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NASCAR Preview For Pocono

Pocono Raceway (Getty Images)

The Sprint Cup Series runs at Pocono Raceway on Sunday while the Truck Series is at Texas.  Sunday’s 500 mile race is the first of two stops this season at Pocono.  They’ll be back again in August.

The last two Sprint Cup races have been decided by fuel stategy and this week it could be the same thing.

Last Sunday, Brad Keselowski gambled on fuel to win at Kansas, coasting as much as he could the last 9 laps and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the victory. 
Two weeks ago at Charlotte, Junior was less than a half-mile away from ending his long winless streak, but ran out of gas allowing Kevin Harvick to drive past him and
steal the win.

So it’s on to what is called “The Tricky Triangle.”  With 3 turns and long straightaways, Pocono is one of the most unique tracks on schedule.

Denny Hamlin is one driver who has Pocono figured out.  He’s won four races at Pocono including two of the last three. He won both races during his rookie-of-the-year season in 2006.  He says it’s a challenging track because the corners are fairly flat and with the long straightaways sometimes you don’t realize how fast you’re going. 

Last year, Hamlin held off Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch during two late restarts to join Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip and Tim Richmond
as four-time winners at Pocono. Bill Elliott holds the track record with five victories.

Hamlin had a season-high eight victories last year but has yet to win a race this season.

For the first time in many years drivers will be allowed to shift gears in the turns.  Jeff Gordon says it’ll make the race more competitive and create more opportunities to pass.

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