Pocono Handicaps

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Matt Kenseth- Kenseth is batting .500 as far as top 10 finishes in his six starts at Pocono to date. His best result was a fifth place finish in 2000. Eighth here last July.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Last July Junior got involved in a savage first lap wreck with then teammate Steve Park. Earnhardt almost won the July race in 2001 but Bobby Labonte passed him in the waning laps. That was Earnahrdt’s only top 10 finish here to date.

Jeff Gordon- Gordon is a three time winner at Pocono with his most recent victory scored in the July event of 1998. In the last twelve Pocono races, Gordon has missed the top ten just twice, scored four second place finishes, and a total of eight top 5s. Good solid bet.

Bobby Labonte- Labonte has won at Pocono three times, most recently in the July race of 2001. Labonte has top 10 finishes in six out of nine of the last Pocono races but missed the top 10 in both races last year. (Not by much. He was eleventh in July.)

Kurt Busch- Busch struggled in his first three visits to the infamous Pennsylvania triangle but finished a strong second to Bill Elliott here last July to score his first top 10 here.

Michael Waltrip- Waltrip’s eighth place finish in this race last year was only his second top 10 in the last twelve races run here.

Jimmie Johnson- Johnson finished third in this race last year, a pretty phenomenal feat, but was fifteenth here last July.

Rusty Wallace- Wallace has won four times at Pocono most recently in this race back in the July race of 2000. Wallace finished ninth in this race last year but wrecked out of the July race and finished 40th. Wallace has four top 10 finishes in the last six races here.

Kevin Harvick- Harvick scored his first top 10 Pocono finish in four tries last July coming home sixth.

Robby Gordon- Gordon is a fairly good road racer and road racers tend to do well at Pocono. But you couldn’t tell that by last year’s Pocono results for Captain Crunch. He finished 19th and 25th.

Sterling Marlin- Last year Pocono was a good to Marlin with a third and a fourth place finish. Could very easily have won here in July were it not for questionable pit strategy. While last year was an exception, Marlin typically runs better in this race than in the July event. Go figure. The two races are barely a month apart.

Ricky Craven- Craven has just one top ten finish in the last seven races he’s run at Pocono.

Joe Nemechek- The last time Joe Nemechek finished inside the top 20 at Pocono was in 1998. The Fast and the Furious crowd was still sticking bubble gum cards in the spokes of their bicycle wheels back then.

Jeff Burton- Burton has never won at Pocono but has finished second here twice. Has top ten finishes in half of his eighteen starts here.

Mark Martin- While he has never won at Pocono Martin has finished second here four times including in this race last year. He has top 5 finishes in exactly half of his 32 starts at the Pennsylvania triangle and last July’s race was only the second time in the past twelve Pocono races Martin failed to register a top ten finish. (Nine of those finishes were top 5s as well.)

Tony Stewart- Stewart has missed a top ten finish only once in the eight races he’s run at Pocono. Seventh in both races last year.

Terry Labonte- Newer fans may be stunned to learn that Labonte has won twice at Pocono. (Most recently in 1995.) Of course newer fans may be stunned to learn there’s a Winston Cup track in Pennsylvania as well.

Ryan Newman- Newman once won an ARCA race here but he had to wreck another driver to do so. After the race everyone was all bent out of shape so Roger Penske bought the fellow Newman wrecked a new race car. Newman would probably be pleased to finish this race right side up. His last two outings on tracks of over 2 miles in length found Newman on his roof. Fifth here last July.

Dave Blaney- Blaney has made six starts at Pocono and has one career top 10, a tenth place finish in this race last year.

Elliott Sadler- Sadler has been pretty much hopeless at Pocono typically finishing mid-pack. But this is his first Pocono race in a Yates car and Robert’s cars tend to run well here.

Others To Watch

Dale Jarrett- Jarrett leads all drivers in career earnings at Pocono partially as a result of winning here three times. DJ won this race last year after his then teammate Ricky Rudd cut down a tire. He has missed a top 5 finish at Pocono only once in the last twelve races here so this would be a good place for the team to turn things around.

Bill Elliott- Elliott leads all drivers with six wins at Pocono. Last July he won the Pocono race from the pole. But the busted up foot isn’t going to help Elliott’s chances any at a track where most drivers shift gears.

Jeremy Mayfield- Mayfield has won three Winston Cup races, two of them here.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2003

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