2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Pocono Raceway

Pocono 500

What’s Gonna Happen To Kurt Busch?

NASCAR could come down very hard on Kurt Busch after his latest run in with Tony Stewart on Monday at Dover. This isn’t the first time that a driver has taken his frustrations out on pit road but NASCAR will stop this now before someone really gets hurt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a suspension and I’m not sure that Roger Penske would appeal if NASCAR does hand down this penalty. Roger knew what Kurt could be like when he hired him but I also know that Kurt isn’t the first person to hit another car on pit road on purpose.

My Pick To Win Pocono

This week we head to Pocono and Denny Hamlin will win his first race of the year. Denny has come so close so often that this should be a no-brainer this week. Denny won both races at Pocono last year, sat on the Bud Pole in both of them and led just about every practice session there.

Pocono Frontrunners

After Denny the Hendrick teams should all be tough once again this year. Last fall the worst finishing Hendrick car was Kyle Busch in 12th place. Jimmie Johnson finished 10th and 6th, Brian Vickers finished 4th in both races and Jeff Gordon finished 3rd in the fall. The average finishing position of the 24, 25 and 48 cars cumulatively over the last 7 years is under 10.

Getting back to Kurt Busch. Kurt has been great at Pocono over the last 3 races. If it weren’t for Denny Hamlin being so dominant last year Kurt would have won 3 races in a row there. If NASCAR doesn’t hand down a suspension to Busch you need him in your starting lineup this weekend.

Mark Martin is probably the best driver at Pocono without having won there yet. I say yet because he could do it this year. Mark has finished in the top 10 in over half of the races he has run at Pocono and I has finished 2nd 6 times. This is in 40 races at this track and he has had a good car all year with Ginn Racing.

Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick have both done well at Pocono recently. Jeff finished 9th in both races last year and Kevin has 3 top 10 finishes in his last 4 races there. Kevin needs his luck to change a little bit to get back in the groove. He has good cars every week but seems to get bit by some mechanical issue that he hasn’t been able to overcome during the race.

Carl Edwards won the first time he raced at Pocono and then followed it up with a 4th place finish later that year. Last year he went the opposite way and finished 25th and 39th in the races run at Pocono. Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle both finished in the top 10 last spring but I think the Roush teams will miss Mark Martin’s advice for getting around Pocono this year.

Tony Stewart has been good at Pocono lately and can always find out some things about setups from Denny Hamlin’s team if they need it. Tony needs to get a good clean race under his belt because he has been in the spotlight during the races for all the wrong reasons lately.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran well at Pocono from 2002 thru 2004 but has taken steps backwards since then. Dale has dropped to 15th in points because of the tire problems he had at Dover and needs to get back on the top of his game. Nobody wants to fight their way back into the Chase in August. They would rather be solidified in the top 10 somewhere.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson (starter)
  • Jeff Gordon

Group B

  • Denny Hamlin (starter)
  • Kurt Busch (starter)
  • Mark Martin
  • Ryan Newman

Group C

  • JJ Yeley (starter)
  • David Ragan

Darkhorse

  • JJ Yeley

Stay Away From

  • Casey Mears