Pocono Green 225 (Xfinity Series) - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Kaulig Racing will try to extend its hot streak in the final Xfinity Dash 4 Cash race of the 2020 season.
- After several close calls, Team Penske’s Austin Cindric hopes to prove he’s no longer a one-trick pony.
- Track position always has been a huge factor at Pocono, but does that apply when there’s no qualifying?
|What||Pocono Green 225 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|When||Sunday, June 28, 12:30 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 Xfinity Series race is the third NASCAR national touring series event in a jam-packed weekend at the Tricky Triangle. It precedes the Pocono 350 NASCAR Cup Series race, which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Sunday will mark the fifth time the Xfinity Series has raced at Pocono.
Stewart-Haas Racing driver Chase Briscoe will be trying to win his fourth race of the season in the Xfinity contest. Briscoe finished third in last year’s Pocono race behind winner Cole Custer and runner-up Tyler Reddick, both of whom have move up to the Cup Series this year. There are no former Pocono Xfinity winners in the field.
The race will be contested at 225 miles (90 laps), with stage breaks scheduled for laps 20 and 40. Rookie Harrison Burton will have to start a new streak of top-10 finishes after crashing out of last Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega in 32nd place. Burton had posted 10 straight top 10s to start the season, a series record.
NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono Odds
The odds for the Pocono Green 225 are provided by BetMGM.
|Any Other Driver||+3000|
Kaulig Racing Is Riding a Wave of Success into Pocono
It started June 6 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Part-time Kaulig Racing driver AJ Allmendinger won his first oval race and earned eligibility for the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus June 14 at Homestead-Miami. Allmendinger added the Homestead race to his schedule and took home the cash with a fourth-place finish, highest among the four eligible drivers.
Last Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, Justin Haley—our pick, by the way—won for the first time in the Xfinity Series. Haley wasn’t eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus, but race runner-up Ross Chastain, his Kaulig Racing teammate, was. Chastain got the money, and in Sunday’s final Dash 4 Cash event of the season at Pocono, both Chastain (+700) and Haley (+2000) are eligible, based on their Talladega finishes.
That gives Kaulig Racing a 50-50 shot at taking home the $100,000 payoff for the third straight week. In actual fact, the odds are more heavily in Kaulig’s favor. Alex Labbe, who finished ninth at Talladega, eligible for the bonus, and the Canadian driver has just four top 10s in 57 Xfinity starts. The real competition for the cash should come from Ford driver Austin Cindric, who ran fourth at Talladega.
Austin Cindric Is Primed for His First Victory on an Oval
Everyone knows Austin Cindric is an ace on road courses, and his Xfinity Series record bears that out. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford claimed both his victories in the series last year on tracks that feature right turns as well as left—Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio.
It’s not that Cindric hasn’t come close. Since his victory at Mid-Ohio last August, Cindric has finished second three times and third four times on oval tracks, most recently when he battled Kyle Busch for the win at Charlotte before falling back to third on the final lap.
Given that Pocono is a triangular track with three distinctive corners, Cindric has a tongue-in-cheek attitude toward a potential win there.
“It’s funny, because I feel like more people put an emphasis on my first oval win, or whenever that will be, than I do myself,” Cindric said. “Personally, I know that I’m capable of it. I’ve proven it to myself enough times. I feel like, as far as when it’s going to happen, I think when it’s your day, it’s your day. For me, if we win this weekend at Pocono, then it will be my first triangle win, and I’ll still be looking for my first oval win.”
Is Track Position Really That Important with No Qualifying?
If you look at Pocono statistics across all three of NASCAR’s top national touring series, there’s one conclusion that’s inescapable: the closer to the front you start a Pocono race, the more likely you are to win it.
In the Cup Series, the eventual victor has come from the top 10 on the grid in 10 of the last 12 races. In 10 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series events at the Tricky Triangle, no winner has started deeper than sixth in the field. And in the smaller sample size of four Xfinity races, the winners have come from fourth, eighth, fourth and the pole (Cole Custer last year).
This year may be different. In NASCAR’s reopening after a 10-week hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been only one qualifying session—for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. There will be none this weekend at Pocono. Accordingly, the field has been ordered by lot, with the first six rows drawn from the top 12 in the standings.
Yes, the best drivers from the strongest teams will still be up front, but don’t discount drivers just because they’re starting deeper in the field than a typical Pocono winner.
Chase Briscoe (+230)—The driver of the No. 98 Ford is a blue-collar kid racing for his future. The more he wins, the hungrier he gets, and at Pocono, Briscoe will be absolutely ravenous.