LONG POND, Pa. (July 22, 2023) – Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron collected his third pole of the season during Saturday’s qualifying for the HighPoint.com 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.
Byron (No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet) earned the pole in the 10-driver final round of qualifying with a lap of 170.629 miles per hour (52.746 secs.) on the 2.5-mile trioval. It was his second pole in 10 races at Pocono Raceway – the other came in 2019 – and 11th of his career. Byron will lead the 36-car field to the green for Sunday’s HighPoint.com 400 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET (TV: USA, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM).
Joining Byron on the front row is Cup Series points leader Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota), whose lap of 170.235 mph (52.868) was .122 of a second shy of the pole-winning run.
Hendrick Motorsports also took the third qualifying spot with Kyle Larson (No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet), who recorded a lap of 170.074 mph (52.918). Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Busch Light Peach Ford), who leads all active drivers in career starts at Pocono Raceway, will make his 44th and final Cup start at “The Tricky Triangle” from the fourth starting position (169.750 mph/53.019).
Christopher Bell (No. 20 Yahoo! Toyota) joined his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Truex Jr. among the top-five qualifiers with his lap of 169.645 mph (53.052).
Here’s a recap of the rest of Saturday’s on-track events:
NASCAR Xfinity Series: Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill (No. 21 Global Industrial Chevrolet) needed overtime to overtake a dominant Josh Berry (No. 8 Tire Pros Love the Drive Chevrolet) for the Xfinity Series victory in the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225.
Berry, the polesitter, won the first two stages and led 51 of the 90 regulation laps, but a late caution set up the two-lap OT shootout between the two. Berry got a great restart as the leader but had a bobble on the first overtime lap that opened the door for Hill.
Hill was able to make the pass and then staved off Berry, who would have contact with Ryan Sieg (No. 39 CMRoofing.com Ford) on the final lap as he attempted to rebound and challenge for the win. However, his strong day ended when the JR Motorsports driver hit the wall after the contact and finished 24th.
It was Hill’s fourth win of the season and sixth overall in 67 Xfinity Series races. The victory also was his 15th top-10 finish on the season.
Sam Mayer (No. 1 Accelerate Pros Talent Chevrolet) of JR Motorsports finished second while Cup Series regular Chase Elliott (No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet), making his first Xfinity Series start in nearly two years, finished third.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series: Kyle Busch (No. 51 Zariz Transport Chevrolet) made a last-lap pass of Corey Heim (No. 11 Safelite Toyota) to capture the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series CRC Brakleen 150 and secure the 100th milestone win in the series for his organization, Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Busch, trailing Heim by .424 of a second with one to go, got a great run out of Turn 1 on the final lap to make the pass in the Tunnel Turn and roll to a .604 of a second win over Heim. It was the third NCTS victory for Busch at Pocono Raceway and the fourth in a row – and eighth out of the last nine – for KBM at “The Tricky Triangle.” Busch’s previous wins came in 2015 and ’18.
Rookie Taylor Gray (No. 17 JBL Toyota) finished a career-best third and was followed by Cup Series regular Christopher Bell (No. 61 Gunma Toyopet Toyota), who was driving for Hattori Racing Enterprises. Grant Enfinger (No. 23 Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.
The dramatic finish was set up when a red flag came out with eight laps to go due to a multi-car incident. The field restarted with four laps remaining and Heim led them all until Busch made his final-lap pass. Heim, the series points leader, led a race-high 27 of the 60 laps in the 150-mile race.
ARCA Menards Series: Series points leader Jesse Love (No. 20 JBL Toyota) won the Sunset Hill Shooting Range 150 for his series-leading fifth victory on the season. He outdistanced runner-up Connor Mosack (No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota) by 3.055 seconds. Andres Perez de Lara (No. 2 Max Siegel Inc. Chevrolet) finished third.
Up Next: The weekend concludes with Sunday’s HighPoint.com 400 Cup Series race beginning at 2:30 p.m. (TV: USA, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM). Click here for a full on-track schedule of events with start times. To purchase tickets or learn more, please visit poconoraceway.com or call 800-722-3929.