It’s a big weekend for NASCAR as the drivers head to Pocono Speedway. Who has had success there? Which drivers look to have the inside track on capturing the checkered flag? Find out in this week’s NASCAR Cheat Sheet.
Top 5 Favorites to Win
1. Kevin Harvick – If Harvick’s impressive 840 fast laps and 1,359 lead laps in 2015 aren’t enough, then look no further than June’s Pocono race. Harvick ran the most fast laps (54) and had a driver rating of 134. The Stewart-Haas team knows how to build a car for long, flat banked tracks. If Harvick gets out front, then there’s no looking back.
2. Martin Truex Jr. – Many people were worried about Truex’s slide over the last month, but his return to Indy ended those fears. Pocono is similar to Indianapolis, and Truex won the June race along with scoring the most DFS points (94.75). He’s got the car setup and the confidence.
3. Kyle Busch – Do past track stats even matter at the moment? Kyle’s not just winning, but he’s running fast laps and leading laps. Has he caught some breaks at the end of the races? Yes, but luck wouldn’t matter, if his car wasn’t fast. This 2015 rules package resembles an Xfinity car, and the Sprint Cup drivers that double dip on weekends have a huge advantage. No one races more Xfinity races than Kyle Busch.
4. Joey Logano – He hasn’t put up monster DFS numbers and he hasn’t won since Daytona, but he’s right there every week. Logano is always in the top 5, and it’s just a matter of time before he runs up front for an entire race. Logano has finished inside the top 5 in the last two Pocono races.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – The 88 is the most consistent Daily Fantasy NASCAR driver. In 2014, Junior swept the Pocono races. Pocono requires a strong engine, and it doesn’t get much better than Hendrick power. Junior scored the fifth most fantasy points in the June race.
Long Shots to Score Big
1. Tony Stewart – The car and the driver were strong at Indy, but strategy and restarts did not go as planned. Indy is very similar to Pocono, so Stewart should continue to have speed this weekend. Stewart has raced well at Pocono in the past with 22 top 10s (2nd most, 3rd highest percentage).
2. Kyle Larson – Kid Icarus is always a Dark Horse. Last week at Indy, Larson managed to stay in the top 10 nearly all day. The Ganassi 42 Chevy has not raced much at Indy and Pocono, but there is something about these flat banked speedways that clicks with Larson. In 5 races at these tracks, Larson is averaging an 8th place finish.
3. Ryan Newman – The King of Place Differential needs a title upgrade after last week’s run (+32 pts). Each week, Newman rises to the top of the field. Newman finishes in the top 20 at Pocono 81% of the time (5th best among qualified drivers). Pocono didn’t work out for Newman the first time around, but he raced well; he just caught some back luck when a lapped car wrecked him.
Kyle Busch – If you’re living under a rock or are new to Daily Fantasy NASCAR, then keep reading; otherwise move on. Kyle Busch has 4 wins in the last 5 races. Over the last 3 races, Rowdy has put up strong fast lap and lead lap numbers.
Kevin Harvick – While Kyle Busch is hogging all the wins, Harvick continues to dominate fast laps and lead laps. Harvick has the 2nd highest fantasy points average over the last two races (86.25 pts).
Joey Logano – He hasn’t won since the first race of the season, but wins aren’t everything. Excluding the anomaly that is restrictor plate racing at Daytona, Logano has 6 top 5s in a row. His 12 top 5s and 15 top 10s are the 2nd most in NASCAR.
Martin Truex Jr. (2015)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Spring & Summer 2014)
Kasey Kahne (Fall 2013)
Jimmie Johnson (Spring 2013)
Jeff Gordon (Fall 2012)
Joey Logano (Spring 2012)
Pick to Win
Kevin Harvick – This is the best car and arguably the best driver each week. The only thing Harvick is lacking is luck. It seems that he always finishes 2nd to a car that catches an enormous break. You can’t predict luck, but this car is fast and the driver is hungry for a win.