Indianapolis: Busch vs. Hornish, Stewart vs. Logano. Pocono: Busch vs. Stewart, Logano vs. Hornish. Watkins Glen: Busch vs. Logano, Stewart vs. Hornish.
This is far and away the toughest group. Because of the time of year, Stewart would be the favorite in half of the groups had he gotten a favorable draw despite being in Pot B. But since he's drawn with Busch, he's the number two selection. Busch and Stewart are the last two winners at Watkins Glen and finished second and third respectively in June at Pocono. Heck, all four drivers in this group would have had top 10s at Pocono had Logano not had his run-in with Kevin Harvick. Logano would have a good chance if he was in a different group, but being matched up with Busch and Stewart on this portion of the schedule makes it very tough. Dances With Walls has shown some speed this summer but he's going to need to call on the spirits of the SAFER barriers to come and get the other three drivers if he wants to advance.
Jay's Picks: Winner: Tony Stewart -- This is by far the toughest group of the entire draw. But since we're rewarding consistency, I'm taking Smoke to win this round. When Kyle is on, he's ON, but when he's off, he'd be better off just skipping the race entirely. Smoke takes it, but it won't be easy.
To Advance: Kyle Busch -- Kyle's just too good to miss out on the second round. But I predict that he'll have at least one race where it all goes south for him, and that'll be enough for Smoke to get past him.
Nick's Picks: Winner: Kyle Busch -- I think it's a tossup between Busch and Stewart to win the group, but I do think that both advance. It's also pretty important to win the group because whoever finishes second will have to face Kurt Busch at Michigan.
To Advance: Tony Stewart -- I think that the winner of Busch-Stewart at Pocono will be the winner of the group, therefore I'm giving the slightest of edges to Busch based off of the spring race. Yes, I realize that may be less scientific than Paul the Octopus' methods, but I've tried to use logic to make NASCAR picks before and it hasn't worked out.