It’s time for the second trip to the “Tricky Triangle,” Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, for the Sprint Cup Series, and Joe Gibbs Racing heads to the track as one of the hottest teams in the series, thanks in part to the hottest driver, Kyle Busch. After sweeping both Xfinity and Cup Series events last weekend at Indianapolis, Busch has collected six wins in 14 starts between the two series, and will make his first Camping World Truck Series start of the season on Saturday at Pocono.
Busch’s record at Pocono, which includes eight top 10 finishes in 21 starts, is something Busch’s called “feast or famine” in a recent NASCAR teleconference: last season, he had finishes of 12th and 42nd, and he finished ninth there in June. Busch, who will be in the No. 18 Crispy M&Ms Toyota Camry on Sunday, has an average finish of 18.3 at Pocono.
“It has been feast or famine,” said Busch. “We either hit it or we don’t. It’s a tricky race track to try to hit. I’m not sure exactly what things or what traits you have to have in your car exactly, but I thought we had a decent run there this spring. I felt like we had a third- or fourth-place car. I messed up on a couple of restarts and finished ninth, so that wasn’t too terrible, but you know, we definitely would like to get to victory lane there for sure.”
Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, has an impressive track record at Pocono, winning in his first two starts at the track in 2006 and adding two more wins in August 2009 and June 2010. Hamlin has 13 top 10 finishes in 19 starts, with an average finish of 11.8; his last three finishes were all top 10s (fourth, ninth and 10th).
Carl Edwards, in the No. 19 STANLEY Toyota, is seeking his third straight pole in the Sprint Cup Series, having previously picked up pole starts at New Hampshire and Indy. Edwards, who has two wins and eight total top 10 finishes at Pocono, has never won a pole at the track, but started on the outside pole in June; his average finish is 15.5.
Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, has yet to win at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, having a career-best finish of third in June 2003. Kenseth, who has just 11 top 10 finishes in 31 starts at Pocono, rebounded from 25th- and 38th-place finishes in 2014 to finish sixth in June; his average finish is 15.7.
Qualifying for the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway begins Friday at 4:45 p.m. ET, with the race going green Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.