Kyle Larson was in the best seat possible once the rain returned during Saturday’s Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway. Leading the race at the time of the red flag, it was Larson who grabbed his fourth career XFINITY Series win and first of 2016 after Mother Nature drew a permanent halt to the proceedings on lap 53.
“Anytime you can be the first at something,” Larson said, “It’s special.”
The inaugural running of Pocono’s XFINITY Series event failed to get the full race distance in; ongoing rain forced NASCAR to end the event 47 laps short. Larson, who has suffered a few tough losses in 2016, sees this win as a case of good luck.
“I don’t care how you win, it’s always rewarding,” he said. “Last week was a heartbreaker. [We were] about half a lap away from getting to the white flag and locking up the win there. To come back here and pull through – we still had a really fast race car, it’s not like we really lucked into this.
“We did everything right to get to the front before Erik [Jones] or Kyle Busch did.”Coming home second was pole sitter Erik Jones, unable to get by Larson in the closing laps. Completing the top 5 were Ty Dillon, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
The most severe incident of the day occurred both on and off the track when Ryan Reed and Ryan Sieg made contact on multiple occasions, leading to a heated confrontation in the garage area.
“You can’t race around the kid,” Sieg said. “He’s got a lot of money and he’s got a Roush car but he can’t drive it. Just an idiot.”
CATANZARETI: Sieg Calls Reed “Braindead,” Fight In Garage Area
Kicking off the race with a competition caution on lap 15, Busch was the opening face to see the front. He took the top spot from Jones on the first lap and remained in control early on, building a healthy six-second lead over the third-place car.
The man who capitalized most during this stint was Darrell Wallace, Jr., sneaking inside the top 20 after spinning his No. 6 Ford during qualifying. Wallace, though never fully recovered and wound up 16th.
Another wreck doomed a title contender. The ensuing restart saw JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier slam the Turn 2 wall on lap 19, ending his day in the 39th spot.
“I tried to catch it and got into the left side,” Allgaier said. “[The team] doesn’t deserve to be back here fixing this thing.”
After Reed’s wreck, occurring on lap 38 there was only a short green-flag stint until the finish. That final major incident also totaled the underdog machine of Jeremy Clements; Clements claimed he now only has three cars remaining in the arsenal for his family-owned No. 51 Chevrolet to finish the season.
Completing the top 10 was Elliott Sadler in sixth followed by Paul Menard, Brandon Jones, Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman. JJ Yeley and Blake Koch grabbed top-15 results while Ryan Preece wound up 17th, his best non-plate result of 2016. Further back, Mario Gosselin finished 20th, his best result of the season.
Full race results can be found here.
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