By Dino Oberto
(LONG POND 6-11-11) Sometimes in racing, you need to be lucky, as well as good. For Tim George, Jr., he was both.
George scored his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard victory, in his 50th career start, in Saturday’s Pocono 200. The race ended 21 laps shy of the original 80-lap distance, as rain and fog rolled across the 2.5-mile tri-oval on lap 59.
George, who started 10th, took the lead from Grant Enfinger, with a slingshot pass going into Turn One, after a lap-56 restart. Not soon after that, the yellow flag came out due to wet weather.
For George, it was the only lap he would lead of the day, as he raced in the shadows of front-runners Brennan Poole, Ty Dillon and James Buescher, who dominated the race up to the final restart.
On lap 53, a caution waved for a stopped car on track. The leaders, headed by pole sitter Poole, all ducked into the pits. Buescher was second and George third. When the stops were competed, the big advancer was Grant Enfinger, who went from sixth to first.
The green was shown on lap 56, and George was glued to the rear of Enfinger. Motoring their way into Turn One, George was able to slip to the outside line and execute the race winning pass. Buescher also got by for second just as the yellow flag was displayed because of inclement weather. The field was then frozen at their positions with George being the benefactor.
“Position is key, especially, in this kind of weather. So, you really want to be upfront,” said the 30-year old New York, NY native.
George, who drives for noted car owner Richard Childress, said the final time in the pits was the main factor in gaining the win.
“I felt the pit stop was definitely key. Negotiating lapped traffic and not playing games with them, too. We took four tires and the 36 (Enfinger) took two. I felt that gave us a little extra grip and confidence going into (Turn) One, and we were able to just matt the power down and ride along the outside. So, we wouldn’t have been here without that pit stop.”
This was the fourth win for Richard Childress Racing this season in ARCA competition. Ty Dillon, the current series point leader, has three of them. Both RCR teams are developmental teams.
“Pocono has always been one of my least favorite tracks. For some reason, I just can’t get comfortable in Turn Three. Today was the first time I felt good out there. We got the front end tightened up and I was able to get to the power and ride a push right through,” said George.
Enfinger took third with Dillon and Poole completing the top five.
“It was a good race. We weren’t the dominant car, but I think we showed we had a good chance to run up in the lead,” said Buescher.
For most of the race, it was a three-car battle between teenagers Poole, Dillon and Buescher. All would have a share at the lead with Poole looking the strongest throughout the day.
However, Poole’s downfall would be pit stops. Twice, he came in, while holding the top spot, but lost positions each time, including the final one.
Buescher led the most laps with 27, Poole led 23 laps, Enfinger led four, Dillon three and George final two by George.
Aside from ARCA, George also runs in select NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events for RCR.
“ARCA is a real important step in our development. Everyone here keeps it a pretty level-playing field. I think with a lot of drivers also coming up, and with a broad range of tracks, it is important. It’s a great series,” he said.
For complete Pocono 200 results, click here.