Martin Truex Jr. was our winner in the Coca-Cola 600, leading the last two Stages (there were four) to capture the flag. He also led the most laps with 116 (of 400). We’re now off to a track where only ten active drivers have a Win (Truex is in that class), 27 others looking for their first trophy. Do we see a repeat winner, or does someone else break into Victory Lane?
Here’s what to look for:
-Another week, another Pole for William Byron. He was on a rocket on his hot lap, getting off Turn 1 better than those closest to him. Byron will lead the field to green, and thus have access to Turn 1 first. If he can make that work for him all day better than those behind him, simple math suggests that he’ll spend a lot of time out front. His best finish here is a 6th last Summer, and an 18th last Spring in his only other Cup run at Pocono.
–Kyle Busch will start alongside the #24, and he’s one of those guy who has won here before. He’s probably licking his chops at this prospect, muscling his way to the lead before Lap 2 and putting it in cruse control for most of the day. Rowdy won each of the last two Fall races, and finished 3rd here in the Spring.
–Kevin Harvick is the first of many very notable names without a Win here. The fact that there are still tracks out there that he hasn’t won at is quite vexing. Harvick carries an 8.5 average over his last ten attempts here, and would you believe four 2nd and three 4th place finishes? Could this be this day for him? In that span he also has a 42nd (‘member when we had more than a max of 40 cars weekly? I ‘member!), so success is not a guarantee here for Happy.
-Back to Truex, our 2018 Spring winner. He had another semi-recent Pocono Win in the Spring of 2015. Truex sports a 14.5 average over the last ten, and is sorta all over the graph here as far as performance goes; two placements of 19th and a pair of worse-than-30’s in that same span.
–Alex Bowman has had a slew of 2nd’s as of late, and today could be the day for the pilot of the #88. Dating back to 2014, he’s had six races here, most of which were north of 25th — until 2018. He threw down a 3rd last Summer, and is driving a car that has won here before with Dale Earnhardt Jr. His teammate qualified for Pole, and also has the tutelage of former Winner Jimmie Johnson to fall back on. He rolls off 15th today in what could be the biggest race of his career.
Coverage of the race starts on FS1 a bit before 2:00pm, green flag bumped up to 2:00pm.