This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Pocono Organics CBD 325 & Explore the Pocono Mountains 350
Location: Long Pond, Pa.
Course: Pocono Raceway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 130 Saturday, 140 Sunday
Pocono Raceway hosts a double-header weekend with two NASCAR Cup Series races on tap for fans. This is the second time the track hosted two Cup races on the same weekend. The first was last season. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin won those races last season, but both are still winless in 2020. The real question heading into the weekend is if anyone can beat Kyle Larson. He will start from pole Saturday after four consecutive victories, including the All-Star Race. Teammate William Byron will join him on the front row, while Sunday's race lineup will be determined by the finishing order from Saturday. The top 20 finishers will start Sunday's race in reverse order, but, as we saw last season, if you are fast Saturday, you are likely to be fast Sunday, too.
Key Stats at Pocono Raceway
- Number of races: 86
- Winners from pole: 16
- Winners from top-5 starters: 49
- Winners from top-10 starters: 61
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
- Fastest race: 145.384 mph
Previous 10 Pocono Winners
2020 II - Denny Hamlin
2020 I - Kevin Harvick
2019 fall - Denny Hamlin
2019 spring - Kyle Busch
2018 fall - Kyle Busch
2018 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Ryan Blaney
2016 fall - Chris Buescher
2016 spring - Kurt Busch
Pocono Raceway is a horsepower track, but its length means pit and fuel strategy can take the day. Teams starting deeper in the field can pit off cycle to get out of traffic and fuel mileage is likely to become a factor. The course's wide turns mean passing and side-by-side racing is possible, but quicker cars tend to differentiate themselves from the field. Corner exit is one of the most important areas for teams to focus on.
Fantasy players will see two different driver salaries in the two DraftKings contests this week, while FanDuel's salaries are the same for both races. I will focus the first lineup option on Saturday's prices with the normal higher-risk lineup being replaced by my best option for Sunday's contests.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Saturday Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Chase Elliott (DK $11,000, FD $11,000) hasn't hit the heights of teammate Larson yet this year, but the defending champion may be one of the top choices to challenge Larson from week to week. Elliott was disqualified last week at Nashville and may have extra motivation to come out on top this weekend as a result. Elliott will start 29th on Saturday but isn't likely to stay that far back for long. Hamlin (DK $9,700, FD $13,500) was one of the two fastest drivers at Pocono last year. He won the second race of that double-header and has six career wins at the track. Kurt Busch (DK $8,400, FD $8,500) has three Pocono wins and is coming off a slump-busting week last time out at Nashville. He led 35 laps in the second race last year and finished 13th. Pocono has also been a good site for Aric Almirola (DK $7,300, FD $6,500), too. He finished third and fifth in the two races last season and has only missed the top 10 once in the last five races there. Nashville may have been Ross Chastain's (DK $6,800, FD $6,000) breakthrough. After finishing second, he said that is where they should be every week. He has been improving as the season has aged and a best Pocono finish in the series could be in his sights this week. Daniel Suarez (DK $6,500, FD $5,800) grabbed his third top-10 last week at Nashville and now comes to a track where he was runner-up in 2018 and has two other top-10s from eight track starts. He will start 14th Saturday.
Sunday Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kyle Busch (DK $11,000, FD $13,000) has proven to need track time throughout a race weekend to be at his best. Therefore, Sunday may be the better option to select the three-time Pocono winner versus Saturday. He could certainly threaten for the win either day, however. Team Penske's Joey Logano (DK $9,700 FD $10,000) will look to add another Pocono win to his resume. He won there in 2012 and had two rough races last year despite leading 11 laps in the first race of that double-header. Watch his progress Saturday to have a good idea of what he might be capable of Sunday. William Byron (DK $9,000, FD $11,500) could be dangerous either race. He is the same price both days, but Sunday may be better considering he starts second Saturday. He is likely to lead laps Saturday but may come with extra finish differential points for a similar finish Sunday. He has four top-10s from six series starts at the track. Chris Buescher (DK $7,400, FD $7,000) won a rain-shortened race at Pocono in 2016. He finished 10th and led three laps in the first of the two races last year and has been enjoying Roush Fenway Racing's uptick in competitiveness this season with four top-10 finishes. He is working to retain his position in the playoff standings. Tyler Reddick (DK $6,900, FD $8,700) had two terrible races here last season. Those were his only two Pocono starts in the Cup Series, however. He finished second in the 2019 Xfinity race at the track. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,000, FD $7,500) is coming off one of his best races of the season so far. His sixth-place Nashville finish was his second of the season and might just signal a return to his early season top-12 form. He has yet to score a top-10 finish at this track but was in the top 20 in both races last season.