The MENCS competes at Pocono Raceway this week in the Pocono 400. This is the first race of the summer segment in the Driver Group Game. There will be plenty of opportunities to use some of the drivers we have not used much this season in this segment. There are two trips to Pocono, a trip to the Brickyard, two road courses, a race at Daytona and two short tracks in this segment. I plan to get off to a good start with some good picks this week in the Pocono 400.
Here are my picks for Pocono…
Kyle Busch (6): Busch has been almost unstoppable this season. He has 4 wins and has a led a series-high 856 laps. Busch got loose in qualifying so he will start 5th Sunday. He should quickly make his way to the front and battle Kevin Harvick for the lead. Busch won the last race and lead the most laps in both races at Pocono in 2017. I went with Busch over Harvick simply because I have 6 allocations left with Busch and only 4 left with Harvick. If it were the other I would have Harvick as my starter this week. Busch had the fastest lap time in final practice Saturday.
Group A Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Kyle Busch 3) Martin Truex Jr. 4) Kyle Larson 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Brad Keselowski 7) Joey Logano 8) Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Blaney (4): I was hoping Clint Bowyer or Erik Jones would step up this week and allow me to park Blaney on the bench. Then Blaney went out and won the pole. He won this race last year and he looks like he will have a good chance to finish in the top 5 Sunday. I cannot leave Blaney on the bench when he is almost guaranteed 5 points for leading a lap.
Clint Bowyer (6): Bowyer has not had a lot of success at Pocono in his career but he has never had a car as fast as the one he has this week. Bowyer qualified 9th and he was 8th fastest in final practice with the 3rd-fastest long run speed. His car was faster than Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. on the long runs. I will take my chances with Bowyer this week.
Group B Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Clint Bowyer 3) Kurt Busch 4) Chase Elliott 5) Erik Jones 6) Jamie McMurray 7) Ryan Newman 8) Daniel Suarez
William Byron (6): This race comes down to horsepower and Hendrick Motorsports has shown that they found some speed. Byron does not have any experience in the MENCS at Pocono but I am not worried about him. He does have a win in the truck series at Pocono. The No. 24 car was fast in practice so I will give him a spot in my lineup Sunday.
Group C Rankings: 1) Alex Bowman 2) William Byron 3) Darrell Wallace Jr. 4) Chris Buescher 4) David Ragan 5) Matt Dibendetto
Good luck this week!
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