For only the second time in series history, the Truck Series ventures to the Pocono Raceway for Saturday afternoon’s Pocono Mountains 125.
In those two races, Kevin Harvick Incorporated has taken the win with Elliott Sadler(2010) and Kevin Harvick(2011).
Since then, things have changed.
1: Kevin Harvick Inc. is no more.
2: Pocono Raceway has been repaved.
With that being said, the only thing that we really know heading into Saturday’s race is a new driver will be in victory lane.
Other than that, it’s pretty much anyone’s race.
But, if you had to place the title of “favorite” of any driver in the field, it would have to be Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin, who’s a four-time winner at Pocono on the Sprint Cup level, will be driving the No.18 for Kyle Busch Motorsports on Saturday trying to add to his already impressive stat sheet at the track.
While seemingly everyone would agree that Hamlin is the consensus favorite, you would be hard pressed to find one among the series regulars.
With three wins thus far in 2012, James Buescher may be the best bet among the regulars.
After finishing third in last year’s event, Buescher comes into the weekend needing either a win or a top-five to close back on the championship battle.
Johnny Sauter may be out of the points battle for 2012, but that doesn’t mean you can write him off as a threat to win any given weekend.
At this point in the season, all the No.13 team cares about is getting to victory lane. And after their fourth place finish at Pocono a year ago, this could be the site of win number two for the team.
Speaking of points, don’t count out the points leader, Timothy Peters, this weekend either.
A top-10 finish in last year’s event, Peters has been far and beyond the most consistent driver in the 2012 Truck Series season. When someone is able to finish high in the running order week-after-week like Peters has done so far, it’s almost impossible to rule him out for a win.
One thing unique to Saturday’s race is the length. 125 miles doesn’t sound like that far of a race. When you read it was 50 laps, it seems even shorter.
In order to win in a short race like this weekend’s, practice sessions and qualifying are crucial with not enough time to make adjustments or play pit strategy for track position.
It’s safe to say no one really knows what to expect heading into Saturday’s event at Pocono Raceway. Given the repave and the wide-range of talent throughout the field, the pool to win could be as wide-open as the racing.
Pocono Mountains 125 Entry List:
#0 Chris Lafferty (Driven2Honor.org)
#2 Tim George Jr. (Applebee’s)
#3 Ty Dillon (Bass Pro Shops)
#5 Paulie Harraka (TBA)
#6 Justin Lofton (Lofton Cattle)
#07 Johnny Chapman (Wear Your Gear/BOBBER.info)
#08 Ross Chastain (Melon 1 / SC Watermelon Association)
#9 Ron Hornaday Jr. (TBA)
#09 John Wes Townley (ToyotaCare)
#10 Jennifer Jo Cobb (Driven2Honor.org)
#11 Todd Bodine (Northeast Toyota Dealers)
#13 Johnny Sauter (Hot Honeys/Curb Records)
#17 Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing)
#18 Denny Hamlin (TBD)
#22 Joey Coulter (RCR)
#23 Jason White (Gunbroker.com)
#27 C.E. Faulk (TBA)
#28 Wes Burton (FDNY Racing)
#29 Parker Kligerman (Cooper Standard)
#30 Nelson Piquet Jr. (AutoTrac)
#31 James Buescher (Koike Aronson)
#32 Miguel Paludo (Duroline)
#33 Cale Gale (Rheem)
#38 Chris Jones (RSS Racing)
#39 Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing)
#57 Norm Benning (Norm Benning Racing)
#59 Kyle Martel (PBCC/Hanover/Finish Line)
#75 TBA (TBA)
#82 Sean Corr (Leonard Bus/American Heroes/Roush-Yates)
#84 Chris Fontaine (Glenden Enterprises)
#88 Matt Crafton (Menards)
#93 Dennis Setzer (RSS Racing)
#98 Dakoda Armstrong (EverFi.com)
#99 Bryan Silas (Rockingham Speedway)