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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch 2-Minute Drill: Pocono Organics CBD 325

To paraphrase the late, great Chicago Cub Ernie Banks: “Let’s race two!”

A duo of NASCAR Cup Series races will be held at the triangular Pocono Raceway on the final weekend of June in 2021, on the 26th and 27th, with the opener on Saturday (June 26) set for 3 p.m. ET. The recently dominant Kyle Larson – well, not that recent, considering he hasn’t lost a Cup race in literally more than a month – sits on pole, with Hendrick Motorsports stablemate William Byron set to roll off beside him.

Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch round out the top five starting spots. Other notable starters include Ross Chastain in sixth, as he comes off his best career finish in a Cup car with a runner-up in Nashville; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. seventh, also after a strong Music City run; Daniel Suarez 14th, after the same; and Chase Elliott in 29th, relegated to a last-place finish last week with a post-race disqualification.

As for the overall weekend, featuring two Cup events alongside one each for the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series, there will be four races contested within the span of roughly 30 hours. Between the four total races, 1,050 miles are set to be contested, with the Cup Series running a total of 675.

Reportedly, a host of inspection issues plagued the field prior to the Saturday race.

Nearly every car passed inspection the second time through, but Cole Custer will start at the back after failing twice.

Harvick and Denny Hamlin were the two winners of the double there last year. Hamlin’s won two of the past three at the “Tricky Triangle” and has six total triumphs there, while Busch won back-to-back races in 2018’s second and 2019’s first events.

This track might be Larson’s streak’s breaking point, though: the driver of the No. 5 has made 12 starts at Pocono and has finished in the top 10 in just half of those. His best finish is second, coming in 2018, but outside of that has never finished better than fifth, averaging a 12.42 result overall.

Despite no doubt being an exhausting weekend for the drivers and crews, the doubleheader weekend has its positives: Saturday’s race will allow those that struggle in the opener to get acclimated to the track and adjust for Sunday.

The rundown of the weekend’s quartet of races is as follows:

  • Saturday, June 26, 12 p.m. ET: the Camping World Truck Series’ CRC Brakleen 150 on Fox Sports 1
  • Saturday, June 26, 3 p.m. ET: the Cup Series’ Pocono Organics CBD Oil 325 on NBC Sports Network
  • Sunday, June 27, 12 p.m. ET: the Xfinity Series’ Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons on NBC Sports Network
  • Sunday, June 27, 3:30 p.m. ET: the Cup Series’ Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 on NBC Sports Network

As another icon, the irreverent comedian Eric Andre, once said: “Catch the excitement!” Do that this afternoon on the NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET.

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