We take one of two scheduled trips to Pennsylvania for the 2017 Pocono 400, an event that debuted in 1982 and has seen eight multiple winners over the years. Three of the last four races have finished under three hours, so this is a quick chance to make some money on a Sunday afternoon.
You guys know the drill by now.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t available when this article was posted.)
Kurt Busch - Kurt Busch hasn't had many great finishes this season, as he's finished 19th or worse in three of his last six races, which includes a 37th spot in Dover last week. However, Busch did win this event last year and has finished seventh or better in his last six appearances at the Pocono 400. Overall, Busch has top-10 finishes in eight of his last 11 appearances at the Pocono Raceway. I have to have Busch on the card this week given his history on this track.
Jimmie Johnson - Jimmie Johnson has been good to us when we've thrown him on the card, as he's won three of the last seven races. Might as well go with him again. Johnson is a two-time winner at the Pocono 400 and has finished seventh or better in 12 of his last 19 appearances overall at the Pocono Raceway. I said before that Johnson usually strings several wins in a short span once he tastes victory lane. Well, he's done just that. Johnson appears to be a must play every week until he cools off at some point.
Ryan Newman - Ryan Newman had a chance to give us another big payout last week before falling short and settling for fourth. Either way, Newman has posted back-to-back top-10 finishes and looks better than we've seen him in quite some time. As for this track, Newman has finished 12th or better in 11 of his last 13 appearances at the Pocono Raceway, and that doesn't include a victory in the 2003 Pennsylvania 400. I like Newman’s form right now, and I’ll take another stab at what should be a monster payout.
Jamie McMurray - Jamie McMurray doesn't necessarily have much success in Pocono, but he does have seven top-10 finishes on this track overall. I’m simply playing McMurray because of his form, as he finished seventh last week in Dover and has put together top-10 finishes in five of his last seven races. McMurray is arguably the best driver this season without a victory yet, and he's surprisingly looking for his first win in four years. Here's to ending that streak.
Martin Truex Jr. - Martin Truex Jr. has finished no worse than third in each of his last three races, which obviously includes the win in Kansas. There's not a driver right now in better form than Truex, who has top-10 finishes in seven of his last nine races. As for his history here, Truex did win the Pocono 400 in 2015 and was third back in 2007. Truex has made it very clear that he's the most consistent driver on the track right now, so leaving him off a card at the moment doesn't make much sense if you're searching for a winner.