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Petty Finishes 1-3 In Pocono

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Pocono 200
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Petty Finishes 1-3 In Pocono

Bill Crittenden
June 11, 2007

Some of NASCAR's stars came out to play with the ARCA crowd in last Sunday's Pocono 200.

Chad McCumbee drove a Petty Dodge to victory with Billy Wilburn and the rest of the Kyle Petty's Nextel Cup 45 team in his pits.  Bobby Labonte and his Cup team were in the pits for the number 4 car, driven by crew chief Paul Andrews' son, Tim.  Tim Andrews finished third, after getting the pole in just his second ARS start.

Two Nextel Cup drivers participated in the show, Paul Menard in a Dale Earnhardt, Inc. car nearly identical to his Cup scheme and Johnny Sauter driving for Country Joe Racing.  Erin Crocker also drove her Evernham Dodge.

From start to finish, it was a battle of survival as cars kept blowing left front tires.  Crocker, Menard (twice), McCumbee, Gerhart and Sauter all had left front tires let go.  Aside from Gerhart, all the other drivers are Cup drivers or have connections with Nextel Cup teams, leaving me to wonder if they transferred over some setups from their Cup cars, and in doing so were asking their Hoosier tires run on setups that were intended for the Goodyears they normally run in NASCAR.

Dexter Bean overcame Mario Gosselin with 16 laps to go, building up a 1.6 second lead when the lapped car of Patrick Sheltra slowed up McCumbee.  With 12 laps to go Justin Marks blew an engine, spun in his own oil and hit the wall hard.  The caution came out and erased the lead that Bean had built.  The race restarted with 6 to go, Bean in front followed by McCumbee and Andrews.  McCumbee would overtake Bean, but Dexter would hang on for second place, still having led the most laps, showing that he and BlackJack Racing can run with the big boys of NASCAR.

Another car of note in the race was that of Jeremy Clements, driving a black and red number 3.  The number has been used in all types of racing before, during and certainly after the death of Dale Earnhardt, but it was still a bit spooky to see it on a black stock car at a superspeedway.



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