The Cup Series will be the second act of the double-header of racing at Pocono Raceway Saturday. The Truck Series will get the racing started and the Cup Series will be on the track for the Pocono Organics 325 at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox. If this is not enough racing for you, the Xfinity Series and Cup Series will have another double-header of racing Sunday.
*I will not have a lot of time to post the picks for Sunday’s race. I will try my best to post the picks Saturday night for the race Sunday. I will not be able to write up a breakdown for each driver I choose, but simply post the lineup and my driver rankings for each driver group. The Cup Series will be back to a normal schedule next week at Indianapolis and my picks will be back to normal as well.
Race Rewind at Pocono: Gander RV 400 (2019)
Here are my picks for the Pocono Organics 325 …
Driver Group Game A Picks
(Start) Denny Hamlin: Denny Hamlin has a series-high 5 wins at Pocono. He also has 3 wins this season. Hamlin won the last race at Pocono and he should be a favorite to win again Saturday. Hamlin said after the race last year, “This aero package and the addition of the traction compound makes this track race like it did earlier in my career when I could not loose here. It just fits my driving style well and I am very confident I can win here.” Joe Gibbs Racing dominated this track last year and the No. 11 has been their best car in 2020. I expect Hamlin to have a great chance to win this race.
(Bench) Kevin Harvick: The stats suggest the No. 4 car will be in Victory Lane Saturday. Kevin Harvick leads the series in Green Flag Speed and Driver Ranking in races where the 550 HP aero package has been used this season. He also led the most laps in 2 of the last 4 races at Pocono. Harvick has a 7th-place average finishing position at Pocono in his 12 races at the track in the Stewart-Haas Racing car. He has not won though and that is the reason why I have the No. 4 car finishing right behind the No. 11 car Saturday.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Denny Hamlin 2) Kevin Harvick 3) Kyle Busch 4) Chase Elliott 5) Brad Keselowski 6) Martin Truex Jr. 7) Joey Logano
Driver Group Game B Picks
(Start) Ryan Blaney: So why use an allocation with Ryan Blaney Saturday? Blaney starts on the front row and he has the No. 1 pit stall. His pit crew also ranks 4th fastest this year. The No. 12 car has been the fastest in races with the 550 HP aero package over the last 2 months. Blaney’s 1st, 3rd, 4th, 3rd and 3rd in his last 5 races in this package rank No.1 in the Cup Series. I am a firm believer in “play them while they are hot” so I will use Blaney on Saturday.
(Start) Erik Jones: Pocono Raceway is a great track to use an allocation with Erik Jones. Joe Gibbs Racing dominated this track last year and it is one of the best tracks for Jones. He has competed in 6 races at the Tricky Triangle. Jones finished 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 29th (engine problems), 8th and 3rd. This is his second-best track (behind Darlington) so I will use the No. 20 car Saturday.
(Bench) Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie Johnson only has one top-10 finish at Pocono since 2015 but he should add another top-10 to his impressive resume at the Tricky Triangle. Johnson started in the back (failed inspection) last year and quickly made his way into the top 10. He had one of the best cars but fuel strategy did not go his way. With a little better luck, Johnson should be one of the better picks in Group B Saturday.
(Bench) William Byron: There is going to be a lot of pressure on the crew chiefs to setup the car for three different corners without any practice or qualifying. Chad Knaus is the best in the garage at setting up a car for this track and it is the best track for William Byron. He has finished 4th, 9th, 6th and 18th in his 4 races at the Tricky Triangle. Last year he started dead last and finished 4th.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Erik Jones 3) Kurt Busch 4) William Byron 5) Jimmie Johnson 6) Clint Bowyer 7) Alex Bowman 8) Aric Almirola 9) Matt DiBenedetto 10) Austin Dillon
Driver Group Game C Picks
(Start) Cole Custer: I would love to use Tyler Reddick in this spot but we cannot use the No. 8 car in every race. Instead I will use an allocation with Cole Custer. Pocono was a good track for Daniel Suarez in the No. 41 car and I expect Custer to find some success too. Custer has competed in 3 Xfinity Series races at the Tricky Triangle. He finished 1st (last year), 5th and 7th. He also competed in the Cup Series race at Pocono last year for Rick Ware Racing (Custer finished 26th). He is the only rookie with Cup Series experience in this race and I think they will pay off Saturday.
(Bench) Tyler Reddick: Tyler Reddick would be my pick if you have 6 or more starts left with the No. 8 car. Reddick has been the best pick in Group C and that is not going to change anytime soon. We need to use our allocations with him wisely. He finished 7th at Darlington, 8th at Charlotte and 4th at Homestead so Reddick has been very good in this aero package. I expect another solid finish from the No. 8 team Saturday.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Tyler Reddick 2) Cole Custer 3) Bubba Wallace 4) Matt Kenseth 5) Christopher Bell
Driver Group Game Team
Good luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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