speeds after rain washed out qualifying on Saturday.
A third-generation driver, Blaney now has more NASCAR wins (2) than his dad. Dave Blaney is winless in 450 career Cup starts, three Truck starts and has one win (2006) in 121 Nationwide starts.
“I’ve been really lucky to have my dad at both of my Truck wins,” Blaney said. “Not a lot of guys can say that. I’ve been fortunate enough to have him here and have him give me advice along the way.”
James Buescher and Todd Bodine connected late on four-wide racing to bring out the caution and ensure a G-W-C finish. Ty Dillon and Johnny Sauter crashed to set up the second attempt of NASCAR’s version of overtime.
On the final green, Blaney broke free for good to top Paludo by .270 seconds.
Blaney had his seventh top 10 this season and jumped from seventh to third in the standings. He also won a Truck race last season at Iowa.
HUNTER-REAY CAPTURES IRL POLE AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio — Defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay knows it’s time to make inroads on points leader Helio Castroneves.
Hunter-Reay put himself in perfect position to do it this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Hunter-Reay captured the pole for today’s Indy 200, turning the second-fastest lap in track history to edge Will Power for the top spot. It will be the third time this season and the fourth time in his career that Hunter-Reay will start from the front.
Scott Dixon, who has won three straight races to move into second in the points race, will start third. Marco Andretti qualified fourth, followed by Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti.
Castroneves will start 15th. The Brazilian leads Dixon by 24 points and Hunter-Reay by 69 as he searches for his first series title.
CUSTER BREAKS RECORD IN NASCAR K&N RACE
NEWTON, Iowa — Fifteen-year-old Cole Custer became the youngest winner in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history Friday night with a victory at Iowa Speedway.
Custer led every lap — also a record for a combination race with the East and West divisions.
Custer is nearly six months younger than Dylan Kwasniewski, who held the previous record at 16 years and two months. Custer won his first pole earlier Friday and never gave it up, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of runner-up Eddie MacDonald. Custer is the son of Joe Custer, an executive at Stewart-Haas Racing.