LONG POND, Pa. (June 5, 2016) – It was a rainy weekend for NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr. at Pocono Raceway, but that didn’t stop him from grabbing his seventh Top-25 finish of the season. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet placed 21st in the first NXS race at the 2.5-mile triangle track Saturday afternoon.
Black and his SS Green Light Racing team used Thursday’s two test sessions to dial in the car’s handling for Saturday’s race. Right away, Black was pleased with how the car charged the corners but felt it was a little too snug for the race. He consistently got faster throughout the two sessions, laying his quickest laps down later in the afternoon.
With all on-track activity rained out Friday, Black went on to qualify 26th for the Pocono Green 250 Saturday morning. Once the green flag flew on the main event, he remained consistent with his lap times, reporting the car’s handling was coming to him when the competition caution came out at Lap 15.
As additional yellow flags came out during the first 50 laps of the race, Black and his team worked out their fuel mileage strategy and came in to top off every chance they got. The team was also able to use pit strategy during one of the cautions to have Black stay out and lead his first NXS lap of his career.
With the threat of rain growing closer towards the halfway point of the race, the team debated coming in to top off on fuel under caution at Lap 39 or holding out to see if the rain would come in and stop the race in its tracks. Ultimately, they decided to pit and restarted 23rd at Lap 42. Black would drive up to 21st on that restart before cars were called down pit road due to rain on Lap 53. The race would be unable to resume later that afternoon.
“It’s a bummer the rain came when it did!” said Black after the race. “We were running lap times consistent with the Top-15 there at the end and just ran out of time to get up there. Overall it was a solid weekend for us. We kept getting faster throughout it, and I got to lead my first XFINITY Series lap! We’ll take this Top-25, move on to Michigan next week and get another.”
Next up for Black and his team is the Menards 250 Presented by Valvoline on Saturday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. ET at Michigan International Speedway.