Long Pond Upset! Allison Wins At Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. – Justin Allison brought his family’s name back to a familiar place on Friday at Pocono Raceway.
Allison won his first career ARCA Racing Series event, the ModSpace 125, and returned the Allison name to a major-series Victory Lane for the first time since his late cousin Davey won a Sprint Cup race in 1993.
It wasn’t easy, though.
Allison – in his first start as Team BCR Racing’s top driver after Grant Enfinger’s departure – had to overcome a rain delay, a multitude of cautions, bunched-up restarts and a late-race battle with Will Kimmel to score the win. Sound pit strategy helped his cause.
Allison’s team opted to bring his No. 88 HaVaCo Ford in for a pit stop early in the race for track position. The call put Allison in the lead with 25 laps left, then he fended off Kimmel at the finish.
“That was definitely the right call,” Allison said of the stop for fuel early in the event.
“We didn’t talk about it or plan to pit early, but all of a sudden, when the caution came out, they were like ‘Pit now, pit now.’ I’m happy with the way things worked out.”
Kimmel settled for second, followed by Tom Hessert, Brennan Poole and Justin Boston.
Nick Igalsky, Mason Mitchell, Austin Wayne Self, Cody Coughlin and Michael Lira rounded out the top 10.
Allison became the third member of his family to win an ARCA race: Great-uncle Bobby Allison won once, and Davey Allison captured eight ARCA victories before moving to NASCAR’s premier series in 1987.
The grandson of NASCAR legend Donnie Allison, the 22-year-old Salisbury, N.C. native stayed clear of trouble in the 50-lap event, his ninth career ARCA start.
The historical significance of the win wasn’t lost on the rookie driver, either.
“I’m not my grandpa or my (great) uncle Bobby,” Allison said, “but if I’m half as good as they were, I’ll be good.”