NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, better known as the Kyle Busch show in recent weeks, returns to Pocono Raceway on Sunday for the Windows 10 400.
The 160-lap trek promises intriguing action as the chess match near the top of the leaderboard continues to intensify. Wins will come into play soon, which means Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and others have impending shuffles to think about down the road.
Then again, maybe it's best to think about Busch as they take the track Sunday. He's hunting to steal 30th place, and given his recent form, it wouldn't be a shock to see Pocono Raceway become his latest stomping ground.
Where: Pocono Raceway
When: Sunday, August 2, at 1:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Sprint Cup Standings
|3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||677|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||668|
NASCAR at Pocono Lineup
|9||Sam Hornish Jr|
|17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr|
|78||Martin Truex Jr|
|88||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
Drivers to Watch
Martin Truex Jr.
Can Martin Truex Jr. complete the Pocono sweep?
Truex cruised to victory back at the start of June at the same track, leading 97 laps and fending off both Harvick and Johnson for the win. It was part of an impressive seven-race run in which the Furniture Row Racing driver finished in the top 10.
He posted another strong finish this past weekend at the Brickyard, finishing fourth, which is right where he sits in the standings when sorting them by points. Now, Truex turns his attention to the sweep.
"After winning there last month, how can you not feel good and upbeat about returning to Pocono?" Truex said, per Reid Spencer of Autoweek. "We're going to have a big target on our back, but that's OK. We'll use everything we learned last time and more to hopefully achieve a Pocono sweep."
If Truex is to nail down win No. 2 on the season and keep pace, Pocono seems like an obvious place for it to happen. He's got recent form at the track on his side, so watch out.
The Pocono sweep isn't impossible—just ask Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt pulled off the feat last year and looked strong this June with an 11th-place finish. He's third in point totals right now and armed with the understanding another dominant showing would work wonders down the stretch.
By the sound of it, Earnhardt looks forward to getting away from a track such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway and back to the confines of something like Pocono.
"Thankfully, we don't run too many tracks that really resemble that place," Earnhardt said on The Dale Jr. Download podcast, via Fox Sports.com's Jared Turner. "We're going to Pocono that has some small similarities to Indy, but we run good at Pocono, so we're not too worried about it."
It makes sense Earnhardt wants to forget last week's 22nd placement at IMS. Most times he's struggled this year, the Hendrick Motorsports driver has rebounded in a major way. By the sound of it, Earnhardt's due for another strong finish.
What, expect someone else?
Busch has three straight checkered flags and four in his last five, not to mention some strong showings down in the Xfinity Series to boot. He looks unstoppable, especially considering he's done this damage at a variety of different tracks.
NASCAR's hottest name didn't look bad at Pocono in June, either, not with a ninth-place finish. Busch told John Erzar of the Times Leader he sees areas of improvement after the top-10 finish: "I messed up on a couple of restarts and finished ninth, so that wasn't too terrible, but you know, we definitely would like to get to Victory Lane there for sure."
Talk about a scary proposition for the rest of the drivers. If Busch can learn from his few mistakes after a solid finish earlier this season, he might mash it with his recent form for yet another unprecedented win.
Buckle in, folks. The comeback story continues Sunday.
Stats and info courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.