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.
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.
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.
Kenseth, driving the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and Truex, driving the No. 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 “OneMain Financial 200” 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.”