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Pocono Organics CBD 325 & Explore the Pocono Mountains 350: Power Rankings

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Aric Almirola keeps getting better here.

NASCAR: Pocono 350 Cup Series Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

These picks will serve for BOTH Pocono races.

Race Information

Race: Pocono Organics CBD 325 & Explore the Pocono Mountains 350
Laps: 130 & 140
Date: June 26th & 27th
Venue: Pocono Raceway
2020 Winner: Kevin Harvick (2:25:01) Denny Hamlin (2:50:54)
Network: NBCSN

Track

Pocono Raceway - built in 1969 and opened in 1971, this 2.5 mile asphalt triangle is best known for it’s distinctive non-oval or circular shape. Turn one (14 degrees) is modeled after Trenton Speedway, turn two (eight degrees) after Indianapolis Motor Speedway and turn three (six degrees) is after the Milwaukee Mile. Due to the different angles and styles, drivers have to make constant adjustments for each turn. Mental fortitude is a must here.

AUTO: JUL 28 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Gander Outdoors 400 Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Favorites

Chase Elliot (fourth and fifth selections this year) – Chase is elite here, but he also has a few issues along the way. In 2019 he finished 4th and had a flat tire cause him to slam into the wall, forcing him down to 38th. In 2020 he had a 4th place finish and a 25th. In all, he’s been among the top 10 in six of his last eight races here.

Aric Almirola (fourth and fifth selection this year) — Aric’s last four races at Pocono in order to this upcoming race: 12th, 10th, 5th and 3rd. He just keeps learning and improving here and he could sneak in two top five finishes in back-to-back days.

High Risk/High Reward

Kurt Busch (fifth and sixth selection this year) — For years, Kurt was THE KING of Poconos. He had nine CONSECUTIVE top 10’s at Poconos between 2014 and 2019, including two wins in 2016. He has since detoured from that KING status with most of his recent finishes being inside the top 20 but outside the top 10. I trust in his experience here, especially in back-to-back races.

Erik Jones (fourth and fifth). Erik has struggled a bit this season with just a few top 12 finishes, but he comes to Pocono where he has been among the top 3 finishers in three of his last four races here. The lone race he didn’t finish there he had some mid-race issues that affected his result.

The Dark Horse

Ryan Newman (second and third selection this year) – Ryan has just one top 10 finish here in the last 10 tries, but he also has just one finish OUTSIDE the top 20. Consider this your 12-16th place lock for both races.

Fun Fact: This is one of a few tracks on circuit not owned by NASCAR or Speedway Motorsports.


2021 Results

Favorite: Average Finish 13th (35th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Average Finish 18th (47th Percent)
Dark Horse: Average Finish 16th (41st Percent)