It’s hard to believe the topic on the minds of everyone this week is shifting considering we are at a 2.5 mile triangular track but alas it is. Pocono is a track unlike any other for the simple reason it features just three turns.
Last year Denny Hamlin was trying to win a Sprint Cup Championship, this year he’s had to fight his way back up the point standings and has yet to find his way to victory lane. That could end this week as Hamlin is on a bit of a roll and has won 4 of the 10 races he’s competed at Pocono.
Of course he’ll have to beat out Jimmy Johnson and Carl Edwards who both have won 2 times each. Edwards is still leading the Sprint Cup standings but the reality is he’s actually trailing Kevin Harvick since the driver of the #29 has more victories on the year. It will be tough to defeat these three and the odd makers agree ranking them 1,2,3 this week on the big board.
If I was given the choice of these three versus the field I would certainly take them.
Last year Greg Biffle finally got a Ford to victory lane here but he’s starting well back in the field today making a repeat a difficult task. Aside from that win, Biffle has only two other top-10 finishes in 16 starts.
It still remains hard to pick Mark Martin at all this year. Martin has 33 top-10’s in 48 starts at the tricky triangle which averages to an 11.1 finish but he’s been little more then a mid pack driver for most of the year.
Teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman have combined for three wins and are worth considering.
It will be difficult for Dale Earnhardt Jr to break his win drought today as he’s managed just 6 top-10 runs at Pocono in 22 starts. Though with fuel mileage being the common denominator the last two weeks it’s not completely out of the probabilities.
There are few options for buy low drivers. The best is likely that of Brian Vickers who has a couple of second place runs and two fourths in his career at the 2.5 mile track. Vickers ran sixth his last time at Pocono back in 2009. He’s starting to put together some solid runs so he’s worth a roll of the dice.
The other driver I could have considered here was Martin Truex Jr but with the crew chief change and poor runs that have been happening for Michael Waltrip Racing this year it’s impossible to gauge which direction this team will head.