RAIN + PAIN = POCONO
LONG POND, Pa. — As usual, Mother Nature bought a two-day grandstand seat at Pocono Raceway, which led to a triangle triple-header on Sunday. First, it was the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and then the Sprint Cup race, with an ARCA support event in between.
Red Bull development driver Cole Whitt, driving Turn One Racing’s No. 60, somehow squeezed out a 15th-place finish in the Truck Series race that was delayed from Saturday. In the Cup race a few hours later — one that saw it’s own rain-induced red flag for 1 hour, 40 minutes — the No. 4 team never could dial in the Kasey Kahne’s Red Bull Toyota and he finished 28th. Brian Vickers’ day was done after 18 laps when his No. 83 Red Bull Toyota suffered an engine failure.
Kasey Kahne, driver, No. 4: “We started the weekend off pretty strong — practiced well and qualified on the front row. But in the race we just were behind and never could find the balance … loose, tight, bottoming out and we were slow down the straightaways. It definitely wasn’t what I expected out of the Red Bull Toyota, especially for a team that’s run so well here in the past.”
Brian Vickers, driver, No. 83: “We lost an engine. It was tough. I think we had a good car. We missed a little bit on qualifying. We were hitting the race track and missed a little bit on the splitter with the increase in speeds. The track was so quick yesterday. It’s a shame. The Red Bull Toyota guys have been working really hard. We just haven’t had things go our way lately.”
Cole Whitt, driver, No. 60: “We were behind from the beginning. Just struggling, never got the setup. We kind of raced with what we had and got it best we could get it. We couldn’t get through the bumps in (turn) one and the tunnel turn. We just never really could get it. Never could get a good practice. Never got a good qualifying run. And that’s hard when some guys have their stuff dialed in. I’m glad it’s over. Just want to get out of here.”
As for points, Kahne remained 15th in the driver standings — 74 points out of 10th with five races remaining before the Chase begins Sept. 18 at Chicagoland Speedway. Vickers ranks 28th, and Whitt still sits fifth in the fight for the Truck Series championship — 40 points behind leader Johnny Sauter.