Column By: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – LONG POND, PA – The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the Tricky Triangle that is the famed Pocono Raceway for the series’ 12th race of the season.
The biggest headline this weekend is the aero package the cars will be running. In just the series’ third trip to Pocono, the cars will be running the same aero package used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, in a race that produced a record 29 green flag passes for the lead and 16 total lead changes.
The aero package features a bigger splitter and taller spoiler, restrictor plates and manufacturer-specific aero ducts.
The aim is much the same as the All-Star race package the Cup Series ran two weeks ago, with an emphasis on more downforce to create more passing.
Kyle Larson won this race in 2016 and Brad Keselowski won it last year, but neither are competing on Saturday. Drivers not named Kyle Busch will have to dig into their box of tricks in order to beat him.
Elliott Sadler comes into the weekend as the points leader, with a 48-point cushion over rookie Christopher Bell and 55 points ahead of rookie Tyler Reddick.
Pocono Green 250 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro and Sons
Saturday, June 2
1 PM ET
100 laps, 250 miles
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network
My Pick to win is…
No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro
Chase Elliott’s debut in the No. 23 for GMS Racing in a fill-in role did not go as well as they had hoped. He is hoping to steer the GMS Racing team back into the right direction and mainly keep the team consistent. If there has been one word to describe GMS this season, it would be inconsistent. Though he has never run at Pocono in an Xfinity car, he has three top-10s on the Cup side. A win at any level would do him good and he could carry it into the Cup Series and maybe get his first win as a Cup driver.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Power Rankings
- Elliott Sadler: Though he is the points leader, he hasn’t been dominant throughout races and leading a ton of laps. He has been consistent though, finishing in the top-10 every race this season, scoring nine top-fives in the process.
- Christopher Bell: It’s been a feast-or-famine-type year for Bell so far, scoring one win to offset two DNFs. He has seven top-fives in 11 starts.
- Justin Allgaier: Allgaier sits sixth in the standings because of three DNFs, but he does have a win to his credit. Allgaier will look to get back into contending for wins like he was prior to last week at Charlotte, where he finished 32nd.
- Daniel Hemric: Hemric has two top-seven finishes in his last two starts, including a third-place run at Dover two weeks ago. Hemric is looking to take the next step and break into Victory Lane for his first win.
- Cole Custer: Custer is having a quietly-good season so far, with eight top-10s in 11 starts. Though he doesn’t have as many top-fives as the drivers ahead of him in the standings, if he continues to be consistent, things have a tendency of working out. He was fast in the first practice of the weekend and might be Ford’s best chance at Pocono.