Ryan Blaney captured his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win on Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. The victory propelled him up five spots to third in the series championship points standings.
“These Ford motors really gave us the pull we needed on restarts, and that’s what we needed at the end,” Blaney said.
The race saw only one yellow flag in the first 40 laps of the scheduled 50-lap distance, on lap one, but the caution came out three more times in the final laps and the race ended after two green-white-checker attempts.
Miguel Paludo finished second, and German Quiroga was third.
“I had a shot on the last restart, but just couldn’t get clear,” Paludo, with his best-career Truck Series finish, said.
With qualifying rained out on Saturday morning, Paludo started the race on the pole after posting the fastest lap in practice on Friday. He lost the lead to Blaney’s Brad Keselowski Racing teammate Ross Chastain on lap one. Blaney then moved into second on the first restart that followed the lap-one caution and BKR dominated the first half of the race. Blaney took the lead from his teammate on lap 10.
The Brad Keselowski Racing teammates ran first and second until the field began cycling through green-flag pit stops on lap 23. After the cycle completed, Todd Bodine was up front in his first race for Turner Scott Motorsports. Then Bodine’s teammate, Paludo, moved up to second with 17 laps to go in the race’s scheduled distance.
Blaney retook the lead on the restart that followed the second caution of the race that came out with nine laps to go, and Quiroga moved into second. Then, on the first green-white-checker restart, Quiroga got out into the lead, thanks to a push from Paludo. According to Quiroga, it was the strength of his truck that got him to the front, not driver ability.
“I had nothing to do,” Quiroga said. “I was just driving it. It was pretty easy.”
Blaney moved back into the lead on the final restart, though, and Paludo also got by Quiroga to take second.
Joey Coulter, on newer tires, moved up through the field from 12th on the second restart to finish fourth. Chastain finished fifth. Finishing sixth through 10th were Ron Hornaday, Darrell Wallace Jr., Matt Crafton, Brendan Gaughan and Brennan Newberry.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR