“The Road to Richmond” Speeds On To The Tricky Triangle
The Road To Richmond” continues to the Tricky Triangle Sunday with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ second stop of the season at Pocono Raceway. The 400-miler at Pocono will mark the halfway point of the “Race to The Chase,” which culminates on Saturday night, September 8 at Richmond International Raceway with the Federated Auto Parts 400“One Last Race to Make The Chase.”
Known as the Tricky Triangle because of its unusual triangle shape, featuring three turns of different radii and three different lengths of straight-aways, Pocono Raceway is a demanding track, testing a driver’s endurance and skill and the car’s horsepower. Chesterfield, Virginia native Denny Hamlin is always a favorite at Pocono with four career wins.
Unlike in 2011, Hamlin visits Pocono comfortably sitting at 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings with two wins this season. In his career, he has eight top-five finishes, nine top-10s and two pole awards to go along with his four victories at Pocono. With a series-best Driver Rating of 117.6 and an average finishing position of 9.3, Hamlin has a great shot to take the checkered flag on Sunday.
While it’s not a must-win just yet, time is starting to run short for some drivers, including “wild card” hopefuls Ryan Newman and June Pocono winner Joey Logano. Both drivers find themselves in the thick of the “wild card” race as they are ranked 14th and 17th, respectively in the points standings. Each driver has one career victory at Pocono, and they are looking to gain the valuable bonus points that would come along with a victory.
Here is a look at drivers fighting for a “wild card” position and their stats at Pocono:
Kasey Kahne: While he does hold the first of two “wild card” spots right now, Kahne ranks 11th this week in the Driver Ratings (89.3), with an average finish of 17.7. He has won once before in Pocono and a victory this weekend would help solidify his spot in the standings.
Carl Edwards: Currently sitting 12th in points, but finds himself on the outside looking in without a win yet this season. Edwards is always a threat to win at Pocono with two career wins at the Tricky Triangle. Edwards sports the sixth best Driver Rating (97.1) and has an average finish of 13.6.
Jeff Gordon: Probably the guy who has the most on the line, sitting 15th in points and needs a win or two to even have a chance at a “wild card” spot. He’s 4th overall in the Driver Ratings (100.3) and has an average finish of 10.4. This could be the week that Gordon finally visits victory lane for the first time in 2012.
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