I’m writing this as the red flag flies at Talladega on Monday afternoon. Just what the drivers needed with a double header weekend coming up for them. I guess it’s going to be a whole different kind of racing next weekend than it is on the restrictor plate track at Talladega so, I can finish this article while I wait to see if it will stop raining and they can get the track dried.
RACES 1 AND 2 AT POCONO RACEWAY
Yes, there are supposed to be two races at the Pocono Raceway this coming weekend. One on Saturday and one on Sunday. This is part of the original NASCAR schedule and it doesn’t make much sense to me. There are so many races that get rained out up in the Pocono Mountains that this seems kind of nonsensical to me. Why not schedule a race on Saturday and if it rains run it on Sunday? What if a fan only wants to pay to watch one race? Where is everyone going to stay if they are only going to Sunday’s race? Oh well, if anyone has any ideas why they did this I would like to know.
Denny Hamlin: I’m going to pick Denny to win again. The Joe Gibbs drivers have won the last five races run at this track. Denny only had one of those wins but has five in his career and he has been the best of those Gibbs drivers so far this year. I think he does it again in at least one of these races.
Kyle Busch: Kyle has won three of those past five races but, hasn’t really shown his best stuff yet. I do believe that he is also going to win at least one of these two races this weekend. He will be my starter for Saturday and I might run him again on Sunday if he wins on Saturday. This is going to be tough to figure out.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin won the other of those past five races and finished in the top three in three of them. The Gibbs teams have something figured out at this track and the only thing that might stop them from winning two more is weather or fuel mileage. I’m going to save Martin for some other tracks and run his teammates here this weekend.
Erik Jones: So, the last of the Gibbs drivers hasn’t won a race here yet but, he has only run here six times. In those six races he has finished in the top five four times including a runner up finish in the race here last July. Another driver who hasn’t hit his stride yet this year but, this might be the weekend he breaks out.
Kevin Harvick: In his last eleven races at Pocono Kevin hasn’t won. However, he has finished second four times and in the top five seven times. Those are pretty good statistics and he is one of the drivers who could break the Gibbs streak at this track. The question is, do we want to take a chance of having him on the roster when there are so many Gibbs drivers in the same group? I think I’ll save him up too.
Brad Keselowski: Brad only has one win here in twenty starts but, once again he has been very consistent with ten top five finishes in those races. Anyone who can finish in the top five in half the races they run at any track has to be taken into consideration. The dilemma again is do you take a chance on him instead of a Gibbs driver? New crew chief tells me maybe I should hold off and see how he does this year.
Kurt Busch: Kurt has been very consistent here throughout his career. He has three wins, fourteen top five and twenty top ten finishes in his thirty-seven career starts. Those are great numbers once again. Thankfully he is in a different group than most of the Gibbs drivers and gives us a good option to have on our team.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie also has three wins at Pocono and has lead more laps here than even Denny Hamlin. This could be the track where he breaks his long winless streak and gets back on track in his final full-time season in the sport. We’re going to have a lot of choices in the B group this week.
William Byron: Another dark horse this week. William has only run four races here but, he has finished in the top ten in each of the last three. Maybe we want him on our roster to save some starts for some of our other drivers. Do we want to use the same drivers twice in one weekend? What happens if they run poorly on Saturday? We want options for Sunday, right?
Ryan Blaney: Ryan has a win here in only eight starts and has only finished outside the top twelve in one of those eight. Not a guaranteed top five finisher but he should be in the top fifteen once again. Not bad for this track but, I really think there are better places to use his starts. I’ll keep him on the sidelines this week.
I’ll try and update my picks as soon as I can on Saturday after the first race is over.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR POCONO RACEWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Denny Hamlin
- Kevin Harvick
Driver Group Game Group B
- Ryan Newman
- William Byron
- Clint Bowyer
- Jimmie Johnson
Driver Group Game Group C
- Christopher Bell
- Ty Dillon
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT POCONO RACEWAY
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Brad Keselowski
Dark Horse: Erik Jones
Stay Away From: Austin Dillon
Big 18: Ryan Newman