LONG POND, Pa. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie contender Justin Haley put down the fastest lap in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards practice Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway.
Haley, in the No 78 Mason Mitchell Motorsports Chevrolet, was fastest among the 33 drivers who posted speed with a time of 53.046 seconds (169.661 mph).
The 18-year-old is doing double duty at Pocono Raceway this weekend, and not only is he seeking his third ARCA win in his last three appearances, he couldn’t stick around to discuss his run because he had to dart over to the Truck garage to prepare for that series’ first practice session.
Petersburg, W.V.’s Codie Rohrbaugh, in the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet, was second-fastest overall.
“I think we have a car that can win the pole,” said Rohrbaugh. “If we can just get the car to turn better off turn 3, we’d have a better shot at it. We got really good speed. These guys build great cars … the driver gets all the credit he doesn’t deserve. We’re shooting for a top-five here today.”
Zane Smith, sporting a new crew chief (Bruce Cook), was third in the No. 55 Musselman’s BIG CUP Apple Sauce Toyota for Venturini Motorsports.
“We’re a lot better than the first time we were here,” said Smith. “We’re working with a different crew chief this weekend. I feel like we’ve got everything we need to get it done.”
Smith finished fourth at Pocono back in the spring, a career superspeedway best for the Huntington Beach, California driver.
Riley Herbst, who won the Pocono spring race, landed fourth in the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink-UFC Gym Toyota.
“It’s gonna be tough,” said Herbst. “The track slowed down for us. It was a lot faster in the spring. We have a really good car still, but the competition continues to get stiffer.”
“It’s a pretty quick race … 60 laps … we just need to start up front and stay there. All the corners feel really comfortable; we’re just lacking a little speed overall. The guys are working hard on it … getting the heights right and making some round adjustments.”
Kaz Grala, in the No. 41 ChargeCords.com Chevrolet, completed the top-five. Grala is also doing double duty this weekend by also racing in the Truck Series.
Other than Haley and Grala, Gragson, Justin Fontaine, Bryan Dauzat and Mike Senica are all also racing Trucks at Pocono in addition to the ARCA race.
General Tire Pole Qualifying for the ARCA Racing Series kicks off at 1 p.m.
Full practice results can be viewed on the next page…