|Ryan Blaney was on pole last June at Pocono.|
“Everything this so tight in our sport right now with this rules package," said Clint Bowyer. "In qualifying at Charlotte last week, third-place through 16th-place qualifiers all ran 182 mph. In the race, the guy leading would get back a few minutes later and struggle in 20th. It’s just really, really tight right now and you can’t make any errors.”
Yes, it's tight, and I like the type of racing it has produced. Last week at Charlotte there were 30 lead changes among 11 drivers and three weeks ago at Kansas there 23 lead changes among 12 drivers and at Texas, in late March there were 26 lead changes among 13 drivers. That's some nice parity with the last three races using this exact package.
Teams are getting better with it and finding more speed to close the gap Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske has shown this season by winning 12 of the 13 races so far with all the packages. Chris Beuscher from JTG-Daugherty Racing finished sixth last week in the Coca-Cola 600. Also, Roush Fenway Racing matters again with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finishing fifth last week.
Of course, Martin Truex Jr. won last week for the third time in the last five of the schedule, a Gibbs car, and he was followed by Penske's Joey Logano and in third-place was Gibbs' Kyle Busch. There's still a divide with the elite teams, but others are catching up.
The upward progression with most teams getting more familiar with the new package should continue this weekend at Pocono. The bump drafting and side-drafting are going to be a huge part of the equation on the longest straightaway on the Cup tour on Pocono's front stretch. But passing in each of the three unique turns is what I crave the most.
READ MORE HERE......TOP-5 FINISH PREDICTION ON VEGASINSIDER.COM