As we head into Pocono Race Week, we will have to look at drivers’ stats and history from other courses as we build our lineup this week. Another great part about this weekend is we are back to practice and qualifying. This week we are going to focus on finding value by looking at previous top contenders at this speedway. There are quite a few value drivers that you can insert into your lineup. Let’s now take a deep dive into who I think you can insert into your lineup for the Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway.
Past Winners/Track Knowledge
It’s time for the NASCAR Series to take their best shot once again at defeating the “Tricky Triangle” at Pocono Raceway. This will be a 325-mile race where the drivers will be tasked with completing 130 laps around the Raceway. Pocono Raceway is a 2.5-mile Tri-Oval, with an asphalt surface. There are varying degrees of banking in each section of the raceway. Turn one has 14-degree banking, turn two has 8-degree banking, and turn three has 6-degree banking. The best part about Pocono is that each turn has its own set of challenges that the drivers must overcome. As stage points are becoming more coveted as the year goes on and racers, must win stages to get those oh so valuable stage points, racers will have three stages to try and get points. Stage one is 25 laps, stage two is 52 laps, and stage three is 53 laps. With Pocono being a storied track with a long history there is a lot of data to sift through as we build out winning lineup.
Below is a lineup that we believe can provide the best value for the Pocono Organics CBD 325 atPocono Raceway on 06/26/2021 (DraftKings Values)
|Driver #1||Denny Hamlin||$ 9,700|
|Driver #2||Kevin Harvick||$ 9,300|
|Driver #6||$ 6,400|
Below is a lineup that we believe can provide the best value for the Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on 06/26/2021 (FanDuel Values)
|Driver #1||Denny Hamlin||$ 13,500|
|Driver #2||Kevin Harvick||$ 12,000|
|Driver #5||$ 6,500|
Denny Hamlin ($9,700 DK, $13,500 FD)
As the best driver during last year’s double header at Pocono, Denny Hamlin is back to try and get back on track this year and get his first win. In 2020 Hamlin finished second ad then first in the two Pocono races. Hamlin comes into this race as my favorite to win. Hamlin has flat out been the best driver all year and Pocono has been a very good track for him in his career. Hamlin is sitting pretty in the career wins department with six at Pocono Raceway. The next best is the Busch brothers who are tied with three each. You can normally count on Hamlin to secure his playoff spot early, now he hasn’t yet as he remains winless, but no one has been better. In six races since the start of the 2018 season at Pocono, Hamlin has won two times, finished top-five three times, and led 97 laps. On DraftKings I would even label Hamlin as a value pick this week as no one has been better at the track recently or even in their career. Just put Hamlin in your lineup and move on.
Kevin Harvick ($9,300 DK, $12,000 FD)
2021 has been far from the year that Kevin Harvick had in 2020 where he had nine wins, 20 top five finishes, 27 top 10 finishes, while leading 1531 laps. Harvick was the regular season winner last year and was by far the best and most dominant driver all year. 2021 has been less than average for Harvick as he has yet to find victory lane. He does however have five top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes. It is safe to say that Harvick is due for a win. I think this is the week. Ironically with my first pick this week, Kevin Harvick was the other winner in last years trip to Pocono Raceway, and even more in the race he didn’t win, he finished second to Denny Hamlin. Just like Hamlin, I see this as a no brainer pick this week, Harvick provides value while also providing as good a shot as any to win this race. Starting from the three spot this race I think Harvick will get to the front of the pack in this race early. We all know what happens more times than not when Harvick is in the front of the field. They do not call him “the closer” for no reason. Like Hamlin, add Harvick to your lineup and move on.
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Alex Bowman ($8,600 DK, $9,500 FD)
At the start of the year I was a little unsure if Alex Bowman had what it took to step into Jimmie Johnsons shoes and drive the number 48 car for Hendricks motorsports. Bowman did however have a very successful 2020 that saw him finish sixth in points and a top-eight overall finish. Bowman won one race in 2020 as well as adding six top-five finishes and 15 top 20 finishes. Bowman has four Cup wins with Hendrick over the past three seasons. Bowman has two wins this year after winning a couple weeks ago at Richmond and at Dover. Over the past three years at Pocono, Bowman has one top five finish, and two top 10 finishes, while leading no laps. From a DFS perspective picking Bowman gives you point differential potential and a dark horse pick to win the race.
Chris Buescher ($8,000 DK, $7,000 FD)
Driving the Number 17 for Roush Fenway Racing, Chris Buescher has had a relatively normal year by his standards. In 18 races, he has four top 10 finishes, which other than in 2020 would be tied for a season high. 2020 was by far Buescher’s best year as he had two top five finishes, eight top 10 finishes and led 33 laps. His 2021 lap led total is a career high with 71. Buescher had his best race of the year at the All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway. Overall, pretty good and consistent. I think Buescher can add another top 10 finish this week while also providing point differential potential with his 25th starting position.
Tyler Reddick ($7,900 DK)
Tyler Reddick moved up to the Cup Series in 2020 and had a great rookie season with three top-five finishes and nine top 10 finishes. I have been enjoying everything I have seen from Reddick since he burst onto the scene in 2018 and 2019 winning eight races in the Xfinity Series while also being back to back champion those two years. For me, anytime I see Reddick at a good price point I am going to insert him into my lineup. Reddick has raced at Pocono Raceway in the Cup Series twice in his career, and well the results weren’t great. No in the Xfinity Series, Reddick raced much better at Pocono where in two races he has one top five finish and two top 10 finishes in two races. As Reddick continues to get better, I would expect him to have a good race this weekend. I think Reddick provides a lot of value for his middle of the pack price point.
Erik Jones ($6,400 DK, $6,500 FD)
In his fifth full time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, Erik Jones is off to an ok start. So far in 2021 he has two top 10 finishes at Las Vegas and the Bristol Dirt Track. Jones has eight career races under his belt at Pocono where he has an average finish of 11.38, which is fourth best among active drivers. In those eight races he has five top five finishes, six top 10 finishes and has finished top 20 in six of eight. Jones is going to start this race in 22nd place which means he has a lot of point differential potential. Jones has consistently showed that he can get into the top 10 at this speedway and I say he does it again or better.
There are no C-List drivers in this optimal lineup.
Kyle Busch ($10,000 DK)
Kyle Busch has been in the elite level of drivers at Pocono Raceway in his career. Yes, you could argue that the likes of Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch or Denny Hamlin have been good also, but Busch is up there. Busch has won at Pocono Raceway three times, where he also has nine top five finishes, 16 top 10 finishes and has led 462 laps. I do not see why Kyle Busch cannot find his way into victory lane for the third time this year (yes, the first was exhibition) and for the second time at Kansas. Busch, I am sure to his standards is having another off year where he has six top five finishes and 10 top 10 finishes. I think Busch has all it takes to turn his sixth place start into another first-place finish.
Now go win your matchup and let us know how you did. Or if I picked every driver that will be in that lap 54 crash, I encourage you to let me hear it. Either way come find us on Twitter (@FantasyDFSX).
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