Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Denny Hamlin
After the 1.5-mile quad-oval regularity of last week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, this week we are likely to get a strategy-filled affair at Pocono Raceway. Sometimes called “The Tricky Triangle,” Pocono is a 2.5-mile asphalt flat track that often sees fuel-mileage races.
Pocono features minimal 14-, 8-. and 6-degree banking in the three corners, so passing tends to be difficult. Additionally, the flatness of the track requires drivers to slow down through their turns, which increases the average lap time. Because the track is long — it’s technically a superspeedway — drivers can actually take advantage of the slow-ish speeds by having full pit stops without going down a lap.
Because drivers can make four-tire, full-tank stops while still staying on the lead lap, it’s not uncommon for some to make unscheduled stops in an attempt to gain a strategic edge on the field, which makes Pocono races a little more random than those we normally see at non-restrictor plate events.
For this race, here are the main metrics I’m considering:
- Projected finishing position
- Starting position
- Long-run practice time
- Year-to-date performance
- Long flat-track history
- Pocono history
Here are the three props I’m eyeing for Sunday’s Pocono 400.
Year-to-date performance: 16-16, 9.76% return on investment, +3.12 units