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ARCA: Pocono Race Preview and Notes

16 June 1998

By Don Radebaugh

44 teams have filed entries for the race, a record amount for an ARCA/Pocono event. Of the 44 entered, 8 are Pennsylvania drivers, including Bobby Gerhart who sat on the pole at Michigan last Saturday and finished 4th in the race, and Blaise Alexander who will be in a #66 Bud Moore Ford crewed by Mark Thompson's Phoenix Air team.

3-time ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series champion Tim Steele has filed an entry for the Mountain Dew 400k in hopes of making his return to racing since the Coopersville, MI driver suffered injuries in November of '97 at Atlanta.

Bobby Hamilton Jr., son of Winston Cup driver Bobby Hamilton, will attempt to qualify for his first-ever ARCA race in the Mountain Dew 400k in a #43 Pontiac purchased from Richard Petty.

The Mountain Dew 400k will be the 26th ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series event held on the 2.5 mile triangle at Pocono since 1983. However, the first ARCA race staged at Pocono was in 1969 on the 3/4 mile oval won by Bobby Watson in a Dodge. The ARCA series did not return to Pocono until July of '83 when Bob Schacht won in a Pontiac with an average speed of 123.288 mph.

Veteran ARCA driver Bob Schacht has recorded the most ARCA wins at Pocono with 6 followed by Bob Keselowski and Tim Steele with 5. Mike Wallace has 3 and Jimmy Horton is the only 2-time ARCA winner at Pocono, and 1-time winners include Ben Hess, Bobby Jacks, Jeff Purvis and Lee Raymond. Even though 8 ARCA races have been won from the pole at Pocono, all-time Pocono ARCA winner Schacht has never won from the pole.

Other than one Chevrolet victory with Jeff Purvis in July of '94, Ford has been victorious in 8 out of the last 9 ARCA races at Pocono dating back to 1993.