Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth took off their racing suits and put on their softball jerseys on Wednesday, May 3 during the annual Dover vs. Pocono Rivalry Day event in Allentown, Pa.
Played at the home of Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, Truex and Kenseth participated in a variety of activities, including softball, kickball, dizzy-bat tee-ball, water balloon tossing and more.
In the end, the final event, a go-kart race along the warning track, provided the game's final margin as Kenseth, representing Team Pocono, edged Team Dover's Truex at home plate. Team Dover leads the annual series with Team Pocono three games to two, with one event rained out.
Kenseth, driving the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and Truex, driving the #78 Toyota for Furniture Row Racing, will be two of the top contenders in the "AAA 400 Drive for Autism" race on Sunday, June 4 at Dover International Speedway and the "Pocono 400" event on Sunday, June 11 at Pocono Raceway.
"I jumped the start and still spun the tires," joked Truex, a two-time Monster Mile winner. "It was a fun event. I enjoyed it."
Track officials and area media members made up the majority of players the two teams. After Truex and Kenseth threw out the ceremonial first pitches for the IronPigs' game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the drivers took questions on a variety of NASCAR topics, from stage racing to racing against a younger generation of drivers.
"These days, you're running as hard as you can as much as you can," said Kenseth on NASCAR's stage racing format which makes its Dover and Pocono debuts this year. "I'm seeing more aggression in battles for eighth, ninth and 10th."
Kenseth and Truex won Dover's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 2016 in the spring and fall, respectively.
Truex and Kenseth previously each won at Pocono Raceway during the 2015 season as well.
The June 2-4 NASCAR tripleheader weekend at Dover also includes the "Bar Harbor 200" presented by Sea Watch International NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, June 2 and the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race on Saturday, June 3. Truex's father is an executive with Sea Watch International.
"It's really cool for the company to do that," Truex said. "To see the growth that's happened for them to be able to sponsor a NASCAR event is great."
Another NASCAR tripleheader weekend returns to the Monster Mile from Sept. 29-Oct. 1, featuring the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Sept. 29, the "Drive Sober 200" presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Sept. 30 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 1, which will serve as the first elimination race of this year's postseason.
For tickets or more information, call 800?441?RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
Pocono Raceway will host two NASCAR weekends in 2017. The "Pocono 400" Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race is set for June 11, following the "Pocono Green 250" NASCAR XFINITY Series race on June 10. The General Tire "#AnywhereisPossible 200" ARCA race starts the weekend on June 9. The "Pennsylvania 400" MENCS race is on July 30 with the "Pocono Mountains 150" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ran on July 29. The "ARCA Racing Series 150" is set for July 28.
Tickets for all races are now on sale at poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY.