|Martin Truex Jr. is going to be hard to chase down Sunday at Pocono.|
On the 26th of his 34 practice laps run, Truex laid down the fastest lap at 176.377 mph; and when he completed his simulated race run he also had the best 10-consecutive-lap average. His Toyota, powered by Joe Gibbs Racing equipment, immediately got the attention of everyone in the garages and also Las Vegas oddsmakers. He opened at 7-1 odds but now has been moved to the race favorite at 5-1.
In addition to all of Truex’s outstanding highlights from Friday and Saturday that make him the favorite Sunday, he had plenty of credentials showing he was already a solid candidate to win. The Joe Gibbs-Toyota angle is the first as the five cars have won 10 of the 20 Sprint Cup races this season. Last season, a Gibbs Toyota won the week following a Gibbs (Las Vegan Kyle Busch) Brickyard win.
The next angle is that Truex won at Pocono for the first time in June 2015. He’s also currently the series leader with 989 laps led this season and he’s using the same chassis this week that gave him his only 2016 victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. In a similar situation to this week, he started from the pole at Charlotte and set a NASCAR record by leading a whopping 392 of the 400 laps. He got out front and stayed out front, and Pocono is much a much tougher place to pass.
There’s also some history in his favor with 15 of the previous 77 Pocono winners coming from the pole. The last to do it was Jimmie Johnson in 2013.
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Final Pocono Driver Ratings