We’re right back at it again at Pocono on Sunday with the Pocono 350. This second race of the weekend will be just a little bit longer (140 laps compared to 130) but should play out similarly: track position will mean everything, and strategy will probably come into a play. A well-timed caution never hurt anyone, either. Unfortunately because of the numerous drivers that had problems in the Saturday race, there’s a lot of chalk in the Sunday event for the Slingshot game, but you’ll have that every once in a while. If you want to be contrarian and hope these guys have problems again, here’s your chance.
The starting lineup for Sunday was set by inverting the top 20 finishers on Saturday and then setting the rest of the field (21st through 40th) how they finished. Click here for the full starting lineup for the Pocono 350.
*Please note: the picks and suggestions below are my opinions and strategy forf cd 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 race day.*
Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest Picks for Pocono Sunday
Joey Logano ($11,200) – Chalk pick here. Joey Logano had one of the best cars at Pocono on Saturday–his Green Flag Speed ranked 3rd–but blew a tire late and that relegated him to a 36th-place finish. Now that is where he will start for Sunday’s race. In other words, an amazing pick for a place differential-heavy game like the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. This #22 team has hit on something with the flat tracks this year, and even though Logano hasn’t had a top 5 here at The Tricky Triangle since 2016, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he got one on Sunday. At the very least, I’m expecting a top 10 and a big Slingshot points day.
Ryan Blaney ($10,900) – Ryan Blaney had a top 5 car on Saturday, he just had some awful pit strategy. Hopefully this #12 team learned from their mistakes. Anyway, Blaney will roll off the grid from 9th when the second Pocono race of the weekend goes green, and although this does limit his place differential potential, you can also look at it this way: he starts the highest of all true race contenders. If Blaney can somehow get out front before the JGR cars get their, or Harvick, it may be hard to pass the #12 Ford. Pocono is a very good track for YRB, as he has made nine career starts here and hasn’t finished worse than 12th except for once.
Erik Jones ($10,600) – Okay, if you’re reading this, and you read my picks for Saturday’s Pocono race, you’re probably wondering why the hell Erik Jones is in my lineup for Sunday, considering I said, “But mark my words: if Erik Jones kills my lineup again on Saturday, I’m done with him for the rest of the year.” But there was one small word after that: “Maybe.” Here’s the thing: you can’t pass up a guy in top tier equipment starting 38th in this Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. At two fantasy points per position gained, Jones is going to need to wreck again for him not to have a big score on Sunday. Plus, this is still the same guy that has finished 8th or better in (now) all but two of his seven career Pocono starts. It’s a chalk race on Sunday for me, and unfortunately that means Erik Jones again.
Tyler Reddick ($8,600) – Tyler Reddick was caught up in that mess with Erik Jones on Saturday, but he was running pretty well up until then. Now he starts back in 30th on Sunday, making the driver of the #8 Chevrolet a prime pick in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest–especially at only $8,600. I could see you fading Jones on Sunday simply because he disappoints week after week after week, but Reddick at this low of a price point is pretty low-risk starting back in 30th. Even with just a 15th-place finish on Sunday, Tyler will earn 92 fantasy points in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest.
Christopher Bell ($8,400) – Christopher Bell really blew the “don’t pick rookies at Pocono” theory out of the water on Saturday, as he started back in 36th but wound up 4th at the checkered flag, scoring a ton of Slingshot points in the process. Because of that finish, Bell will start back in 17th for Sunday’s race at The Tricky Triangle, and although I still don’t love this pick, it’s pretty slim pickings down in this price range. The good news is that Joe Gibbs Racing still seems to have an advantage at Pocono, and Bell is basically running a fifth JGR car. I think he could challenge for another top 10 on Sunday.
Alternate Roster Considerations
I may end up not going with Jones after all. Dropping him and instead picking up Alex Bowman ($10,300) or Jimmie Johnson ($9,600) would leave enough cap room to pick Denny Hamlin ($11,400) instead of Ryan Blaney, or even go up to Chase Elliott ($12,000) if you went the Johnson route. Personally, I like the Bowman / Hamlin combination if you want to stay away from Jones, but Bowman is another guy that seems to fall apart every race. Still, he had a top 10 car on Saturday before that late tire issue. In fact, Bowman ranked 7th in green flag speed during that race.