Pocono is also a track where the 21-year-old Brennan Poole could pick up his third win of 2012 as he won Menards Pole presented by Ansell last June. He was able to lay down a lap last year that was more than a half-second faster than fellow front row starter Ty Dillon.
However, this spring, the triangular track underwent a re-pavement project, which has drivers thinking the track will be fast.
“It’ll be fun,” he says. “We had a really good car last year, and I think the pavement’s going to change it up some, so we’ll just have to see when we get there. I think the tapered spacer’s going to be in effect. That’s really going to change how you get through the center of the corner. You’ll be carrying a lot more momentum, trying to keep that momentum wound up.”
Last year, Poole led the first seven and 23 total laps, however missed a chance to grab the win when fog shortened the race and awarded victory to Tim George Jr. Poole would come home fifth in that race and thinks adjusting to the new surface will be manageable due to the amount of practice that they’ll have.
“We have a lot of experienced guys around to be pretty strong,” the points leader adds. “It’s going to be a good race and I think you’re going to see the good guys right on top of each other all race long, and I think you’re going to see that the following week at Michigan.”
Poole enters Pocono with momentum on his side after taking the checkered flag in first on Saturday night at Elko Speedway. He also led the most laps to earn the Aaron’s Lap Leader of the Race Award.
While Poole may look to be an experience veteran, this is actually his first full season as he currently leads the Team Messina Rookie Challenge by 14 points over Venturini Motorsports teamamte Ryan Reed. Both Venturini drivers are looking for success this weekend to make the 30th Anniversary season one of the best ever for the team.
“They’re a great family,” Poole says of driving for Venturini Motorsports. “I spend a lot of time with them being here by myself. I don’t know a lot of people so I’m always here at the shop – I’m at the shop right now. It’s just a great family. It’s a family organization – Billy’s uncles, aunts and cousins are all involved in the team. I think that’s what makes them such a strong organization. It’s just been fun working with them. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
The race is set to begin at 1:30p.m. and will air on SPEED one hour later.