Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+1200
Cole Custer to win the race at +450
Riley Herbst to finish in the top five at +500
Austin Hill to beat AJ Allmendinger heads-up at +100
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There are plenty of reasons to install Ty Gibbs as the favorite to win Saturday’s Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway.
On July 2 at Road America in Wisconsin, he won his third NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the season, and that’s a good omen for Pocono.
Why? Because Pocono has three distinct and very different corners, which require compromises in race car setups to negotiate them as efficiently as possible—something akin to the approach to a road course like Road America.
Second, Gibbs is a former ARCA Menards Series winner at Pocono, having taken a checkered flag there in 2020.
Nevertheless, we’re not backing Gibbs for the win on Saturday at +450, and the main reason is the driver noted in the next section.
In 2019, Cole Custer won at Pocono in Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 00 Xfinity Series car. Moonlighting in the series this weekend, Custer can add a second Pocono win to his resume.
On Saturday, Custer will be making his fourth Xfinity start of the season in the No. 07 SS-GreenLight Racing Ford, a car he has already driven to victory at Fontana in February.
With Stewart-Haas support, the car won’t lack for horsepower, and we think Custer will claim his second victory of the season—and the second of his career at Pocono—in Saturday’s Explore the Pocono Mountains 225.
At +450, Custer won’t make you rich, but he’s a solid bet at a track that favors prior winners.
We’re on a roll with our Xfinity Series predictions. We gave you Austin Hill as the winner at Atlanta, and last week we said not only that JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier was our second choice to win the race (which he did) but also that runner-up Trevor Bayne would finish in the top three.
Allgaier’s victory was the sixth in the last 10 races for JR Motorsports, and it was his third in the last eight races.
So if you’re looking for a potential winner at a slightly better price, we like Allgaier at +600. With six Xfinity races at Pocono under his belt, we think he’ll fare better than JRM teammates Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer.
In last year’s race at the Tricky Triangle, Allgaier finished third behind Austin Cindric and Ty Gibbs.
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|Race||Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race|
|Location||Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pa.)|
|Time||Saturday, July 23, 5 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||USA|
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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