Pocono II: Brandon McReynolds race report

Solid 10th-place Finish for Brandon McReynolds Despite Early Flat Tire at Pocono Raceway Long Pond, Penn. (Aug. 2, 2010) - Brandon McReynolds was ready to compete for a victory in his third-career ARCA Racing Series start Saturday, but bad luck...

Solid 10th-place Finish for Brandon McReynolds Despite Early Flat Tire at Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, Penn. (Aug. 2, 2010) - Brandon McReynolds was ready to compete for a victory in his third-career ARCA Racing Series start Saturday, but bad luck found him early in the 50-lap race. Driving the No. 6 GlobeTrack Wireless Eddie Sharp Racing Toyota, McReynolds drove to a top-10 finish, after a right-front flat tire marred his chances to win.

In his first trip to the "Tricky Triangle," McReynolds solicited friend and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano to show him the ropes of the course. The two went out in the pace car on Thursday, as Logano showed McReynolds the ins-and-outs of the unique track.

[IMG_8098-2.jpg] McReynolds took what he learned from his first look around the track into action, during the lone practice session of the weekend Friday morning. He posted the sixth quickest lap of the day, with a time of 54.793 seconds (164.255 mph). The 19-year-old continued to pick up speed around the track during his qualifying run, as he laid down a lap time of 54.322 seconds (165.679 mph). The time was quick enough for the No. 6 to start fourth for the main event.

Prior to the start of the Weis Markets 125, McReynolds hosted a Tweet-up, a meet-and-greet with his fans who follow him on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, at the track. "I really wanted to get out there and meet the fans," said McReynolds. "We had a great turnout, and I'm thankful to have so many great fans who came out." The young driver invited fellow ARCA Racing Series drivers to join him at the Tweet-up, signing autographs and taking photos with fans.

Lining up in the second row for the main event, McReynolds was determined to stay at the front of the pack for the entirety of the 125-mile race. The yellow flag dropped on lap one after the No. 55 blew an engine, bringing out the first caution early in the 50-lap shootout.

The No. 6 GTW Toyota restarted the race in fourth, and tried to hold off the No. 32 of Justin Marks. Caught up in lap traffic, McReynolds was pushed back to the eighth position by lap 21.

Knowing something was wrong with the car, McReynolds radioed to the crew that the No. 6 suffered right-side damage when he hit the wall after the right-front tire went flat on lap 23. The ESR crew went to work on the car when McReynolds came in for a green-flag pit stop, putting on four tires, working on the right-side damage and fueling the car. McReynolds went one lap down but did not give up.

The second caution of the day flew on lap 31 for debris on the track. The ARCA Racing Series instituted a mandatory pit stop by lap 40, so the leaders came in for the yellow-flag stop. McReynolds stayed out to make up ground on the field, and as the field went back to green, the No. 6 GTW Toyota restarted 16th.

The final caution fell on lap 36, McReynolds radioed encouragement to his crew. "Great job guys. We are back in it." McReynolds drove the No. 6 down pit road for his final pit stop, grabbing four fresh tires and fuel to finish out the race. The green flag dropped on lap 38, and McReynolds was determined to make up his lost ground.

With seven laps to go, McReynolds worked his way into the 12th position. Spotter Mike Calinoff radioed encouragement to the young driver. "You are doing a great job. Just use momentum to pass the No. 17."

On lap 46, McReynolds was able to pass the No. 17 of Chase Mattioli for the 10th position, where he held his ground as he crossed the finish line on the lead lap. Robb Brent crossed the finish line first, grabbing his first ARCA Racing Series Victory.

[esr.jpg] "We had a really good car," said McReynolds. "We rode fourth there for a while, and Justin Marks and I had a good battle going. We were riding up front, and we had a right-front tire that was going down. I didn't really know it was going down until I got in the tunnel turn and went into the fence. There wasn't a lot we could do there. We went a lap down there and tried everything to get it back. We came back and finished 10th, and I guess in the grand scheme of things, it was a really good run. It's a shame because we had a winning race car. There's nothing you can do about right front tires going down. It's just part of racing. We will move on and see what we can do at the next one."

McReynolds continues to look for opportunities to compete in the ARCA Racing Series and other series' this season. "I really want to thank GlobeTrack Wireless and Eddie Sharp Racing for believing in me and giving me a chance to race here at Pocono Raceway."

-source: esr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Marks , Robb Brent , Joey Logano , Chase Mattioli , Brandon McReynolds