Tuesday, June 4, 2013

No. 20 crew chief Ratcliff looking for Pocono repeat and first win for Kenseth

Joey Logano/Jason Ratcliff won at Pocono in No. 20 last season
Matt Kenseth/No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota Preview
Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway
No. 20 Husky Toyota News and Notes:

JOE GIBBS RACING AT POCONO: Joe Gibbs Racing has 86 Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway and has earned nine wins, 23 top-five, and 38 top-ten finishes. The organization has led for a total of 1,068 laps, has an average finish of 15.9, and completed 15,571 of 16,466 (94.6 percent) laps.

KENSETH BY THE NUMBERS: In 26 Sprint Cup Series career starts at Pocono Raceway, Matt Kenseth has an average finish of 14.3, has completed 4,896 of 4,947 (99.0 percent) career laps, and has led for a total of 54 laps (15 of those laps came in 2012 after the track was repaved.) Kenseth has earned three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at the 2.5-mile track.

No. 20 TEAM LOOKS TO DEFEND THEIR WIN: Even though Kenseth is new to the No. 20 this season, his team found success at Pocono in 2012 after earning the pole and claiming victory in the Pocono 400 last June. The win was crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s first Sprint Cup Series visit to Victory Lane and was JGR’s ninth series victory at Pocono’s “Tricky Triangle.”

RACE INFO: Coverage of the Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile) begins at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 9th. The race will be broadcast live on TNT, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

From the Cockpit:

Matt Kenseth: “I’m looking forward to going to Pocono this weekend. This will be the second year on the new surface, so I’m sure the pavement has aged a little bit since we last raced there. JGR has had success there and the No. 20 team won this race last year, so I’m looking forward to getting back on to the track, especially after last weekend at Dover. I wasn’t a huge fan of Pocono before the repave because it was a really rough surface, and it seemed tough for us to get a handle on our car, but I ran much better there after it was paved. We ran really well last year and were even able to lead some laps before getting wrecked, but I really have run better at Pocono lately, and hopefully we’ll have another good run.”

From the Pit Box:

Jason Ratcliff: “We were fortunate enough to have won this race last year at Pocono with our No. 20 team, but then didn’t finish as well as we had hoped in the August race. In going back to Pocono this time, I think the biggest unknown is that the track seemed to age quite a bit from the first race to the second race last year after the repave, and I think we’ll see an even bigger change this year. The things that I feel we had figured out about Pocono last year, I’m not sure how much they’ll apply going into this weekend. It’s a track where we’ve run well at in the past, so I’m hopeful we’ll have good results on Sunday. I’m looking forward to the race this weekend and I really like the track. Pocono is the first place that I was fortunate enough to go to Victory Lane on the Cup side, so it’s a special place for me.”

- Joe Gibbs Racing

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