Power Rankings Pocono – Fantasy Insider


May 16, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart (14) during practice for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The track known as the “Tricky Triangle” is next for the left turners. It could be trick or treat for the race teams. Its minimal banking on all three turns makes this track a handful to conquer.

Some fans don’t like the track and with good reason since the first NASCAR race in 1974.

Pocono Raceway has a unique design. Each turn is modeled after turns at three different tracks. Turn one with 14 degree banking was modeled after the now defunct Trenton Speedway, turn two, also known as “The Tunnel Turn,” is like Indianapolis Motor Speedway at nine degree banking, and turn three’s 6 degree banking is similar to the Milwaukee Mile. Yup, this track was made for Indy cars back in the day, but when Tony George took over the IndyCar Series, which caused a split among the traditionalist IndyCar teams and fans, it was no longer part of the Indy schedule.

Two active drivers have posted consecutive poles at Pocono: Denny Hamlin with a 2006 sweep and Joey Logano in fall 2011 and spring 2012.

Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with a 6.4 average starting position and has three poles in the last ten years. This track suits Denny well with  four wins, eight top fives and 10 top 10s and an average finish of 12.9. Hamlin is second in driver ratings for his career to Jimmie Johnson. Keep this in mind when you see my top 10, Denny missed both races last year due to his back injury.

Johnson leads all active drivers in driver ratings with one win seven top fives and 13 top 10s and an average finish of 9.2 for his career at Pocono. Jimmie is on fire right now and should be a must have on your fantasy league to score those points.

Tony Stewart is starting to heat up with consecutive top 10s and has the best average finish the past ten years at 9.1 with one win, nine top 5s and 14 top 10. Now is the time to have Stewart on your team with a cheap fantasy price tag.

Last year’s August winner was Kasey Kahne, with the eight best driver rating at Pocono with two wins, four top 5s and six top 10s the past ten years and an average finish of 17.9. He showed some brilliance last week at Dover, coming from deep in the field but fizzled towards the end. He would be a toss-up pick but his price is right.

Here are the ten best average finishers at Pocono the past five years:

10 Kyle Busch- 3 top 5s and 5 top 10s, average finish 13.4.

9 Carl Edwards- 1 top 5 and 3 top 10s, average finish 13.3.

8 Joey Logano- 1 win, 1 top 5 and 3 top 10s, avg finish 13.3.

7 Clint Bowyer- 3 top 10s, average finish 12.6.

6 Kurt Busch- 3 top 5s and 5 top 10s, average finish 12.0.

5 Kevin Harvick- 3 top 5s and 4 top 10s, avg finish 10.4.

4 Jeff Gordon- 2 wins, 3 top 5s and 5 top 10s, avg finish 9.9.

3 Ryan Newman3 top 5s and 5 top 10s, avg finish 8.4.

2 Tony Stewart- 5 top 5s and 6 top 10s, avg finish 7.3.

1 Jimmie Johnson- 1 win, 5 top 10s and 6 top 10s, avg finish 6.9.

FYI, the race will be on TNT for its Summer Series. Don’t forget to stop in for my Ice Picks after qualifying. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.