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Driver Recommendations for 2010 Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway

Posted by chadmusselman on June 2, 2010

Well, this is the first week that TNT will broadcast the race, so say good-bye to Larry, Darrell, and Darrell; I mean Mike.  Now we get ready for Adam Alexander (who?), Wally Dallenbach, and Kyle Petty to call the six TNT races.  Maybe they’ll be better than I think; actually that wouldn’t take much.

As for the Pocono Raceway, it’s a big triangle with the longest straight-away the boys will drive on.  A lot of the chasers have done well here in their career.  Of the top ten drivers with the best average finish here, nine made the chase last year, and eight drivers that made last year’s chase have recorded a win in Pocono.  Sounds like it could be a difficult race to choose your non-chasers.

You want the shocking stat of the week?  Over the past 5 races this season, Jimmie Johnson has an average finish of 26th place.  9th worst in NASCAR, dropping him from 1st to 9th in the standings.  Could this be the week he gets things back on track?

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Denny Hamlin
No one has a better average finish at Pocono than Denny Hamlin (9.8).  Denny is also one of the hottest drivers on the circuit averaging a 7.6 place finish over the past five races.  In his 8 career races at the track Denny has collected 3 wins, 5 top fives, and 6 top tens.  It would be tough to not pick Denny for your team this weekend.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Jeff has 4 wins, 16 top fives, 24 top tens, and averages a 10th place finish at Pocono Raceway.  Not many others can say they’ve had even close the success of Jeff.  He’s also finished in the top ten in 6 of the last 7 races at Pocono.  Add to this the fact that he’s been driving really well over the past 5 races of the season, averaging a 9th place finish and moved from 10th to 4th in the point standings.  If you don’t like Denny, then Jeff is your chaser.

Matt Kenseth
Matt has a decent record at Pocono, averaging a 14.1 place finish with 3 top fives, and 8 top tens in 20 career races.  It’s not his best track, but he’s done very well so far this season positioning himself 3rd in points.  There aren’t many non-chasers that have done as well as Matt in Pocono.  He should definitely be on your team.

Kevin Harvick
Over the past 5 races of the season Kevin has averaged a 5.6 place finish.  Only Kyle Busch has a better average finish over that span.  Although he only averages a 15.7 place finish in Pocono and only has one top ten finish over the last 6 races in Pocono, I have a feeling he’s due.  This season has been too good for Kevin, and he’s running too strong for him to have a bad finish in Pocono.  He should continue the run and be solid again this weekend.

Dark Horse: Sam Hornish Jr.
Being 30th in points definitely makes Sam a dark horse.  To look at it on the surface you wouldn’t think Sam stands a chance to do well this weekend.  His best finish all season was 13th.  Not the best record to bet on.  Don’t let that scare you though.  He has had some success at Pocono.  He recorded top ten finishes in both races at Pocono in 2009.  He could do it again this season.  If you need a driver no one else will pick, Sam is the man.

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One Response to “Driver Recommendations for 2010 Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway”

  1. peoplespigskin said

    I’m worried about Sam. He seems to be in a “bring home the trophy or the steering wheel” mode lately, and that’s never a good thing for a place like Pocono, which has a surprising number of places where a mistake can put you in the garage.

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