The time has come, 500 laps at Pocono await all fans brave enough to watch. But other than the regular drivers, who are five underdogs you should watch during the race? Come with me as we take a look at those sleepers who just may pull out a surprise on Sunday when no one is looking. Could we have another surprise winner like last week?
Brad Keselowski took most NASCAR fans (and drivers) by surprise last week when he won at Kansas. But even with that win, Keselowski is still considered an underdog this season. He's seven points out of the magical top 20 he needs to be in for his win to count and a top 10 would be a nice way to get it.
Paul Menard flourished when he joined Richard Childress Racing this season but seems to have lost the success bug the last few weeks. But with RCR having the drama of their owner being put on probation after an altercation with Kyle Busch last week, Menard may find his fire again.
Drivers always seem to do their best when their team is in trouble or has some drama brewing and this seems like time for Menard to step back into the RCR limelight.
With change (hopefully) comes success. Martin Truex Jr. will be showing up to Pocono this week with a new crew chief and the hope that it turns out as good as the most recent Dale Jr. crew chief change.
"His personality and mine mesh really well. We get along great, and he really understands what I am saying," Truex told Nascar.com. "He is extremely good at pulling more information from me to get the answers to questions he has when setting up the car. The communication between he and I is impressive, and we just click. I'm looking forward to what all we can accomplish together as a team."
With Truex's familiarity with his new crew chief, they may make big waves this weekend.
The move to Richard Petty Motorsports seems to have done Marcos Ambrose good this season as he has two top fives and four top 10s. Ambrose still hasn't gotten a win in the Sprint Cup series and most believe his win will only come on a road course.
Ambrose hasn't had the best luck here in the past (his average Pocono finish is a 27.2), but he is top 20 in points and looks to be improving most of his track averages from the past. In addition to his new ride success, Ambrose earned 111 points in the three races before Kansas, better numbers than Carl Edwards (110 points) and Kevin Harvick (109 points). Ambrose is definitely a sleeper that could gain his first win this week if he plays his cards right.
David Ragan seems to be coming into his own this year with four top 10s (two top fives) and a pole for 17th spot in points. While his career best second place finish at Charlotte may have been a fluke that depended on gas mileage, his stats this year look better than some of the big drivers such as Jeff Burton and are almost identical to others such as Juan Montoya (who also has two top fives and four top 10s).
Ragan has shown some flashes of potential this year and it wouldn't be surprising if one of those flashes turned into a win at Pocono.