ARCA Menards Series Preview: 2022 General Tire Delivers 200 at Pocono Raceway

By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer

The ARCA Menards Series heads to the “Tricky Triangle” Friday for the General Tire Delivers 200 at Pocono Raceway. 

Friday’s race marks the 10th race of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season and the championship points battle is heating up. Three drivers enter Pocono within eight points of each other and each driver is looking for their first victory of the summer. Sammy Smith has been on a roll lately winning two of the last three ARCA Menards Series events at Berlin and Elko.

Friday’s race will be the 69th ARCA Menards Series event at the Pocono Raceway. Corey Heim picked up the victory last season after Ty Gibbs and Chandler Smith made contact late. 

Heim joins Gibbs, Christian Eckes, Ty Majeski, Zane Smith, and others as winners at the Pocono Raceway in the ARCA Menards Series. 

Brandon Jones is a perfect 2-for-2 this season and on Friday, he’s looking to make it 3-for-3. Jones will pilot the No. 81 Menards-Watts Toyota Camry for Kyle Busch Motorsports as he’s looking to gain track time before Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono. In his career, Jones has six Xfinity Series, one Truck Series, and two ARCA Menards Series starts at Pocono Raceway. He has one career victory at Pocono coming in 2020 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His career-best finish in ARCA came in 2017 as he finished second. 

Sammy Smith is making two debuts this weekend. Smith has never raced at Pocono Raceway in his career and Friday will be his first. On Saturday, Smith will make his oval NASCAR Xfinity Series debut after completing his Xfinity debut a few weeks ago at Road America. Smith has two victories this season in the ARCA Menards Series and finished in the top five in his first five starts of 2022.

The ARCA Menards Series points leader Rajah Caruth heads to another new track on Friday, something that hasn’t slowed him down so far in 2022. Caruth has a six-point lead over Rev Racing teammate Nick Sanchez entering Pocono and looks to grow his points lead. Caruth will make his 15th ARCA Menards Series start Friday and in those first 14 starts his career-best finish came at Kansas where he finished second. He’s coming off a ninth-place finish at Mid-Ohio and is on the verge of visiting some tracks for the second time of his career.

It’s about what you do after the ARCA Menards Series right? Well long term, Nick Sanchez will join Big Machine Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for four races later this year making his team debut at Bristol next month. Rewind to the present, Sanchez is seeking the points lead. Friday’s race at Pocono will be his 32nd ARCA Menards Series start but has slid into a slight slump. He’s had two straight 11th place finishes and has not finished inside the top-five since his victory at Kansas. Sanchez finished fourth last season at Pocono and will look to use his experience at Pocono to move closer to the points lead. 

Mechanical issues have plagued Daniel Dye in 2022 but the driver who is third in ARCA Menards Series points has to mount some moves if he wants to remain in the picture for the championship. Though having two straight DNFs at Iowa and Berlin, he’s mounted a fifth-place finish at Elko and an eighth-place finish at Mid-Ohio. Dye will make his Pocono Raceway debut Friday and will look to build off the momentum from back-to-back top-10 finishes.  

Taylor Gray will also make his Pocono Raceway debut on Friday but has some experience to lean on within the family. Taylor’s brother Tanner has two Truck Series and one career ARCA Menards Series start at Pocono. Taylor is coming off another victory in the ARCA Menards Series at Mid-Ohio. He also has three straight top-five finishes and is 11th in ARCA Menards Series points, despite only running five races so far in 2022.

Entry List for Friday’s General Tire Delivers 200 at Pocono Raceway

The General Tire Delivers 200 at Pocono Raceway will go live at 6:30 PM ET on FOX Sports 1. The race can also be listened to via MRN, SiriusXM (XM channel 391/online channel 981), or on the ARCA Racing website. Tickets for Friday’s race at Pocono can be available by clicking here. If you have an empty Monster Energy can sitting around the house, you can recycle it at the gate to receive free admission. For more information about the ‘Monster Energy Free Friday’, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *