The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will travel to Long Pond, Pennsylvania this week for the Windows 10 400.
Pocono is a 2.5-mile track with relatively flat corners. Known as the Tricky Triangle the track is very difficult for teams to find the perfect setups for their cars. Each corner is different so what may work in Turn 1 may cause the car to be slow in Turn 3. The teams who can find the most horsepower usually run well in this race.
The Sprint Cup Series competed at Pocono only two months ago. The teams will be using the same rules package that was used in the first race, so not much has changed. Martin Truex Jr. dominated the race in June. He led 97 of the 160 laps on his way to Victory Lane. Other strong performers included Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.
This is the time of year when fantasy teams need to look at which drivers have a secure place in the Chase and which drivers need a win to earn a spot in the playoffs. Drivers with their spot already locked up will be more likely to gamble in the race and not worry about a poor finish. Drivers who are on the bubble will be more conservative, because they need to ensure their car finishes up front.
Here are my picks for the Windows 10 400 at Pocono.
Yahoo Group A Picks
There will be a many good picks in Group A of Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing.The popular drivers will be Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson based upon their past success at the Pocono and the way they ran in the June race. If need to gain some ground to get to the top of your league standings, this would be a good week to try a driver your completion may not have (Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Joey Logano).
My sleeper pick in Group A is Ryan Newman. He was involved in an accident in the last race, but he was running well at the time. Newman has finished seven of the last nine races at Pocono inside the top 10. He probably will not win or lead many laps, but Newman will find his way to the front Sunday.
Here are the two drivers I selected for Group A.
Kevin Harvick (4)
Harvick has never won at Pocono, but that could change Sunday. He qualified fifth and led 39 laps on his way to a second-place finish in June. This was the second consecutive race at the Tricky Triangle where Harvick finished in the runner-up position. It will not be long before he turns the second-place finishes into trips to Victory Lane.
Kyle Busch (8)
Busch is the best pick in the game this week. His stats at Pocono are not very good and he did not have a very good race in June. Most NASCAR fans have not seen a driver dominate the series like Busch is now. He has won four of the last five races and he seems like a driver on a mission to prove he is back from his injury. Keep selecting Busch until the fire cools off.
Other good choices: Jimmie Johnson,Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano
Yahoo Group B Picks
Two of the best picks for the race Sunday come from Group B. Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch were two of the best drivers in the last race at Pocono. They will be strong again Sunday. The problem is that many teams are running low on allocations for these drivers. You will regret it if you do not one of them on your team this week.
My sleeper pick for Group B is Greg Biffle. Pocono is one of his better tracks. Biffle has the sixth-best average finish position in the last five races at the Tricky Triangle. He has not run very well this season, but whenever you can get a top-15 finish out of him you probably should take it.
Here are the four drivers I selected for Group B.
Martin Truex Jr. (2)
Truex Jr. was by far the best driver two months ago at Pocono. There is no reason to believe he may not have the same type of dominant performance Sunday.
Pocono is a track that a team either has the right setup or they finish the race still searching for the fastest way to get around the Tricky Triangle. The No. 78 team had the perfect car for the last race and they will bring a similar package these week. Truex should be on your team regardless of how many allocations you have left.
Kyle Larson (5)
Larson is a great pick for Group B this week. He has competed at the track in three races and completed all in the top 11. Larson qualified 15th and finished eighth. Indianapolis races much like Pocono because of the long straightway and the flat corners. Larson finished in the top 10 at the brickyard and he should run well Sunday.
Carl Edwards (5)
Edwards did not have the finish he would have liked to have had in the June race, but that does not mean he did not run well. Edwards qualified second and led 16 laps early in the race. After problems on pit road, Edwards found his way in the back of the pack. He had a hard time finding his way back to the top 10.
The No. 19 team is running a lot better than they were in June. Edwards should easily finish in the top 10 behind the wheel of the the much improved Joe Gibbs Racing car.
Jamie McMurray (7)
McMurray is another driver who ran well in the last race at Pocono. He started 14th and finished seventh. Most fantasy teams would gladly sacrifice an allocation with Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch or Kasey Kahne to get a top 10 from McMurray this week.
If Pocono is the Tricky Triangle, McMurray has recently found the answer to the trick. McMurray has three consecutive top-10 finishes at the track. It would not be surprising to see him make it four in a row Sunday.
Other Good Choices: Kurt Busch,Greg Biffle, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer
Yahoo Group C Picks
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Xfinity Series compete at two different tracks this week so many of the drivers from the lower Series will be absent from the race this week. This is bad news for fantasy teams. This means there will only be two good choices this week (Danica Patrick and David Ragan.
My sleeper pick in Group C is Justin Allgair. He is one of the most underrated drivers at the Tricky triangle. Allgaier is not known for finishing up front, but he has completed two of his three races at the track in the top 20. This could be a good week to use Allgaier if you are low on allocations with Patrick or Ragan.
Here are the two drivers I selected for Group C.
David Ragan (3)
Ragan had a mediocre ran in June at Pocono. He qualified 21st and finished 23rd. The race was third race with his new team at Michael Waltrip Racing. It was clear that he was not comfortable with the No. 55 team at the time. The team is running much better now than they did in the last race and the results should show it this week.
Danica Patrick (6)
Pocono is not a very good track for Patrick, but there are not many other good options in Group C this week. Her best finish at the Tricky Triangle is 29th. Fantasy teams need to hope she learns something from her teammates in practice this week which will help her finish in the top 20.
Other Good Choices: Danica Patrick and Landon Cassill
Fantasy Live Picks
The strategy for Fantasy Live this week is not difficult. You need two drivers who can lead the majority of the laps and the rest of your team should consist of drivers who can finish the race much higher than where they start. This strategy will give your team the maximum amount of bonus points this week.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick led 136 of the 160 laps. The two drivers scored 68 bonus points for leading laps. The No. 78 and the No. 4 should be the first two picks for your team this week.
Here are the five drivers I selected for Fantasy Live for the race at Pocono:
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick $29.00
Driver 2: Kyle Busch $25.50
Driver 3: Carl Edwards $21.00
Driver 4: Austin Dillon $15.25
Driver 5: Justin Allgaier $9.50
Pick to Win: Kevin Harvick
* Driver prices based on prices at Indianapolis
Fox Fantasy Racing
The strategy for Fox Fantasy Racing will be to select drivers who start the race in the middle of the pack with a good chance of moving to the front. The best way to find these drivers is to look at the qualifying positions from Friday and the speeds from Saturday’s Happy Hour practice.
Do not base your entire lineup on drivers who start in the back. At least one of the top drivers will need to start upfront to ensure most of your team finishes upfront. This strategy will allow your team to earn the most bonus points this week.
Also do not overlook Kyle Busch at $6,700. He is the best bargain in the game this week.
Here are my selections for Fox Fantasy Racing for Pocono:
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick $14,100
Driver 2: Martin Truex Jr. $10,100
Driver 3: Brad Keselowski $10,200
Driver 4: Carl Edwards $8,300
Driver 5: Kyle Busch $6,700
* Driver prices based on prices at Indianapolis