|Jimmie Johnson dominated the June 9 Pocono race|
A sweep at Pocono wouldn’t be surprising, especially by Johnson, who won both Daytona races this season, the first time that’s happened since Bobby Allison did it in 1982. Johnson is one of six drivers to have swept the season at Pocono, having done so in 2004. Allison also swept Pocono in 1982, the first year two Cup races were held there.
Another factor in Johnson’s favor is that he had the best car at Indy last week, leading a race-high 73 of 160 laps. The two tracks run very similar because of the long straightaways, and turn 3 at Pocono is also comparable to Indy’s flat corners. Ten of the drivers who finished in the top 15 in the June Pocono race finished in the top 15 at the Brickyard last week. Chances are if a driver ran well on one or both tracks already this season, he'll run well again on Sunday.
One case that can be made against Johnson this week is that it’s unlikely he’ll be using the same chassis with which he finished second last week and won at Pocono in June. That monster chassis also won the 2012 Brickyard 400. It wouldn’t take a lot of work to turn the car around because the set-ups are so similar, but it’s likely that Johnson’s Pocono car for this week has already been prepared weeks in advance and is awaiting transport.
If Johnson is using a different chassis this week – we’ll know Wednesday – that opens the door for several other drivers to have a good chance at capturing a victory this week, starting with the nine who finished in the top 15 at both Pocono and Indy this season.
Contenders chasing Johnson:
Jeff Gordon (10/1): He’ll be looking for his seventh career Pocono win while making his 42nd career start on the track on his 42nd birthday. He won this race last season and has a 10.2 average finish over his career. He finished 12th in June and was seventh last week at Indy.
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