Posted by Matt Lovisa – follow on Twitter @mattlovisa
June 3, 2015
Pocono Raceway – Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400
We now enter a stretch on the schedule of racetracks that do not have anything in common: Pocono, Michigan, Sonoma and Daytona. Which means many of the drivers you will be selecting will change on a weekly basis as we try to find the best driver combination.
Pocono is tricky. The only track with just three turns on the schedule. The racing is unique. Cars are strung out across the track with the fifth place driver sometimes 15-20 seconds behind the race leader. The strategy is different. If you are running well enough, you can make a pit stop under green flag conditions and not lose a lap. The outcomes are unpredictable. Rookies have won in their first start, the drivers are more often than not, racing against the weather, and the restarts are wild. Here are the final nine you need to know about at Pocono.
Group A – last week 1/3, season 20/38
Best Bet – Dale Earnhardt Jr., #88 (22%): 3, 5, 1, 1 are Junior’s last four finishes at Pocono.
Sleeper – Ryan Newman, #31 (4%): 5, 4, 7, 8 are Newman’s last four finishes, only second behind Junior in this category.
Bust – Matt Kenseth, #20 (14%): Kenseth has failed to finish better than 22nd in his last four starts at Pocono.
Group B – last week 3/3, season, 26/39
Best Bet – Kurt Busch #41 (50%): Busch has always had a knack for the racing at Pocono and with finishes of 7, 3, 3 and 13, he should be a lock for a top-15 performance.
Sleeper – Clint Bowyer, #15 (42%): I am sticking with Bowyer here again due to his average finish of 11th and he is coming off a top-10 run at Dover.
Bust – Paul Menard, #27 (25%): Menard is consistent at Pocono just at the wrong end of the scoring pylon with finishes of 30, 32, 26 and 33 in his last four races.
Group C – last week 2/3, season 17/37
Best Bet – David Ragan, #55 (41%): Ragan has a pair of top-20 finishes last season.
Sleeper – Justin Allgaier, #51 (29%): Allgaier finished 22nd and 20th last season and finished on the lead lap in both races. Could be a sneaky start on Sunday.
Bust – Danica Patrick, #10 (58%): Patrick has not finished better than 29th in her only four starts at the track.
Motor Racing Digest League Update
A big week in the MRD league with six teams scoring 300 points or more.
Big Rig Racing, 351 points, Johnson, Bowyer, Truex Jr., Patrick
Big Thunder, 335 points, Johnson, McMurray, Truex Jr., Patrick
Shake and Bake, 335 points, Johnson, Truex Jr., Edwards, Ragan