June 7, 2013 at 2:00 PM #52295
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
NASCAR Sprint Cup Party in the Poconos 400 Preview and Prediction
Race: Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway
Date: Sunday, June 9, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. (ET)
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series heads north to Long Pond, PA. this week to Pocono Raceway for the running of the Party in the Poconos 400. Sunday’s race is set to get underway at 1 p.m. and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Tony Stewart finally made his way back to Victory Lane last Sunday after an extended drought with a win at Dover. Juan Pablo Montoya finished a surprising second and Jeff Gordon made his veteran presence felt as well by taking third.
The following is a closer look at our favorite, contender, and longshot picks for this Sunday’s race with odds provided by Sportsbook.
The Favorite (odd of less than 10/1)
There are three drivers opened as +500 favorites to win this race, but I am going with Jimmie Johnson as my top pick over Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin. The No.48 car is coming off a disappointing 17th-place finish last week at Dover, but is still holding down the top spot in the Sprint Cup standings with 473 points on the strength of two previous victories and four additional top-five finishes in its first 13 point races. For good measure, add in a win in this season’s All-Star Race as well. If you are looking for even more value in these odds, Johnson has finished in the top five in three of his last five races at this track and has an average finishing position of 9.0 at Pocono.
The Contender (odds from 10/1 to 19/1)
Johnson may be on top of the standings, but the hottest driver in the Sprint Cup series right now has to be Kevin Harvick. The No.29 car has been on a tear lately with two checkered flags and two other top-10 finishes in its last five point races. This run as moved the team up to fifth place in the standings with 399 points. Harvick is still looking for his first Sprint Cup victory at Pocono and he has failed to crack the top 10 in his last three runs here. However, given his current form along with the fact that he did finish in the top five at this track four times from 2008 to 2011 adds some definite value in his +1500 odds to win this week.
The Longshot (odds 20/1 or greater)
Any time you can get longer odds on a driver that is in the top five of the Sprint Cup standings you have to jump at the chance. That is the case this week with Carl Edwards listed at +2000 to win on Sunday. He finished 11th at Charlotte and 14th at Dover in his past two races so current form is off a bit, but the No.99 car is sitting in second place in the standings with 443 points after posting a win and six other top-10 finishes earlier this year. Edwards has not exactly lit Pocono up in the past, but he does have one career victory here and is coming off a seventh-place finish in the second race at this track in 2012.
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