Just how trying is the Tricky Triangle? Between practice and qualifying, there were three drivers that spun out and Tony Stewart is already resorting to his backup car.
Hell, even the qualifying itself was stopped after Denny Hamlin lost control of his car. Let’s just say that no one is safe from Pocono’s Turn 3 with the bumps tearing up cars already, making consistency a huge deal. Here’s a look at some of the top drivers to target for the Axalta 400.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports ($12,200)
I’ve already advised DraftKings owners to target Hendrick Motorsports drivers, but this is an obvious one. Don’t overthink choosing the guy who swept Pocono last season and blistered the rest of the field in the past. While he hasn’t led a lot of laps, he’s still throwing down the fastest laps and leading the most important one.
Over the last two years, Junior is carrying a 118.8 driver’s rating. That stretch includes four straight top-five finishes with an average starting position of 12th. Given the fact that he’s starting 20th on Sunday, his place and pass differential should be through the roof.
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing ($10,100)
Welcome back, Kyle Larson. The 2014 Rookie of the Year has looked like a shell of himself early on this season, but has finally found speed again. He’s averaging just 7.7 fantasy points in 2015, but has 42 or more points in two of the last three points races.
As a result, his price has gone slightly up—but he’ll be well worth it in Pocono. In his first two races at the Tricky Triangle, Larson has an average finish of eighth. On a track he loves when he keeps a clean car, expect a strong effort from Lar-SON this weekend.
Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing ($9,500)
Keeping with the theme of consistency, Ryan Newman is just that. I pointed out earlier this week that Newman is a great bargain bin choice and that’s still the truth after qualifying.
He narrowly missed out on making the final round on Friday, qualifying 13th for Sunday’s race. In his last five races, Newman has qualified outside of the top 15 in three of them—he finished eighth or better in each. Don’t expect anything less from this RCR driver.
Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip Racing ($9,200)
He’s never won at Pocono, but Clint Bowyer has eight top-10 results in 18 starts. Bowyer had some inconsistent results at Pocono when he first moved over to Michael Waltrip Racing, but had his best showing with MWR last fall.
The veteran driver is also coming off a ninth-place finish at Dover in which he compiled 59 fantasy points. With momentum and consistency on his side, look for Bowyer to nail down another strong outing at a track where he’s constantly performed well.
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing ($9,000)
Somehow, someway, Greg Biffle has found speed in an otherwise disappointing Roush Fenway Racing stable. Tough luck at Dover caused him to drop down to 17th, but that shouldn’t deter owners from choosing him at Pocono.
The Biff has top 10s in three of his last four races at Pocono, two of which were top fives. He also ended a 64-race winless streak at the Tricky Triangle back in 2010. I’m not saying he’ll do the same on Sunday, but this RFR driver is finally back on track and should perform well at a low price for DraftKings owners.
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