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Saturday Pocono Cup race: Start time, weather, lineup

Nate Ryan, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte preview the two Cup Series Pocono races and explain why Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin need to come up big this weekend.

For the only time in 2021, the NASCAR Cup Series goes racing on back-to-back days starting Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

The Pocono Cup doubleheader carries some important rules for the Cup teams. Teams must use the same car in both races. If a team has to go to a backup car for Sunday’s race, they’ll start from the rear for that race.

Additionally, the starting lineup for Sunday’s race will be based on Saturday’s race finish.

The top 20 finishers on Saturday will be inverted for Sunday’s starting lineup. Those finishing from 21st on back Saturday will start from that position on Sunday.

Details for Saturday’s Pocono Cup race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Moyer at 3:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 8 a.m. … Drivers report to vehicles at 2:40 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 2:45 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Monty Self of Motor Racing Outreach at 3 p.m. … National anthem will be performed by Ellen Kane at 3:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 130 laps (325 miles) on the 2.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 77.


TV/RADIO: NBCSN coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 2:30 p.m., leading into the race at 3 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2 p.m. and also will stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground’s forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 74 degrees, and a 22% chance of rain around the start of the race.

TO THE REAR: Cole Custer (multiple inspection issues).

STARTING LINEUP: Saturday Pocono Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Kevin Harvick finally earned his first career win at Pocono in Race 1. Harvick came close to a sweep in Race 2 the following day, but was unable to catch winner Denny Hamlin.


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