Sixteen laps from it scheduled conclusion, Taylor Gray took the checkered flag of the ARCA Menards Series race at Pocono Raceway as the 80-lap race was shortened due to darkness.
The David Gilliland Racing driver claimed his third win of the season under caution, a result of a Jesse Love incident a few laps before.
Gray’s win came after he had been penalized earlier in the race during the first competition caution for failing to exit pit road ahead of the pace car.
Gray won over Nick Sanchez, Brandon Jones, Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye.
“Definitely wasn’t as smooth as you would want it to go,” Gray’s crew chief, Chad Johnston, told Fox Sports 1. “We’ve been able to win everywhere where I’ve been to before, so this keeps that streak alive. We’ll take it anyway we can get them.”
On the frontstretch, Gray gave “all props” to Johnston for “making a good call” to stay out of the pits after a late caution.
“We lost a lap taking fuel … (the leaders) came down to take more fuel,” Gray said. “Heck of a call by Chad being able to to make it on fuel. I’m pretty speechless right now. When we went a lap down I didn’t think we would end up here.”
The race’s first caution flag waved on Lap 15 after the No. 11 of Bryce Haugeberg cut a right-side tire and went into the wall between Turn 2 and 3. Taylor Gray led at the time after he took the point from Sammy Smith at the start.
Gray kept the lead on the Lap 19 restart, staying ahead of Sanchez.
On Lap 21, Zachary Tinkle suffered a hard hit in Turn 1 after his No. 06 car made contact with Stephanie Moyer’s entering it.
The race resumed on Lap 26, four laps from the first competition caution. Sanchez claimed the lead over Smith, Brandon Jones and Gray. Caruth would pass Gray for fourth on Lap 28.
Sanchez remained the leader once the competition caution came out. During the pit stop period, Gray was penalized a lap for not beating the pace car off pit road.
After the restart, Sanchez retook the lead from Connor Mosack on Lap 44.
Two laps later, the fourth caution arrived after Parker Chase’s car stalled on the apron in Turn 2. That allowed Gray to get back on the lead lap.
The race went back to green with 31 laps to go, and moments after Jesse Love shot to the lead, a five-car crash broke out on the exit of Turn 1.
It started when Amber Balcean was turned from behind. It included Pompa, Sean Corr and Andy Jankowiak and saw Balcean’s drift backward up the track to collect the others cars.
The wreck resulted in a red flag period. With the sun setting, the red flag was lifted at 8:10 p.m. ET.
After the leaders pit, Gray reassumed the lead.
The race went back to green at 8:20 p.m. ET with 25 laps to go. As the field exited Turn 3 to completed that lap, Smith’s left-rear tire cut down forcing him to visit pit road.
With 20 laps to go, Love spun and bounced off the inside wall near the entrance of Turn 2 to bring out the caution.