The NASCAR’s 2020 Cup Series season heads to the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania for the annual Pocono Organics 325 race. It is the first of two races at Pocono with the Pocono 350 slated to be held the following day.
It was first held as a 500-mile race in 1982 as it served as a replacement for the 400-mile race at the Texas World Speedway. Beginning in 2012, the race distance was shortened to 400 miles. This year, the event will be a double-header with the Pocono 325 on Saturday afternoon and the Pocono 350 on Sunday afternoon. Kyle Busch won this race last year.
GEICO 500 Results
In the last race of the season held last weekend, Ryan Blaney won the GEICO 500 in dramatic fashion. With bad weather, last Sunday’s race was postponed and the 188-lap race was contested at 3 pm ET on Monday.
Blaney claimed his first win of the season after he crossed the finish line inches ahead of his closest pursuers as a crash behind him occurred. The tight race saw 19 different leaders and a total of 56 lead changes in once of the first races since the outbreak of the coronavirus where fans were allowed.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second while Aric Almirola came in third. With the win, Blaney moved up to third in the current 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Drivers standings with 465 points. He is just two points behind second placer Joey Logano but is still a far 35 points off leader Kevin Harvick who finished in 10th place last Sunday.
Here are the NASCAR Cup Series Drivers standings after the GEICO 500.
|7||Martin Truex Jr.||381||1||2|
Season leader Kevin Harvick is the odds on favorite to win Saturday’s Pocono 325. Harvick finished 10th in the GEICO 500 last weekend and is looking to bounce back after finishing 22nd in the Pocono 400 race last year.
Here are the complete odds to win the Pocono Organics 325 on Saturday provide it by the online sportsbook MyBookie.ag as of 06/26/2020:
|Martin Truex Jr.||+700|
Which Drivers Have Good Betting Value?
Denny Hamlin is the winningest driver so far this season with a total of three race wins this year. He has six Top 5 finishes in his last nine races including a fourth-place finish last Monday at the GEICO 500. Hamlin is also tied with Blaney for most Top 5 finishes this year with seven. When it comes to Pocono, Hamlin has five wins in this racetrack. He won his last appearance here at the 2019 Gander RV 400.
Martin Truex Jr. won at Virginia three races ago but he’s had a couple of forgettable races after tasting his first victory of the year. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion finished 12th at Homestead before coming in at 24th place in Talladega last Monday. However, Pocono is a track that Trues loves and his track record here cannot be overlooked. He has finished sixth or better in four out of his last six races here and is a two-time winner of this event.
Ryan Blaney is coming off his first win of the season and is on a hot streak that has pushed him up to third in the Driver standings. Blaney has finished in the Top 4 in six out of the last seven races including five Top 3 finishes during that period. He won this race in 2017 and has Top 10 finishes in half of his last eight appearances at Pocono. Although he’s not found much success here as of late, his current form is hard to deny. Blaney’s average finish in the last four races of the season is 2.5.
Kurt Busch is far out in the odds board but at +2000, he is an interesting bet. Busch hasn’t won a race this season and hasn’t won one in a while. He also only has three Top 5 finishes this year so it’s not that he’s among the top drivers in the standings. However, he’s silently put together nine Top 10 finishes in the last 11 races of the season. He won this race in 2016 and has finished in the Top 5 in four out of his last six appearances in this event. Overall, Kurt has three wins in this racetrack so if you’re looking for a dark horse pick, Busch would be a good choice.
Jimmie Johnson may be on my list for nostalgic reasons but despite his recent struggles, there is evidence to back him up as a dark horse pick in this race. Johnson is one of 10 drivers to win this race twice and he finished in the Top 10 here in 2018. Kurt Busch is probably the better dark horse pick in this race but you’re getting 25 times your money on a veteran winner like Johnson here.
When you look at the resumes at this race track, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex are the two names from our list of five above that would make good picks. However, don’t forget the current Cup Series champion Kyle Busch who has not finished worse than 9th in his last seven starts at Pocono. Busch has won three out of the last five races here and has a 3rd place finish as well during that span. But while his resume here is fantastic, Busch is having a rough start to the season.
Busch had six Top 4 finishes in his last nine starts before last Monday’s race. He finished 32nd in Talladega and he’s finished 26th or worse four times this year already. At +500, his current form isn’t too convincing to bet on.
When you look at the drivers’ current form, there is no question that Ryan Blaney is the man to bet on. Kurt Busch is also showing good form and is the best dark horse pick. Denny Hamlin has won most races this year and he is the defending race champion so you have to consider him as well.
However, when I balance track resume and current form, it’s Ryan Blaney who checks all the boxes. His average finish of 2.5 in the last four races of the season is just too impressive. I know that it’s hard to win back to back races in the Cup Series but given Blaney’s current form, he has a shot. And at +1100, I think he is worth the bet.
Prediction: Ryan Blaney