Today was time for the ARCA Racing Series to tackle the tricky Pocono Raceway and it was time for Kyle Larson, one of NASCAR’s newest young guns, to show us what he has and he did not disappoint. Larson brought home the win in only his third start in the series. He became the 34th different driver to win at Pocono and the 17th different driver to win in the last 17 races. He is also the fifth different winner in the ARCA series this season.
“I was nervous for a while there,” Larson said after the race. “He was real aggressive and got the lead, then started to pull away.”
He continued saying, “We had a good car, a dominating car,” Larson said. “We definitely wanted to win. I was glad that we had to work for it there in the end. I learned something in all of this. In the end, it was a lot of fun.”
The race started with Larson leading the field to the green flag after winning the pole in only his third ARCA start. The first caution flew on lap seven when Tim Means gets loose and barely kept it off the wall. After that it was the Kyle show and not Kyle Busch but a driver just as dominant. The top three cars of Larson, Mason Mitchell, and Justin Allison stayed that way.
Another great battle for sixth spot ensued between Will and Frank Kimmel. Green flag stops went underway around the halfway mark. Kyle Larson pit did not stay under the yellow line on his way out of his pit earning himself a drive-through penalty but because he had a large lead on the field was still the leader after serving the penalty. The biggest loser during pit stops was Austin Wayne Self who was penalized for speeding. On his drive through for speeding, he was caught speeding again.
It still was the same show after the caution, with the top three drivers staying in their spots. Not many noticed that John Wes Townley, who started in the rear, was creeping up closer to the front.
With 21 laps to go the caution flew for debris but Justin Allison didn’t pit as he was stuck in 4th gear which would prove to be a complication on the restart. The caution came back out with 16 laps to go as everyone was trying to get around Allison who was trying to get up to speed which resulted in an accident sending Matt Tifft and Justin Boston into the wall.
Things got interesting when, with less than 10 laps to go, Larson had a bad re-start and Mitchell took the lead. For a while he appeared to be leaving everyone behind but with three laps to go Larson caught up. The battle for first was short as Larson reclaimed the lead and would be the victor today at Pocono.
The biggest mover of the day was John Wes Townley who had a solid third place finish after starting at the rear of the field due to missing practice and qualifying on Friday.
The top-five at the finish were:
1) Kyle Larson No. 4
2) Mason Mitchell No. 98
3) John Wes Townley No. 15
4) Will Kimmel No. 69
5) Justin Allison No. 88