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After a 325-miler on Saturday, NASCAR will invert the top 20 finishers from the first race to establish the starting order for Sunday’s event, the 19th race of the season for the Cup stars.
Saturday’s Pocono Organics CBD 325 will be contested over 130 laps (325 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 25 and 77 laps. Kevin Harvick is the defending winner of the event.
|Pocono Organics CBD 325 Information|
|Race||Pocono Organics CBD 325 NASCAR Cup Series race|
|Time||Saturday, June 26, 3 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||NBCSN|
Can you come up with a single reason NOT to bet on Kyle Larson this week—other than that his domination has to end eventually?
Last Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway, Larson won his third straight NASCAR Cup Series points race and fourth overall, counting the exhibition All-Star Race at Texas.
With the win at Nashville, Larson cut Denny Hamlin’s series lead to 10 points and collected his 32nd Playoff point. Only two other drivers are in double figures in Playoff points accrued—Martin Truex Jr. with 18 and Alex Bowman with 10.
On Saturday, Larson will try to win his fourth points race in a row, something that hasn’t been done since 2007, when former Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat.
Historically, only 12 drivers have won four or more consecutive races, with Richard Petty setting the record of 10 in a row in 1967. Larson isn’t there yet, but who knows?
As we said last week, it’s foolish to bet against Larson (+220 according to PointsBet Sportsbook) until the hot roll is over. And by the way, Larson starts from the pole position on Saturday.
That spot on the grid has produced 16 winners in 87 races at Pocono.
Back in 2006, Denny Hamlin swept both Pocono races from the pole as a rookie. That was a harbinger of more victories to come.
Though Pocono has since repaved the track and eliminated some of the nuances that made Hamlin so successful there, the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has totaled six wins at the Tricky Triangle, most among active drivers and tied with Jeff Gordon for most all-time.
After finishing second in last year’s Pocono opener, Hamlin won the second leg of the Cup doubleheader. That was one of seven 2020 victories for Hamlin, who is winless so far this year.
Hamlin offers a word of caution:
Just because we had success in the doubleheader there last year, I don’t think it will automatically mean we’ll have success this year. A lot of things about the cars and the rules have changed since last year. But I’m optimistic about it. I think we’re going to continue to get better as a team. And these summer months are really where we should be hitting our stride.
With Hamlin available at +775 on PointsBet Sportsbook, we’re inclined to agree. He’s worth a bet at the price.
Back in 2017, when he was driving the No. 21 Ford for the Wood Brothers, Ryan Blaney held off Kevin Harvick at Pocono to record the first victory of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
Since moving to Team Penske, Blaney hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success at the Tricky Triangle. In his last five starts, he posted three 12th-place finishes, a 10th and a 22nd in last year’s second race (despite leading 21 laps).
Admittedly, Blaney is a long shot. In addition to his March 21 victory at Atlanta, he has only one other top five and a total of seven top 10s in 2021.
Nevertheless, at +1600, we think Blaney is worth a bet.
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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