Story By: POCONO RACEWAY – LONG POND, PA – JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry secured his first Xfinity Series pole of the season – and just his second in 81 career series races – during Friday’s qualifying for the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway.
Berry (No. 8 Tire Pros Love the Drive Chevrolet) earned the pole in his third career appearance at “The Tricky Triangle” with a lap of 167.951 miles per hour (53.587 seconds) to edge Daniel Hemric (No. 11 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet / 167.128 mph/53.851 secs.) by 0.264 of a second on the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
Sheldon Creed (No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet) qualified third with a lap of 167.004 mph (53.891) and was followed by Connor Mosack (No. 19 IRWIN TRADE STRONG Toyota) at 166.982 mph. Rounding out the top five was series points leader John Hunter Nemechek (No. 20 Yahoo Toyota) with a lap of 166.834 mph (53.946).
Notable NASCAR Cup Series drivers who qualified for the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 were Chase Elliott with Hendrick Motorsports and Daniel Suarez for Kaulig Racing. Elliott (No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet), making his first appearance in the series in nearly two years, will start 13th while Suarez (No. 10 LeafHome Water Chevrolet), making just his second appearance in the series since 2018, will start 23rd. Suarez’s other start came earlier this season at Sonoma.
In the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Rev Racing rookie Nick Sanchez (No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet) secured his fourth pole of the season during qualifying for the CRC Brakleen 150. Sanchez won the pole with a lap of 168.966 miles per hour (53.265).
It will be an all-rookie front row as McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s 18-year-old driver Jake Garcia (No. 35 Adapitive One Calipers Chevrolet) qualified second with a lap of 168.306 mph (53.474), which was .209 of a second behind Sanchez.
Grant Enfinger (No. 23 Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) qualified third at 168.202 mph (53.507) for his fifth top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. Carson Hocevar (No. 42 Worldwide Express Chevrolet) with a lap of 167.957 mph (53.585) and Austin Hill (No. 7 ARCO Design/Build Chevrolet) with a lap of 167.751 mpg (53.651) rounded out the top five, respectively. Series points leader Corey Heim (No. 11 Safelite Toyota) will start ninth.
The ARCA Menards Series Sunset Hill Shooting Range 150 was scheduled to close out a busy day of on-track activity, but a early evening thunderstorm just prior to the 6:19 p.m. green flag forced a postponement. The Sunset Hill has been rescheduled for an 8:30 a.m. start on Saturday (TV: FS1). Polesitter Dean Thompson (No. 15 Thompson Pipe Group Toyota) will lead the 25-car field to the green flag.
Fans returning with individual Friday tickets can redeem them at Gates 8 or 11 tomorrow morning to receive $10 off an individual Saturday ticket.
Up Next: Saturday’s schedule will have all three NASCAR National Series on track and three races with the addition of the Sunset Hill Shooting Range 150 in the morning. The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will follow with the CRC Brakleen 150 at Noon ET. Cup Series practice (2:35 p.m.) and qualifying (3:20 p.m.) will be up next and the day culminates with the Explore The Pocono Mountains 225 Xfinity Series race at 5:30 p.m.