George Scores Season's Third Top-10 Finish at Pocono LONG POND, Pa. -- Tim George Jr. earned his career-best Pocono Raceway finish with a 10th-place effort in Saturday's Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200. The New York, N.Y., native remains ...
George Scores Season's Third Top-10 Finish at Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. -- Tim George Jr. earned his career-best Pocono Raceway finish with a 10th-place effort in Saturday's Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200. The New York, N.Y., native remains ninth in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards point standings, 270 markers outside the lead.
The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team began the weekend by posting the 11th-fastest time in Friday's opening practice session. Later that afternoon, George posted the eighth-fastest time during time trials.
Sunday's 200-mile event had long green-flag runs, just two cautions and only four cars that finished on the lead lap. For George and the No. 31 team, it was about running their race.
In the opening 21 circuits, the RCR development driver faded to 12th, but began a charge back into the top 10 seven laps later. He was ninth on lap 30, seventh on lap 31 and fifth on lap 31. During this time, the leaders had set such a blistering pace that only three cars were scored on the lead lap.
The field was slowed for a caution on lap 35, allowing for one car to gain their lap back by ways of the 'lucky dog' rule. Unfortunately, George & Company were the second car one lap down to the leaders and would have to remain one lap down. The 30-year-old driver brought his No. 31 Chevy to pit road on lap 36 where four tires and fuel were added, along with chassis and air pressure adjustments. The quick service allowed George to restart fifth on lap 39.
A 31-lap green-flag run ensued as George raced between the fifth and ninth positions. The No. 31 Impala's handling began to improve as the run progressed with George picking up two spots between laps 49 and 69. He was sixth, two positions behind the 'lucky dog' spot, when the second and final yellow flag waved on lap 70. George hit pit road under the ensuing caution period and another fast stop netted him another positions as the field was set to retake the green flag on lap 75.
As the race restarted, George was bottled up in traffic and lost five positions. With only five laps remaining, he was unable to regain those spots lost and took the checkered flag 10th.
Craig Goess edged out pole sitter Mikey Kile to earn his first career ARCA Racing Series victory. Chad Finley, Patrick Sheltra and Frank Kimmel rounded out the rest of the top-five finishers.
Next weekend, the ARCA Racing Series heads to Michigan International Speedway.
TIM GEORGE JR.: "Our No. 31 RCR Development Chevrolet was pretty good today. We made it better during the run. Gere (Kennon, crew chief) did a good job making some adjustments calls. Mike Dillon (spotter) on the roof is always pushing me hard. We ran a pretty smart race, stayed in the top 10 all day and had a chance at a top five there at the end. We got a little clogged up on the restart and I had some trouble with getting around those lap-down cars. This was definitely a step in the right direction and I'm learning more every time I come out here. I feel a lot better than the last two times I raced here at Pocono. When we come back here for the second race, we will be looking to win."