Byron wins caution-filled race at Pocono
By Justin Melillo July 31, 2016
LONG POND, Pa.—For the fifth time in the 2016 season, William Byron was victorious, this time taking the checkered flag in the Pocono Mountain 150 at Pocono Raceway in the Camping World Truck Series .
Byron put his No. 9 Toyota Tundra into the lead for the last time on lap 40 after Spencer Gallagher, then the leader, pitted during the seventh caution of the day. Byron led on three different occasions for 44 of the 60 laps.
“Honestly, this is just a credit to this team,” Byron said. “I mean, this team is a great group of guys. [Crew chief] Rudy Fugle leads them all. Pit crew is great; we just have good chemistry. We show up and do our jobs and I just love being here.”
With his win, Byron opens his point lead to 25 points over Matt Crafton.
Cautions were prevalent all day, as the race was halted a record nine times for 27 laps. Byron only pitted once, taking four tires and enough gas to make it the rest of the way.
Qualifying was rained out earlier in the day after rain hit the track overnight. The Air Titans worked hard to get the track ready for Sprint Cup Series practice scheduled at 11 a.m. ET. The earlier forecasted rain stayed away long enough for the entire race to be completed.
THROUGH THE FIELD
Christopher Bell finished tenth after a tumultuous race put him five laps down after a crash with John Wes Townley on lap 17. Bell went back on track but had to pit again to fix the damage during the next restart.
Bell received the free pass during the race’s final caution period for a record fifth time to get back onto the lead lap. Bell restarted 23rd with four laps remaining, but worked back to a top-ten finish.
“It’s a shame, it really is because [crew chief] Jerry Baxter and all the No. 4 guys did a great job on the truck,” he said. “Our SiriusXM Tundra was super good all weekend long and definitely feel like we had a truck that could’ve competed for the win if not get the win.
“But, I put myself in a bad position there once we finally made our ground back up from the beginning of the race. I put myself in a bad spot on a restart and got put three-wide going into the tunnel turn and it didn’t work out.”
Brad Keselowski Racing teammates Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric were involved in an incident together on lap 29. Hemric went into Turn 1 on the first lap of the restart and lost it, collecting his teammate Reddick. Reddick wound up retiring his truck, while Hemric limped around to finish 22nd.
The Camping World Truck Series will take the next two weekend off, but will return for a Wednesday night race on August 17th for the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.