Pocono Poses Tricks to Drivers

There isn’t much NASCAR in Israel – or the Middle East for that matter. I didn’t like that, but I had an awesome time spending 10 days there. But have no fear – Davey is here (and jetlagged)! And back to preview this weekend’s race after a week and a half away.

The Axalta We Paint Winners 400 will take place at Pocono Raceway, located in Long Pond, Penn., Sunday at 1:15 p.m. ET. Martin Truex Jr. won this race in 2015, snapping a long winless streak. And coming off his utterly dominating performance in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600, leading a whopping 392 of 400 laps, the No. 78 is in prime position to go back-to-back.

The 160-lap race on Sunday will be threatened by rain, unfortunately, as the past three or four races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been affected by Mother Nature. However, the race looks as if it will begin on time and hopefully get to the halfway point, making it an official race. Which means the first half should be wildly entertaining.

Brad Keselowski will lead the field to the green flag in his No. 2 Team Penske Ford, settling a blazing fast lap of 49.525 seconds (181.726 MPH) in qualifying. He narrowly beat out his teammate, Joey Logano, for his first pole of 2016.

“I don’t think of us as a team that is a qualifying-focused team,” Keselowski said. “In general, we work on things that pay off in the race and not qualifying. So when we have speed in qualifying, that’s usually a sign of how strong we are in race trim.”

Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards will round out the top five starting positions when the race begins. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin round out the top ten qualifiers. Some notable drivers outside the aforementioned ten include Kyle Busch 12th, Chase Elliott 13th, Martin Truex Jr. 17th and Kyle Larson 21st.

My pick to win is Kurt Busch. He has the most top ten finishes of the season thus far, and the No. 41 car is way overdue. However, Busch, along with AJ Allmendinger and Greg Biffle, will have interim crew chiefs for this weekend, as Tony Gibson, Randall Burnett and Matt Puccia, respectively, were suspended for varying amounts of time due to P3 penalties that were announced this week.

Enjoy the race at “The Tricky Triangle”, everybody!