When the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards takes on the 2.5-mile triangle at Pocono Raceway, one thing the fans can reasonably expect is a different driver will be celebrating in victory lane than any other time in recent memory. It’s been since June, 2006, in a race won by Chase Miller – a streak of 25 consecutive races – that ARCA has raced at Pocono without a repeat winner.
That is a twelve and a half year streak without a repeat winner.
When the streak started, George W. Bush was serving his second term as President of the United States, Barack Obama was still eight months away from announcing his candidacy for the presidency in 2008, and President Donald Trump was still hosting his Emmy-winning television show The Apprentice. In the sports world, the Carolina Hurricanes had just defeated the Edmonton Oilers to win their first Stanley Cup and the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. Celestially, Pluto was still a planet, at least for a couple more months, and had two newly named moons.
The only drivers entered in the ModSpace 150 with a chance to bring that streak to an end are 19-year-old Riley Herbst, driver of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 NOS Energy/ORCA Coolers Toyota, and 17-year-old Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 12 Dex Imaging Toyota. Herbst is the defending winner of the ModSpace 150, to this date his only ARCA Racing Series victory. For perspective, Herbst was just seven years old when the streak started. Burton, who won the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 in June, looks to become the first driver since Casey Mears in 2003 to sweep both ARCA Racing Series events in a season at Pocono.
Herbst is one of 16 drivers who have scored their initial ARCA Racing Series victory at Pocono. Current Monster Energy Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, and Trevor Bayne have all earned their first ARCA wins at the Tricky Triangle. Others who celebrated in victory lane for the first time in their ARCA careers at Pocono include Justin Allison, Casey Atwood, Robb Brent, Cole Custer, Kerry Earnhardt, Tim George, Jr., Craig Goess, Chad Hackenbracht, Travis Kvapil, Chase Miller, and Scott Riggs.
Several drivers entered will be looking for their first career ARCA Racing Series victory, including Natalie Decker, Will Rodgers, Bret Holmes, and Joe Graf, Jr. Decker earned the General Tire Pole Award at Daytona in the Ventrurini Motorsports No. 25 N29 Capital Partners Toyota, and recently scored her first career short track top-five finish at Elko Speedway. Rodgers, driving the No. 52 Drydene Ford for Ken Schrader Racing, will look to add an ARCA win to an already-impressive resume of NASCAR K&N Pro Series wins, including wins at Sonoma Raceway and New Jersey Motorsports Park earlier in the season.
Holmes, driver of the No. 23 Holmes II Excavating/Southern States Bank Chevrolet, is driving for his family-owned team that scored a win at Pocono with former series champion Grant Enfinger at the wheel in June, 2016. Graf, Jr., driver of Chad Bryant Racing’s No. 77 Big Tine Ford, hails from nearby Mahwah, New Jersey and looks to avenge a runner-up finish at Talladega Superspeedway in which he finished in a statistical dead-heat to winner Zane Smith; only closer inspection of the photo finish cameras was able to determine Graf came up about two inches short at the finish.
The ModSpace 150 at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Friday, July 27. ARCA Racing Series teams will practice for 90 minutes starting at 9 am ET; General Tire Pole Qualifying is slated for 1 pm ET, and the 60-lap/150-mile race will go green shortly after 4 pm ET. Fox Sports 1 will televise the race live; ARCARacing.com will have live timing, scoring, and track updates throughout each on-track session for registered users.