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, begins Saturday with the Pocono Organics 325.
The last time the NASCAR Cup Series raced on back-to-back days was in August of 1971, but the events took place at two different tracks — the first at Columbia Speedway in Columbia, S.C., and second at Hickory Speedway in Hickory, N.C.
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, are among the favorites to win Saturday’s race at the Tricky Triangle. If Hamlin wins this weekend, he can tie or surpass NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the most Cup wins at Pocono with six.
We’re tracking live updates from Saturday’s race at Pocono, the first in the doubleheader. Follow along below.
NASCAR at Pocono live updates, highlights from Saturday race
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.
What time does the NASCAR race start today?
The green flag for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono will wave at 3:54 p.m. ET, about 30 minutes earlier than the start time for Sunday’s second leg of the doubleheader.
While the dates for both Pocono races in the Saturday-Sunday doubleheader remain unchanged from NASCAR’s original 2020 schedule despite the coronavirus shake-up, the start times are a little later. The pair of races originally were scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET, respectively, rather than 3:30 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET.
Those later start times are notable because Pocono Raceway does not have lights in the event either race is delayed by weather.
NASCAR starting lineup at Pocono
Here are the results from the draw for NASCAR’s starting lineup at Pocono:
|1||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|3||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|4||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|7||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|8||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|9||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|10||Alex Bowman||88||Hendrick Motorsports|
|11||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|12||Jimmie Johnson||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|13||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|14||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|15||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|16||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|17||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|18||Clint Bowyer||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|19||Erik Jones||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|20||John Hunter Nemechek||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|21||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|22||Matt Kenseth||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|23||Bubba Wallace||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|24||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|25||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|26||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|27||Brennan Poole||15||Premium Motorsports|
|28||Joey Gase||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|29||Corey LaJoie||32||Go Fas Racing|
|30||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|31||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|32||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|33||JJ Yeley||27||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||Ty Dillon||13||Germain Racing|
|35||James Davison||77||Spire Motorsports|
|36||Christopher Bell||95||Leavin Family Racing|
|37||Daniel Suarez||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|38||Timmy Hill||66||Motorsports Business Management|
|39||BJ McLeod||78||BJ McLeod Motorsports|
|40||Josh Bilicki||7||Tommy Baldwin Racing|