Pocono 350 (Cup Series) - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Fresh from his first win in 39 starts at Pocono Raceway, Kevin Harvick looks to double up on Sunday afternoon.
- Denny Hamlin brought a strong car to Pocono. Even with a severe vibration in his No. 11 Toyota, he finished second in Saturday’s opener.
- Chevrolets have some serious work to do in the Pocono 350. No Camaro driver was able to crack the top 10 in the first leg of the weekend doubleheader.
|What||Pocono 350 NASCAR Cup Series race|
|When||Sunday, June 28, 4 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
The unprecedented NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway took on another dimension on Saturday with the postponement of the Pocono Organics 150 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event from Saturday to Sunday morning.
Not only is NASCAR holding its first Cup doubleheader on the same weekend at the same track, but with the Truck race delayed by rain, NASCAR will run races in all three of its top touring series on the same track on the same day. That has never happened before.
Sunday’s Pocono 350 will be contested at 350 miles (140 laps) with stage breaks at 30 and 85 laps. As is invariably the case at the 2.5-mile triangular track, pit strategy and fuel mileage should play key roles in determining the winner.
NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 350 Odds
The odds for Pocono 350 are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Martin Truex Jr.||+900|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+8000|
Kevin Harvick Looks to Double Up After First Pocono Win
Before Saturday’s Pocono Organics 325, Kevin Harvick was 0-for-38 at the Tricky Triangle. But a late two-tire call during the final cycle of pit stops got him out front, and Harvick closed the deal, holding off Denny Hamlin by .761 seconds to pick up his 52nd career win, 12th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series list.
On Sunday, Harvick (+450) has a chance to sweep the first Cup doubleheader, but he’ll have to do so from the 20th starting position. To order the grid, NASCAR will invert the top 20 in Saturday’s finishing order, putting Harvick mid-pack and 20th-place finisher Ryan Preece on the pole. The starting spot, however, doesn’t bother the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, who took the green from ninth on Saturday and fell back before finding his rhythm.
“Well, we were back to 20th today,” Harvick said after winning the Pocono Organics 325. “I think in the end it will come down to strategy.” If that’s the case, Harvick will have an edge. His crew chief, Rodney Childers, is one of the most cunning in the garage.
Denny Hamlin Needs Only Slight Improvement—One Position
On Saturday, Denny Hamlin came up one spot and less than a second short of earning a record-tying sixth victory at Pocono Raceway. Though his No. 11 Toyota developed a vibration that grew more pronounced over the final green-flag run, Hamlin trimmed Kevin Harvick’s lead of more than two seconds to less than .300 seconds as Harvick worked traffic in the closing laps.
Hamlin (+500) and Harvick have won three times each in the first 14 races of the Cup season, a tie Hamlin would love to break on Sunday. Even though he ran second in the Pocono Organics 325, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is armed with confidence for Sunday’s second leg of the weekend doubleheader.
“We got there, and we came there from a long way back and had a strong FedEx Camry,” Hamlin said. “With about 15 or 20 (laps) to go, the vibration just got really, really bad, and it still would have been tough to pass him (Harvick). Even though we got there, it was going to be tough to get around him. Our car was extremely, extremely fast. Optimistic for (Sunday’s) race, for sure.”
Maybe the Chevrolets Will Show Up at Pocono on Sunday
For Chevrolet drivers, Saturday’s Cup race at Pocono was an eminently forgettable event. Matt Kenseth, coaxed out of retirement to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing after Kyle Larson’s departure from the team, had the top Camaro in the finishing order—11th.
Admittedly, Murphy’s Law was the watchword of the day for the Chevy brigade. Chase Elliott’s penalty for a tire violation was compounded by a transmission that resisted shifting into fourth gear. Alex Bowman blew a tire late in the race. Tyler Reddick was wiped out in a front stretch crash with Erik Jones.
There’s one piece of good news to be gleaned from the comedy of errors. With Ryan Preece on the pole, Austin Dillon on the outside of the front row, and Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the second row, Chevrolet will have the top four starting spots, thanks to NASCAR’s inversion of the top 20 finishers from Saturday.
The question is: can they stay there?
Aric Almirola (+1800)—As always at Pocono, Denny Hamlin is a tempting pick, but Almirola—Kevin Harvick’s teammate—led the most laps on Saturday (61) and won the second stage. The No. 10 Ford is fast, Almirola is primed for his first win of the season, and crew chief Mike Bugarewicz (“Buga” for short) craves a victory in his native Pennsylvania.