Saturday, July 30, 2016

Final Pocono Driver Ratings/Practice Notes: 2016 Pennsylvania 400

Martin Truex Jr. is going to be hard to catch Sunday.
LAS VEGAS -- Toyota has won 10 of the 20 Sprint cup races this season and should add to the number in Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway simply because of the show Martin Truex Jr. put on during Saturday's final practice. Not only did he lay down the fastest lap at 176.377 mph, he also put together the fastest 10-consecutive lap average as the 80-minute session was winding down.

His Toyota, which uses Joe Gibbs Racing equipment, is going to be hard to catch once the race starts just because of being fast both on short and long runs. It's almost impossible to pass, so we could possibly see him run away and hide for the 160 laps almost like he did at Charlotte in May when he started from the pole and led a NASCAR record 392 of the 400 laps for his only win of the season. He's using that same chassis this weekend.

Here's a look at the final Pocono driver ratings which consists of past track history, current form, qualifying and practices. It's roughly the same formula I've used weekly to create odds to win at Las Vegas sports books since 1994.

Micah Roberts' Sprint Cup Driver Ratings
Pennsylvania 400
Pocono Raceway
Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 10:50 am PT

RATING  DRIVER    ODDS              PRACTICE 1      QUALIFIED         PRACTICE 2          POCONO 1* 
 1. Martin Truex Jr. 7/1               6th               1st                 1st              19th
2015 winner; fastest 10-consecutive lap average in practice - using winning Charlotte chassis.
 2. Kevin Harvick 6/1                  5th              17th                3rd                9th
No wins in 31 starts - runner-up in two of past four; third fastest 10-consecutive lap average..
 3. Brad Keselowski 10/1          19th               7th                2nd               3rd
Gritty 2011 win driving with broken and severely swollen ankle; runner-up in two of past five starts.
 4. Denny Hamlin 8/1                 2nd               4th               15th              14th
Four-time winner, the last in 2010. Practiced well and comes off a solid fourth-place run at Indy.
 5. Kurt Busch 12/1                  14th              15th                4th                1st
Three-time winner, including June's race and he's using that same chassis this week.
 6. Chase Elliott 15/1                  8th               8th                5th                4th 
Led race-high 51 laps in June, a reason to believe he'll shake 15th or worse slump in past five races.
 7. Carl Edwards 8/1                   4th              2nd                 9th                8th
Two-time winner, the last in 2008. No top-fives since 2010, but practiced well and starts up front.
 8. Kyle Busch 6/1                     3rd              16th                6th               31st
No wins in 23 starts with 18.9 average finish, but dominating Indy win a good indicator for success.
 9. Jimmie Johnson 8/1             12th              21st               10th              35th
Three-time winner with 10.3 average finish (19 top-10s) and 738 laps led in 29 career starts.
10. Joey Logano 10/1                 7th              10th               17th               5th 
2012 winner; top-five in three of past four starts -- 20th last fall after leading 97 laps (ran out of fuel).

* Results from the June 6, 2016 race at Pocono. Another good handicapping guide is reviewing last week's Brickyard race, which has similar features to Pocono.

Odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1994. Follow on Twitter @MicahRoberts7

Pennsylvania 400 Betting Notes

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