We head north to make our first of two scheduled trips to Pennsylvania for the Pocono 400, a race that debuted in 1982 and has finished under three hours in five of the last six years. We got back into victory lane last week with Martin Truex Jr. cashing at +600 odds, and three of our five drivers listed finished eighth or better. Let’s get a streak going.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Will update with odds once they’re released.)
Martin Truex Jr., +650 - Martin Truex Jr. has won three of the last five races, including last week, but he’s never won back-to-back races in his career in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That won’t stop me from throwing him on the card this week. Truex is the defending champion at the Pocono 400 and has won this event twice in the last four years. Truex is averaging a finish of 6.75 in his last four appearances at this race overall. Truex has finished sixth or better in four of his last eight appearances at the Pocono Raceway overall.
Kurt Busch, +2150 - Kurt Busch is coming off his worst performance of the season last week, but the last time he finished outside of the top-20, he followed it up with a third place finish in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Busch won the Pocono 400 in 2016 and has finished fifth or better in four of his last five trips at this event overall. That doesn’t include a runner-up finish here in 2011. A win is coming for Busch eventually, and his recent history at this event suggests he’ll be in the thick of things, unlike last week.
Brad Keselowski, +750 - Brad Keselowski had his second-worst finish of the season last week and has now finished outside of the top-10 in three of his last four races. The good news is Keselowski is averaging a finish of 4.3 in his last three appearances at this event and has finished fifth or better in five of his last six appearances overall at the Pocono Raceway. Keselowski has just one career victory at this track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, (2011 Good Sam RV Insurance 500) but there’s way too many strong runs to leave him off the card this week.
Kevin Harvick, +475 - We’ve missed out on Kevin Harvick a few times this season and he’s still looking for his first win of the year. Harvick has yet to win a race at the Pocono Raceway, but he’s finished fourth or better in each of his last five appearances here. Since 2014, Harvick has four runner-up finishes at this track. Since 2010, Harvick has 10 top-five finishes at the Pocono Raceway. Eventually those close calls are going to be rewarded.
Ryan Blaney, +2150 - If you’re looking for a real dark horse this week, Ryan Blaney may be worth a shot. Yes, he’s finished outside of the top-10 in each of his last four races, but Blaney won this event in 2017 and is averaging a finish of 5.6 in his three appearances here overall. With just four full years under his belt, this is easily one of the more consistent races for Blaney up to this point. He also has a win at the Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.