Maybe this year, the Pocono champion will actually be the first to the finish line.
Chase Elliott will start Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the 2.5-mile triangle (2:30 p.m. ET, USA) as the current champion despite placing third last time out. Elliott finished behind Denny Hamlin disqualification and Kyle Busch in the race, but both of them were disqualified for using illegal tape on the front of their cars during post-race inspection.
NASCAR Denny Hamlin disqualification announced that losers who failed post-race inspection would face consequences before the 2019 season. However, no Cup Series driver has ever lost a victory as a result of a disqualification prior to Hamlin (and later Busch) at Pocono. Up until the double DQ, no winning Cup Series driver had ever been disqualified on a technicality.
At Pocono, Hamlin is the favourites, and Elliott wants to bounce back
Due to his “win” from a season ago and his prior Pocono exploits, NASCAR Denny Hamlin is the Bet MGM favourite at +500 heading into Sunday’s race. Martin Truex Jr., the winner on Monday and a coworker of Hamlin’s at Joe Gibbs Racing. the No. 2 favourite, with Kurt Larson and Kyle Busch tying for third.
Elliott has been dependable but unspectacular since he was able to walk again after suffering a fractured leg at Martinsville. He has only finished below the top 13 once during that span (34th in Charlotte), and he has four top-five finishes. In those 11 races, he has only taken the lead for a total of 37 laps. He hasn’t demonstrated that his vehicle is competitive enough to contend for victories.
Hamlin has finished in the top 10 in 21 of his 33 races, and he has six official victories at Pocono. Despite having two track victories, Truex. He last won in 2018, and since then, he hasn’t been in the top five. Busch has four victories and 11 top-five finishes, while Larson has nine top-10 finishes in 15 starts. Despite only two top-five finishes and no victories in nine starts. Among all active drivers, Byron has the greatest average finish (9.4).