Austin Dillon put an end Toyota’s stranglehold of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series that went all the way back to the late stages of the 2013 season by winning the Pocono Mountains 150 on Saturday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Johnny Sauter finished second, and Joey Coulter was third. Clint Bowyer, in a substitute role for the injured Johns Wes Townley, finished fourth, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five.
Dillon took the lead from Bowyer on a restart with fewer than 10 laps remaining of the scheduled 60-lap distance and held him off on two additional restarts, one with three laps remaining and one that began a green-white-checker attempt, to claim the win.
“I’ve got to thank Johnny Sauter,” Dillon said. “We chose the top and Johnny did a great job pushing me.”
Dillon started on the outside when given the option, and on the final restart got a push from from Sauter to get out in front of Bowyer to maintain his lead. Sauter then moved into second as Bowyer dropped back to fifth.
“We were fortunate to be in that spot (in the outside line),” Sauter said.
Bowyer did get back one of the spots lost, getting by Blaney on the final lap.
“We had a good truck about three laps into a run. We were really tight on restarts,” Blaney said. “We had a good truck on long runs.”
Kyle Larson started on the pole and ran up front until the first caution of the race on lap 17. Larson gave up the lead to head down pit road, while Dillon stayed out, sticking to a single pit stop strategy.
Larson re-inherited the lead when Dillon headed for pit road at the halfway point of the race, but soon after everyone cycled through pit stops, Bowyer was up front and Dillon in second. Soon after, Larson encountered engine problems, going down a cylinder.
“Obviously, we were a third-place truck,” Bowyer said. “Larson was the class of the field. Luckily, he blew up and gave me and Austin a chance.”
The third caution of the race came out in the final 10 laps when Tyler Reddick hit the wall after contact with German Quiroga. A few laps later, the final yellow flag flew again when Reddick, in a move of retaliation, turned Quiroga. As a result, Reddick was penalized two laps by NASCAR and then called to the NASCAR hauler to speak with officials.
Finishing the race sixth through 10th were Erik Jones, Ron Hornaday, Darrell Wallace Jr., Justin Lofton and Joe Nemechek.