For the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series’ modern era, two separate races are being run in consecutive days at the same track. The Pocono Raceway doubleheader, which was on the original NASCAR Cup Series schedule for 2020 and remained intact through the series’ coronavirus-related schedule shake-up, began Saturday with the Pocono Organics 325.
A historic race weekend at the track produced a first-time Pocono winner Saturday, as Kevin Harvick cruised to his first career Cup Series win at the Tricky Triangle. It marked the series points leader’s third victory of the season.
This year’s Pocono doubleheader preserves the track’s two dates on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule but squeezes them into one weekend. The starting lineup for Saturday’s race was determined by the same protocol that has set the field for other races this year without qualifying, and Sunday’s lineup will be set by a top-20 inversion of Saturday’s race results.
The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates who won the pair of Pocono races last year, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, were among the favorites to win Saturday’s race at the Tricky Triangle and finished fifth and second, respectively. If Hamlin wins Sunday, he will tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the most Cup wins at Pocono with six.
We tracked live updates from Saturday’s race at Pocono, the first in the doubleheader. Here’s how it went down.
NASCAR at Pocono results
Harvick held off a charging Denny Hamlin in the closing laps, but those were the only two drivers who had a shot at the win. Third-place Aric Almirola was 10 seconds behind when Harvick crossed the finish line.
Below are the complete results from Saturday’s race at Pocono.
|6.||Martin Truex Jr.|
|17.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|24.||John Hunter Nemechek|
NASCAR at Pocono highlights from Saturday’s race
7:16 p.m. ET: Kevin Harvick wins the Pocono Organics 350, his first career Cup Series victory at the Tricky Triangle. It’s Harvick’s third win of the 2020 season.
7:07 p.m. ET: With 10 laps to go, Denny Hamlin is running down leader Kevin Harvick. However, Hamlin is complaining about a vibration.
7 p.m. ET: With 17 laps to go, Kevin Harvick takes over the lead after a round of green flag pit stops.
6:32 p.m. ET: Green flag on Lap 83 to begin Stage 3.
6:27 p.m. ET: Chase Elliott is penalized for an uncontrolled tire violation on pit road. He will restart from the back of the pack.
6:22 p.m. ET: Caution. Aric Almirola wins Stage 2, his first stage win of the season.
Aric Almirola wins Stage 2 at Pocono. First stage win of the season and first playoff point.
Others getting stage points:
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 27, 2020
6:20 p.m. ET: Green flag with two laps to go in Stage 2.
6:12 p.m. ET: Caution. Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones get together and crash on the frontstretch. Reddick gets into the left rear quarterpanel of Jones’ car coming off Turn 3. John Hunter Nemechek gets the free pass with five laps to go in Stage 2.
6:10 p.m. ET: The green flag comes back out with eight laps to go in Stage 2.
6:02 p.m. ET: Caution. J.J. Yeley blows a left front tire after making contact with John Hunter Nemechek, sending debris all over the track. Chris Buescher is the free pass car. There are 12 laps to go in Stage 2.
5:47 p.m. ET: With 30 laps to go in Stage 2, Martin Truex Jr. takes the lead as others pit on differing strategies.
5:30 p.m. ET: Green flag. Stage 2 begins on Lap 31. Aric Almirola takes the lead back from Joey Logano.
5:20 p.m. ET: Caution. Joey Logano wins Stage 1.
Joey Logano wins Stage 1 and picks up his 14th playoff point of the season. That’s second only to Denny Hamlin, who has 18.
Others getting stage points in Stage 1:
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 27, 2020
5:16 p.m. ET: The green flag comes back out on Lap 21. Joey Logano quickly takes the lead from Aric Almirola.
5:10 p.m. ET: Caution. Quin Houff spins coming off of Turn 2.
5:08 p.m. ET: The green flag comes back out on Lap 17.
5:01 p.m. ET: The scheduled competition caution comes out with 13 laps to go in Stage 1. Aric Almirola, who started on the pole, is still leading.
4:50 p.m. ET: Green flag. The race is underway about an hour after originally scheduled.
4:48 p.m. ET: NASCAR says the track is ready. Green flag next time by.
4:42 p.m. ET: NASCAR is keeping the cars on the track for pace laps to help dry the racing surface despite reports of more light rain un Turn 2. Jet dryers are on the track, too.
4:31 p.m. ET: The cars roll off for pace laps, but drivers report rain in Turns 2 and 3.
4:23 p.m. ET: Engines fired for the Pocono Organics 325.
3:48 p.m. ET: NASCAR announces drivers will head to their cars at 4 p.m. ET, and the new green flag time is 4:35 p.m. ET.
3:35 p.m. ET: NASCAR almost has the entire track dried, but it is working on some weepers in Turn 2. The race will not start on time as originally scheduled.
2:50 p.m. ET: NASCAR is making good progress on its track-drying efforts about an hour after the rain let up.
1:33 p.m. ET: Shortly after NASCAR restarts its track-drying efforts, another weather system arrives and dumps more rain on the track.
12:39 p.m. ET: NASCAR, which has been trying to dry the track, shuts down its jet dryers and Air Titans as more rain falls.
NASCAR is going to get the jet driers re-fueled as they are making no progress with more rain. There isn’t much behind this band so will just depends on how long it takes track to dry. Had been making some progress before this recent cell. pic.twitter.com/Yo56M77gBa
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 27, 2020
11:43 a.m. ET: The Truck Series race, which was supposed to run prior to the Cup race at Pocono on Saturday, is postponed to Sunday due to rain. Its new start time is 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, setting up a Trucks-Xfinity-Cup tripleheader — the first time three NASCAR national series races will be held on the same day at the same track.