The NASCAR Cup Series completes its doubleheader slate of the season at the “Tricky Triangle” Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon.
The battle for clean air will be critical with drivers having to use the car they used in the first race of the doubleheader. Drivers who finished up front Saturday will have to claw their way up the field for clean air as the starting lineup will be inverted for drivers who finished first through 20th.
Ryan Preece will start on the pole after finishing 20th in the first race. It will be the second time the 29-year-old will start on the pole in his Cup career as he was the pole-sitter for the second Darlington race in May. In three career races at Pocono, Preece has finished 23rd, 37th and 20th.
Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in wins (five) at Pocono. With the second-place finish in the first race of the doubleheader, the 39-year-old for Joe Gibbs Racing extended his top-five finish streak to three. When looking at Pocono specifically, Hamlin has finished in the top 10 in his last four races. Hamlin is tied with Harvick in wins this season (three), which is first among the field. Hamlin will start 19th.
Kyle Busch, Hamlin’s teammate, finished fifth in the first race. The No. 18 Toyota is still vying for his first win on the season. The 35-year-old has shown inconsistencies over the duration of the season, with his finishes ranging from second (Fontana, Darlington and Atlanta) to 34th (Daytona). Busch will start 16th.
Despite picking up the stage one victory in the first race, Joey Logano finished the race in 36th after the No. 22 for Team Penske cut a left front tire late in the final stage. The finish for the 30-year-old is his worst on the season so far. Logano has finished outside the top 10 in seven of his past 10 races at Pocono. Logano will start 36th.
Matt Kenseth was the highest-finishing Chevy in the first race (11th). The finish for the 48-year-old was his highest on the season since he finished 10th in the first race at Darlington on May 17. Kenseth will start the race 10th.
Stage lengths for the second Cup race in the doubleheader will be 30-55-55. Weather permitting, coverage for the race will begin on Fox Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network at 4:00 p.m. EST and will serve as the finale for the first tripleheader in history where all three NASCAR series are holding an event on the same day.
Here is the starting lineup:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/06/24/goodyear-fast-facts-pocono-3/