The Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway is this Sunday (August 5th) and the show starts at Noon Eastern Time. The last winner at Pocono was this past June where Joey Logano won from the pole.
Interestingly enough, Logano may have had a dominant car this past spring but in his previous six races at the two-and-a-half mile track, he had never finished in the Top 10. Though he did lead some laps after grabbing the pole a year ago before finishing 26th.
But who looks like the favorites to win it all? Logano? Here are the top five.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Choosing Junior to be in the running for a victory nowadays is money. The points leader has been so consistent through the first 20 events this year, and when you couple that with having led a bunch of laps here in June; the #88 should be near the front again.
4. Tony Stewart - He's accumulated four poles and two wins at Pocono. Smoke finished third in June and has a knack for either really doing well in races (including three wins this season) or finishing in the middle of the pack. Figure #14 has a top finish this time around.
3. Denny Hamlin - He's finished in the top five, eight of the 13 times he's battled around the big track - and that includes four wins. Hamlin has had a somewhat similar situation as Stewart in that he ends up with a great finish or some problem plagues his chances and he closes up at the back half of the field. Consider #11 at or near the front all day.
2. Kyle Busch - It appears Kyle is ready to break out with some wins. He lead the most laps four events back, had a pole two races ago and then Kyle finished in the runner-up spot last week (source - Catchfence.com). He was second last year at this race and it would be surprising if #18 wasn't at the front during the closing stages of this contest.
1. Jimmie Johnson - 'Five-time' is a hot driver having just won his third race of the year at Indy last week. He's had seven Top 10s over the past eight outings. At Pocono, he's finished fourth the last three times there. It's not a slam-dunk but #48 should be the winner of the Pennsylvania 400.
You can figure any one of the top three can and likely will win this race. But keep an eye on Joey Logano to win again and if he does, it'll vault him right into the final wildcard slot for the Chase. I'm not sure Jeff Gordon can be considered a longshot having five victories at Pocono, but that's what I call him at this point and he would be a nice longshot bet to win.
Who's your favorite?
Sources - Racing Reference, NASCAR, USA Today
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.