I guess the best way to make Pocono exciting is to give fans two races in two days. It helps, as this has never been one of my personal favorites on the circuit, but if you’re going to jam-pack two week’s worth of racing in one, I won’t complain.
Heading into a potential six-win sweep, the reign of Kyle Larson may be far from over. With him being the favorite this week for each race, it makes picking boring, but I’m going to be risky.
I’m going to be picking the winners and dark horses for each race. These are in no particular order, these are just the two favorites for the weekend as well as two dark horses, they can be applied to either race.
Favorite #1: William Byron
One of the “weak links” at Hendrick, Byron has been running lights out but without the same flare as Larson. All of the Hendrick cars are showing winning speed, so either four is always going to be in contention for the win.
Byron is heading into Pocono with one of the best active records at the track. In 6 career starts he had an average finish of 9.7 and 4 top tens.
Favorite #2: Denny Hamlin
Hamlin remains the points leader despite his lead getting a large chunk torn out of it by Larson. He remains a consistent presence all season long.
With Pocono being one of his better tracks, a two-race weekend presents him a good opportunity to capitalize on any shortcomings they have in the first race.
Dark Horse #1: Daniel Suarez
Pocono is famous for getting drivers their first win. One of the drivers who has been on the cusp of winning this season is Suarez and his new team.
In 8 starts for three different teams, he averages a 16.6 finish with 3 top tens. There is the potential for Suarez and Trackhouse to get a surprise win this season at one of his better tracks.
Dark Horse #2: Ross Chastain
With the season starting to get fairly competitive for Chastain, heading to a track that produces first-time winners, this is a good bet. Coming off a second-place finish, this team has a lot of momentum this weekend.
Chip Ganassi Racing is having a solid year overall with teammate Kurt Busch having success here, it could produce success for both drivers. Chastain will be one to watch in both races.
William Byron – $9,000
Kyle Larson – $12,500
Chase Elliott – $11,000
Denny Hamlin – $9,700
Kevin Harvick – $9,300
Joey Logano – $8,800
Alex Bowman – $8,600
Chris Buescher – $8,000
Austin Dillon – $7,700
Kurt Busch – $8,400
Ross Chastain – $6,800
Daniel Suarez – $6,500
Ryan Newman – $5,800
Erik Jones – $6,400
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – $6,600