For Stockman, a stress-relieving move to Cup

Paul Menard practices at Pocono Raceway Friday, July 29, 2016 (Getty Images)

Paul Menard practices at Pocono Raceway Friday, July 29, 2016 (Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. –In Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway, Danny Stockman will call his first race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief from the pit box of driver Paul Menard.

If you think the debut might be a source of great anxiety, think again. Stockman felt much more stress as crew chief for the grandsons of his employer, Richard Childress, when he ran teams for Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon in the NASCAR Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series.

“I’ve worked with the boys, both Dillon boys, my whole career until midway through last season and this season,” Stockman said. “I will be right honest with everybody that is a stressful deal working for the family. It’s not easy. They are good race car drivers, but it’s not easy working for family. To be honest with you when Paul gets in our XFINITY car or even (during Friday’s practice at Pocono), it’s weird.

“It’s all business. You’re there to do a job. You’re there to race. You’re there to perform, and there is just not a lot of outside other stuff that’s bothering you. All you’re working on is trying to make the race car faster and give him the feel that he’s after.”

Mission accomplished, as far as performance is concerned. Seeking his first top-five finish of the season, Menard led opening Sprint Cup practice on Friday and qualified third for Sunday’s race. In race trim, he was eighth fastest in final practice on Saturday.

SHORT STROKES

Pole winner Martin Truex Jr. paced the field in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Happy Hour on Saturday with a lap at 176.377 mph. Brad Keselowski was second fastest at 176.136 mph. Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch were third and fourth, respectively, on the speed chart. Busch is the defending winner of the Pennsylvania 400…

Mack Trucks is showcasing its custom-built “Mack Jack” this weekend at Pocono. The giant truck is leading the parade laps before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday. Mack Jack features an 800-cubic-inch turbo diesel engine that makes 800 horsepower, roughly equivalent to a Sprint Cup car.

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