2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Pocono

The NASCAR Xfinity Series hits the “Tricky Triangle” for 225 miles of hard racing at Pocono Raceway. Coming off an exciting race at Talladega Superspeedway last Saturday, Xfinity drivers will see their skills tested as the three-turn, 2.5-mile track will force drivers to be smart when attempting passes and to plan their strategies properly to get out front and have cautions fall in their favor.

Sunday is the finale of the Dash 4 Cash series. Noah Gragson won the first installment at Bristol Motor Speedway. A.J. Allmendinger grabbed the $100,000 prize in the second installment at the second of the doubleheader races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and his Kaulig Racing teammate Ross Chastain won the most recent Dash 4 Cash prize at Talladega.

All three Kaulig teammates can look to win one of the $100,000 prizes as Justin Haley will try his shot at it on Sunday. He will go up against Chastain, Alex Labbe and Austin Cindric.

36 drivers are in the lineup for early Sunday afternoon and none of them have won at Pocono. Only seven drivers in the field have competed in all four previous Xfinity races at the track.

Gragson will start on the pole for a third time since NASCAR’s resumption of the 2020 season in May. He has two wins on the year (Daytona and Bristol) and is the current leader in points. Gragson finished sixth in last year’s race.

Chase Briscoe leads the Xfinity field in wins (three) for the 2020 season. However, he is looking to rebound after being involved in the “Big One” at Talladega last week and finishing 18th. He finished third in last year’s Pocono race and will start third on Sunday.

Talladega winner Justin Haley will seek his second win of the season. Haley sits sixth in points and finished ninth in last year’s Pocono race. He will start sixth on Sunday.

Last weekend, Harrison Burton finished outside the top 10 for the first time in 2020. He will look to get back to his impressive-finishing ways on Sunday from the 10th starting position.

Two drivers not looking forward to Pocono on Sunday are Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones. Both men have competed in all four prior Xfinity races at the track. Allgaier has finished outside the top 10 in three of the four races, which include finishes of 37th or worse in two of the races. After finishing eighth in the inaugural Xfinity Pocono race in 2016, Jones has finished 24th or worse in the last three races; crashing out in two of them.

On a final note, Ryan Vargas makes his return to the Xfinity Series after running three races in 2019 for JD Motorsports. He had an average finish of 20.3 in last year’s races. The 19-year-old will start 17th on Sunday.

Coverage for the Xfinity race is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network. It is the second of a historic triple-header at Pocono where all three series are competing at the same track on the same day.

Starting lineup:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/06/24/goodyear-fast-facts-pocono-3/

Leave a Reply