NASCAR Preview: 2020 Pocono 325 Duel Cup Series Odds and Picks

Yes, you read the headline correctly! The NASCAR Cup Series will run two official points paying races this weekend at Pocono Speedway. As can be expected, some big names are riding the top of the favorites list for Saturday’s Cup Series Pocono 325. The pack is led by Kevin Harvick coming in at +450 after placing tenth at Talladega last week.

Harvick did well for me last week, but I also hit the top-three finishers! Ryan Blaney, who won the race, and two of my other drivers followed close behind. Ricky Stenhouse Jr came in second with Aric Almirola placing third. Talladega always treats me well, go check out my article on the 2020 GEICO 500.

 


NASCAR Cup Series: Geico 500 at Talladega | EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS | 06/22/20 | Motorsports on NBC


 

Now it is time for the other massive speedway in NASCAR, which is known as the “Tricky Triangle.” Instead of a long 400-mile fuel mileage race on Sunday, the norm for Pocono, NASCAR is trying something new.

There will be two shorter races held back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. This was on the schedule before the COVID-19 break. The first race is the Pocono Organics 325 with Sunday being the Pocono 350.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch come in as the favorites heading into the duel-race weekend. Here are the top-five favorite drivers to win the Pocono 325 outright on Saturday. Complete odds for Saturday are listed below.

Kevin Harvick +450

Kyle Busch +500

Denny Hamlin +600

Chase Elliott +650

Martin Truex Jr +700


Pocono Raceway Info

Date: Saturday, June 27th & Sunday, June 28th

Start Time: Saturday: 3:30 PM ET & Sunday: 4:00 PM ET

Track:  Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania

Type: 2.5 mile three-turn (the Tricky Triangle)

Banking: Turn 1: 14°, Turn 2: 8°, Turn 3: 6°, Back straight: 3°

Sat Distance: 130 laps, 325 miles (Cup Series only)

Sun Distance: 140 laps, 350 miles (Cup Series only)

Defending Track Winner: Denny Hamlin

TV/Radio: Fox / MRN


Toyota Owns Pocono! The last five races here have been won by Toyota drivers. And, all of them are driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. The only side note to that is that Martin Truex Jr was driving for Furniture Row Racing when he captured his win at the track.

Best Bets for the Pocono Organics 325

Kyle Busch +500

I may be going against my own good judgement as Kyle Busch has not done well for me all year. However, he is a repeat winner at Pocono (three of the last six) and the Joe Gibbs drivers have ruled at Long Pond.

This may be the race weekend where Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Toyota team will turn things around.

Denny Hamlin +600

Denny Hamlin has multiple wins this season and is a defending track winner at Pocono. He also won back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. He also pulled the feat off in his Rookie year, 2006, when he won both races at the track that year. Hamlin is as strong as he has ever been.

Ryan Blaney +1200

I went with Ryan Blaney last week and it paid off. This week might be a repeat! Blaney is the last driver outside of Joe Gibbs Racing to win at the track. He’s been strong all season and run up front several times this year.

Pocono is a track he likes and seems comfortable with.

Others I like to Win the Pocono Organics 325

Chase Elliott & Alex Bowman: I have to throw Chase Elliott into the mix at +650.

Despite a shortened race at Talladega following a “Big One” pileup, the driver has been a front-runner all season with one win this year. He has 2 top-five and 6 top-ten Pocono runs.

Alex Bowman is a decent pick at +1400. He only has a handful of Cup Series starts at Pocono but he has won this season on another large long fuel-mileage track – California.


Pocono Organics 325 Odds

Kevin Harvick +450

Kyle Busch +500

Denny Hamlin +600

Chase Elliott +650

Martin Truex Jr +700

Brad Keselowski +750

Ryan Blaney +1200

Joey Logano +1200

Alex Bowman +1400

William Byron +1800

Erik Jones +2000

Kurt Busch +2000

Jimmie Johnson +2500

Clint Bowyer +6600

Matt Kenseth +8000

Aric Almirola +8000

Tyler Reddick +8000

Matt Dibenedetto +10000

Austin Dillon +10000

Christopher Bell +10000

Darrell Wallace Jr. +10000

Ryan Newman +12500

Ricky Stenhouse Jr +15000

Cole Custer +35000

John Hunter Nemechek +50000

Chris Buescher +50000

Ty Dillon +100000

Daniel Suarez +100000

Ryan Preece +150000

Michael McDowell +150000

About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.