Five NASCAR drivers to watch at Pocono Raceway

Here are five NASCAR drivers to watch as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono 400.

The NASCAR Cup Series is headed to Pocono Raceway for the 14th race in the 2019 NASCAR season. This will be the first of two visits to the “Tricky Triangle” in the span of just eight races.

At Dover International Speedway, four of our five drivers finished inside the top-5 while the other driver finished 11th. Heading into Pocono Raceway, will Kyle Busch win for a third time at Pocono in the last four races? Will someone snap their winless streak? Will a Stewart-Haas Racing driver finally find victory lane this season?

Here are five drivers to keep any eye on this weekend to see how they perform at Pocono Raceway.

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has won two of the last three races at Pocono Raceway. During that time he’s led a series high 139 laps and has an average finish of 1.7.

It took years for Busch to cross off Pocono Raceway from the tracks he had never won at in the NASCAR Cup Series. It now looks like Busch can’t be stopped at the 2.5-mile triangle shaped speedway.

Kevin Harvick has never won at Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series (World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade, NKP)

Kevin Harvick

Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates have yet to win this season. A trip to Pocono Raceway could change that.

Harvick has the second best average finish, 3.3, among all drivers in the last three races at Pocono. He is one of two drivers, the other is Busch, to finish in the top-5 in the last three races at Pocono.

“As we go to Pocono, we obviously want to win there, especially since it’s one of the two tracks we haven’t won at,” said Harvick in his pre-race notes.

“It’s a place I enjoy going – not so much the place I enjoyed going in my previous life before I came to Stewart-Haas Racing. It was never a track we ran very well at, but we’ve come to find out that if you have the cars where they need to be and the people around you, things are much different.”

A win at Pocono Raceway would give Martin Truex Jr. a series high four victories. (World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade, NKP)

Martin Truex Jr.

Truex Jr. is coming off of his third win of the 2019 season after scoring the victory in the Coca-Cola 600 last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Add that to his win at the short track of Richmond Raceway and the 1-mile speedway win at Dover International Speedway, and Truex is slowly adding more and more track types to his season win collection.

Truex Jr. won this race last year at Pocono and has the third best average finish, 6.7, among drivers in the last three races at Pocono Raceway. He’s one of just four drivers who have scored two top-5 finishes or more in the last three races here.

Daniel Suarez could pick up his first career victory at Pocono Raceway. (World Copyright: John Harrelson, NKP)

Daniel Suarez

The last time Suarez visited Pocono Raceway he started on the pole and finished second after leading 29 laps. Suarez hopes to better his position by one this weekend at Pocono Raceway.

“It was cool to get the pole there last year,” said Suarez in his pre-race notes. “Of course, it always helps to have a good starting spot. You really have to capitalize on a good starting position like that and we were able to do that and finish second.”

“I can’t make mistakes and we can’t have mistakes on pit road. Everyone has to do their part to execute perfectly. I really feel like with the 41 team we keep making progress each weekend. Sometimes the results may not exactly show it, but my guys are doing a great job and they never give up.”

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott is one of three drivers who have finished inside the top-10 in the last three races at Pocono Raceway. The other two drivers are Busch and Harvick.

Although Elliott doesn’t have a top-5 finish during that span, he has scored the fourth most points in those three races. Which indicates that Elliott has been running up front throughout the duration of the races at Pocono.

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattlovisa.

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