LONG POND, PA – Fresh off a frustrating second place finish last week in New Hampshire Denny Hamlin heads to Pocono where he has had real success making it to victory lane. The reason for the optimism is the fact that he is the winningest active driver in the cup series at the “tricky triangle.” Hamlin has four wins, ten top five’s and 17 top ten’s, with the series leading driver rating of 104.1. He has also led 694 laps at Pocono, second only to Jimmie Johnson.
“I’ve been fortunate to have success in the past at Pocono and it’s a track where I’m always hopeful I can get a win for our team.” Hamlin said. So don’t be surprised if the No. 11 team is in victory lane this weekend.
Six races to go before the cutoff for the playoffs and there are drivers that need to assert themselves quickly to make a move into the playoffs.
I have talked a couple times about seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and the slump he is in. With another, below par, finish last weekend he has dropped below the cutoff line to 17th in points. Johnson does have three wins at Pocono, but without some dramatic change I am doubtful of a Johnson win.
Kyle Larson is currently 13th in points and is leading Jimmie Johnson by 31 points. Larson has two top five’s and five top ten’s, with a driver rating of 94.3 at Pocono. Larson has to improve consistency to solidify his position in the playoffs.
Another veteran that needs to have a great weekend at Pocono is Clint Bowyer. Bowyer has seen his position in the points deteriorate in recent weeks after having trouble again last week. He currently sits 16th in points, right at the cutoff mark. Pocono is not one of Bowyer’s more successful tracks, he has 3 top five’s and 11 top ten’s in 27 races.
No matter what happens in Pocono you can get an update of all the racing action on the Fox 4 Race Zone Podcast.