Saturday, June 4, 2016

Final Pocono Axalta 400 Driver Ratings following Final Practice

Look for Joey Logano to have a strong Sunday...or maybe Monday (rain). 
LAS VEGAS -- Kyle Busch had the fastest lap (176.901 mph) in Saturday's final practice session at Pocono Raceway in preparation for Sunday's Axalta 400 and also had the best 10-consecutive lap average. It's a nice indication that Joe Gibbs Racing powered Toyotas can win its eighth race in the past nine events. However, the top rated drivers this week drive Fords.

Team Penske with Joey Logano and pole sitter Brad Keselowski start on the front row where the most winners in Pocono history (24 wins in 76 races, 31.5%) have started from. Logano had the best car last fall leading 97 laps before running out of fuel and Keselowski was runner-up. Yes, the new low downforce package discounts what happened last fall, but the duo should find themselves out front for most of the race where passing is extremely difficult.

TheLinemakers on Sporting News

Micah Roberts' Top-10 Rated NASCAR Drivers
Axalta 400
Pocono Raceway
Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 1:20 pm (ET)    

Rating     Driver       Odds     Practice 1  Qualified   Practice 2  *Pocono '15
 1. Joey Logano 8/1                    8th             2nd             7th             20th
2012 winner; led most laps (97) last fall but ran out of fuel in finals laps while leading.
 2. Brad Keselowski 10/1         12th             1st              6th              2nd 
2011 winner, runner-up in two of past four starts. Pole sitter has won 15 times at Pocono.
 3. Kevin Harvick 6/1                 2nd              4th             5th            42nd 
No wins in 30 starts, Pocono's longest active streak, but was runner-up in two of past three.
 4. Kurt Busch 12/1                     3rd              9th             2nd            37th
Two-time winner, five time runner-up; third-best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 5. Kyle Busch 8/1                       5th             12th              1st            21st
One of two Cup tracks with no wins, but had best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 6. Jimmie Johnson 7/1              6th              7th             3rd               6th
Three-time winner with 9.5 average finish in 28 starts; series leader with 728 laps led.
 7. Carl Edwards 10/1                 1st              5th            12th            10th 
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2008, with 15.2 average finish. No top-fives since 2010.
 8. Matt Kenseth 10/1            31st               3rd               8th              1st 
First career win in 32 starts last fall fell into his hands when three contenders ran out fuel late.
 9. Martin Truex Jr. 9/2           22nd             17th             4th            19th 
Won this race in 2015, comes in hot off Coca-Cola win. Led 611 laps in past three on schedule.
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 18/1     14th              8th            17th             4th
Swept 2014 season after no wins in first 28 starts; top-five finishes in five of past six starts.

* Results from the August 2, 2015 race at Pocono, the last time the Cup series visited.

Note: There were only two scheduled practice sessions and the first one was limited due to fog and rain. There is a 100 percent chance of rain on Sunday.

Odds courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting NASCAR odds since 1994. Follow him on twitter @MicahRoberts7

No comments: