Pocono 400: NASCAR Preview, Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 6/3/18
The 2018 Pocono 400
Pocono 400: Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm (Pocono Raceway)
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We make our first of two scheduled trips to Pennsylvania for the Pocono 400, an almost triangle shaped race that’s finished under three hours in four of the last five years. Last week, we had three of our five drivers finish in the top-eight, including the runner-up, but we failed to produce a victory. We’re not trying to build a losing streak here, so let’s focus on getting back into victory lane.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t released when this article was posted)
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Kurt Busch - Kurt Busch is still looking for his first victory of the season, but it’s not due to a lack of trying considering he’s produced top-10 finishes in each of his last four races. Busch has finished eighth or better in five of his last seven tries. As for this event, Busch won it in 2016 and has finished seventh or better in each of his last seven tries. Busch also has a top-10 finish in nine of his last 13 appearances at the Pocono Raceway. Yes, he has yet to put money in our pocket despite being on the card often, but a win is coming sooner or later, and I want a return on my investment.
Ryan Blaney - Ryan Blaney has truly been an afterthought for the last month and a half, which is why you should consider him due to possible big odds. Forget his form for a minute. Blaney won this event last year and had a top-10 finish the year before. In four appearances overall at the Pocono Raceway, Blaney has an average finish of 13. That doesn’t include the victory Blaney had on this track in 2013 in the Camping World Truck Series. This has been one of his more consistent tracks in his short career. I’ll give him a shot to become the first driver since Jeff Gordon to win this event back-to-back years.
Kyle Busch - You’re likely not going to get great odds with a guy in Kyle Busch who has won four of his last seven races. But if you like money and want a good chance to win some, you almost have to take whatever you can get. Busch has never won this particular event, but he did win his last appearance at the Pocono Raceway and has an average finish of 6.3 in his last three appearances here. I usually try to avoid the overall favorite in these articles, but it’s tough to ignore his history here and the fact Busch just won’t stop winning races.
Martin Truex Jr. - Martin Truex Jr. has finished runner-up back-to-back weeks and has finished no worse than fifth in eight of his last 12 events. Truex still has just one victory under his belt, but he’s been as consistent as any driver this year and that’s all you can ask for when it comes to cashing a ticket. Truex won this race back in 2015 and finished sixth last year. In two appearances at the Pocono Raceway last year, Truex had an average finish of third place. Take that and what’s done the last couple of weeks, and it’s hard to ignore the 37-year-old from New Jersey.
Jimmie Johnson - We’ve left Jimmie Johnson off the card tons this season but have given him a shot here and there. Last week, we gave Johnson a chance and he finished fifth. Despite zero victories and some brutal finishes, Johnson has finished ninth or better in four of his last six races. Somebody is turning the corner, eh? Johnson is one of eight racers to win this race at least twice and has finished seventh or better in eight of his last 10 tries. Johnson is a guy you can probably still get at long odds due to the lack of wins, and given his current form, he’s a decent play yet again.