Rain has moved out from the Pocono Raceway, but not before causing NASCAR to scratch a pair of practice sessions this morning for tomorrow’s Sprint Cup event, the GoBowling.com 400. The practices were originally scheduled for 9-9:50 a.m. ET and 11:30-12:20 p.m. ET.
According to Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News, the track was not dry for this morning’s first session and that the second session – “Happy Hour” – was cut since the rain stopped just 15 minutes before it was to begin.
Qualifying for today’s Camping World Truck Series race, the Pocono Mountains 125, was also cancelled this morning because of the rain.
The grid for that race was set according to Friday practice speeds, which means that Brazil’s Miguel Paludo and Florida’s Ross Chastain will be on the front row. Track drying is currently ongoing to get the 2.5-mile oval ready for the Trucks this afternoon.
The Sprint Cup teams were able to get in one practice session and qualifying in on Friday afternoon, with Jimmie Johnson claiming the pole for Sunday’s race.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”