NASCAR Pre-Race Media: Top 5 favorites/race preview for the doubleheader weekend at Pocono

TRACK: Pocono Raceway (2.5 mile oval)

DISTANCE For Race 1: 130 Laps — STAGE 1: 25 Laps, STAGE 2: 52 Laps, FINAL STAGE: 53 Laps, MILES (325 Miles)

DISTANCE For Race 2: 140 Laps — STAGE 1: 30 Laps, STAGE 2: 55 Laps, FINAL STAGE: 55 Laps, MILES (350 Miles)

Favorites – Can Anyone Beat Larson?

Kyle Busch

Busch has seven top 10 finishes in his last eight Pocono including three of his last seven being wins at that.

Martin Truex Jr. 

He won this race in 2015 and 2018. Furthermore, he has five top six finishes in his last eight tries on the Tricky Triangle.

Kevin Harvick

He won the Saturday race last year and was second in the Sunday one. Harvick, has eight top six finishes, seven of which being in the top four, his last nine Pocono starts.

Denny Hamlin

Pocono has been his playground. Hamlin, has six wins there including two in the last three. He was runner-up in the other.

Chase Elliott

He has three fourth place finishes on the Tricky Triangle including six top 10’s in his last eight tries. HMS has better cars now than before. Watch out for him.

Race Preview

The only doubleheader on the NASCAR schedule is back with both races at the Pocono Raceway being held with 100% capacity. Last year, we saw the best drivers at this point of the season dominate with Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin running 1-2 in both races. Will we see that same this weekend? If so, watch out for Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson as they have started separating themselves from the competition this season now.

Larson, enters having won three straight points races and having six straight top two results. Can he keep it going?

He has four top seven finishes in his last six tries at Pocono, none of which coming with Hendrick Motorsports either.

Truex, has five top sixes in his last eight tries himself.

We have 11 winners in 17 races and by time we leave the mountains on Sunday, we really only have seven regular season races left. The Ganassi guys are making big leaps lately with Kurt Busch going from -83 to -26 in a span of two races. He had 12 finishes of 13th or worse in the 13 races prior to his latest two top 10’s. Busch, has one top 10 though in his last six at Pocono.

His teammate Ross Chastain hasn’t raced at Pocono with a team like Ganassi before but he has won there in the past in the Truck Series. He also has scored three top sevens in his last four races run this season and made up 43 points in the process.

Can they take another chunk out?

Aric Almirola is a win potential with him scoring a pair of top fives a year ago to go along with four top 10’s in his last six starts there. He finished fourth last Sunday in Nashville.

Matt DiBenedetto was sixth a year ago in Race 2 and enters needing some momentum. The last time the Wood Brothers won a race was at Pocono in 2017, so maybe he can steal a victory in one of the two races. If so, that could push the bubble back which would negate a lot of ground that the Ganassi boys have made up.

Top Stat

Starting position matters at Pocono. Five of the last seven race winners have come from the top 10. In fact, since 2014, 11 of the 15 Cup Series races have been won from a top 10 starting spot with one of those two not being Chris Buescher’s fluke rain shortened win in 2016.

Plus, Pocono has rewarded first time winners recently with Chris Buescher and Ryan Blaney earned earning their first career Cup victories on this track since 2016.

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