We’re on to Pocono Raceway this weekend, which could end up being one of those races that Fantasy NASCAR players really don’t like. Pocono in itself has always been an interesting race from a fantasy perspective, as in the past it has been a follow-the-leader race with differing strategy plays throughout the day by teams. Now we have this new rules package, and drivers don’t even have to lift off the gas going through turn two now. Pit strategy is highly likely to play a major part in Sunday’s race, so keep that in mind when setting your Slingshot lineup. Personally, I’ll be focusing mainly on place differential and not putting as much of a focus as normal on potential Stage fantasy points for drivers starting up front.
Click here for the starting lineup for this weekend’s race at Pocono. Also if you’d like to analyze the results from Friday’s first practice, you can do so by clicking here. For speeds from the second practice (Happy Hour), click here.
*Please note: the picks and suggestions below are my opinions and strategy for the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. These are not meant to sway your thinking in any way, but rather give you insight into the drivers I am most likely to pick on Sunday.*
Slingshot Fantasy Auto Picks for Charlotte
Martin Truex, Jr. ($12,600) – Truex is the defending winner of this race at Pocono and has also finished 6th or better in three of the last four races here. This weekend, he qualified back in 20th, which makes him a great play in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest due to the massive positive place differential potential. Speed-wise, Truex didn’t blow anyone away on Friday, but he wasn’t super slow by any means either. This #19 team has won three of the last five Cup Series races overall, and although I don’t see them getting a fourth win here on Sunday, another top 5 finish is definitely within reach.
Kevin Harvick ($12,400) – Kevin Harvick has one of the fastest cars in the field this weekend. He ranked 5th in ten-lap average during Friday’s final practice session, and was also out there for 51 total laps (2nd-most of anyone) over the two practices of the weekend–which is always a sign that Harvick has a good car. Looking at history at Pocono, the #4 team has five straight top 5 finishes at this track, and over the last nine races at this track, “Happy” has came home 2nd four times. Harvick starts 11th on Sunday and should not only get place differential fantasy points but also hopefully a decent amount of Stage points.
Joey Logano ($12,200) – Joey Logano is another driver that has a car that should be much better than where he qualified (16th). This season, consistency has been the name of the game for Logano and this #22 team, as they have yet to finish worse than 23rd and also have posted nine top 10s through the first thirteen races of the season. As far as Pocono specifically, it’s been pretty rough for Joey over the last few years, but I think he turns things around this weekend. It’s encouraging that he finished 9th in this race one year ago. Another positive note: Logano ranked 7th in ten-lap average during the final practice session here on Friday.
Chris Buescher ($7,500) – Can you really go against this guy right now? Buescher continues to be a great Fantasy NASCAR play week in and week out, and he currently has back-to-back top 10s after his 6th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend. As far as Pocono goes, Buescher did win here back in 2016, but that was more due to luck than anything. He legitimately finished 17th in this race last year, though, and with how this #37 team is running this year, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Buescher compete for a top 15 on Sunday.
Corey LaJoie ($5,200) – LaJoie is just my roster filler this weekend, but I actually think he’ll put up a decent score–especially at that low price of only $5,200. The #32 Ford wasn’t not handling well at all during qualifying on Friday and that’s why Corey will roll off the grid from 32nd when the Pocono 400 goes green. With that being said, I think LaJoie easily has a top 30 car, and as long as he can keep from wrecking out, should be able to move up a bit from where he starts. Corey has three career Cup Series starts here at Pocono and finished 28th and 25th for BK Racing in 2017, which is better than you’d expect for that combo.