Driver Group Game Picks for Pocono


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series travels north this week for the Pocono 400. This is one of the hardest tracks for crew chiefs to set up their cars for because of the three completely different corners. Add in a new aero package and things are likely to get interesting Sunday. The Pocono 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

One of the changes this season for the Driver Group Game is that your league commissioner has the ability to change to number of allocations for each driver and can place drivers into any group they choose. My picks will be based on the default settings (8 allocations per driver and the original group settings).

Here are my picks for Pocono…


Driver Group Game A Picks

Brad Keselowski (7): Keselowski has been one of the most consistent drivers at Pocono. He has finished 6 of the last 7 races at the track in the top 5. That is awesome. The No. 2 car looked really fast on Friday. The car was so fast in the first practice that they decided to only work on qualifying runs in final practice. Keselowski has won 3 races this season and I would not be surprised to see him in Victory Lane again Sunday.

Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kyle Busch 2) Brad Keselowski 3) Martin Truex Jr. 4) Chase Elliott 5) Kevin Harvick 6) Kyle Larson 7) Joey Logano


Driver Group Game B Picks

Denny Hamlin (5): Hamlin leads the series with 4 wins at Pocono but his last win was in 2010. The 2019 aero package will have downforce similar to what we saw the last time Hamlin was dominant at this track. Joe Gibbs Racing has won 8 of the 13 races this season so Hamlin should have a fast car. Hamlin really liked his car in practice. He was 6th fastest in the first practice, 11th in final practice (did not make a qualifying run) and he had the 8th-fastest 10-lap average speed. The No. 11 car will start 6th Sunday.  I will take a chance with Hamlin this week.

Clint Bowyer (5): Bowyer has been hit or miss at Pocono in his career and this week he should have a lot of success. The No. 14 car rolled off the truck with a lot of speed Friday. Bowyer was 9th fastest in the first practice, 6th fastest in final practice and had the 10th-fastest 10-lap average speed. Bowyer looked like he had the fastest car from the Stewart-Haas Racing stable. The No. 14 car will start 3rd Sunday.

Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Denny Hamlin 2) Kurt Busch 3) Clint Bowyer 4) Ryan Blaney 5) Erik Jones 6) William Byron 7) Alex Bowman 8) Jimmie Johnson 9) Aric Almirola 10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.


Driver Group Game C Picks

Chris Buescher (5): Buescher is the best pick in Group C Sunday. The No. 37 is on a hot streak right now. Buescher finished 10th at Kansas and 6th at Charlotte. There is a good chance he will finish inside the top 15 Sunday. He won a rain shortened race at Pocono in 2016, but hey… you take the wins any way you can get them. Buescher did not have post laps in the top 15 in either practice but the team was working on their long run speed. The No. 37 car did not make any qualifying laps in practice. I still like Buescher for the race this week.

Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Chris Buescher 2) Daniel Hemric 3) David Ragan 4) Ryan Preece 5) Ty Dillon


Driver Group Game Team

Group A: Brad Keselowski (7)

Group B: Denny Hamlin (5), Clint Bowyer (5)

Group C: Chris Buescher (5)


*Stats from and career stats from Racing-Reference.Info


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Good luck this week!


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