As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prepares for its second trip to Pocono Raceway in less than two months, here are the five drivers with the best chance to win, starting with the driver least likely to prevail among the contenders.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesTodd Warshaw
5. Kevin Harvick
With an incredible 18 top-10 finishes in 20 starts this season, Harvick has been head and shoulders the most consistent of all drivers — and it shows in the standings, which he’s led virtually all season. The only thing working against the reigning Sprint Cup champion at Pocono? He hasn’t won since the season’s fourth race and has never gone to Victory Lane at the 'Tricky Triangle.'
Getty ImagesMatt Sullivan
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
After years of futility at Pocono, Earnhardt broke through in a big way last year by sweeping the Pennsylvania track’s two annual races. The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished 11th here in June and has been somewhat inconsistent over the season’s summer stretch.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesBrian Lawdermilk
3. Joey Logano
A bit overshadowed by the incredible run Kyle Busch has been on, Logano quietly has pieced together six top-five finishes in the past seven races — despite being shut out of Victory Lane. Logano, whose only win of 2015 came in February’s Daytona 500, won at Pocono in 2012 while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
2. Martin Truex Jr.
Truex trampled the competition at Pocono in June, leading 97 of 160 laps en route to his first win in nearly two years. Truex has cooled off a bit since that win but returns to Pocono fresh off a fourth-place finish last weekend at Indianapolis, where he rallied from a lap down.
Getty ImagesDrew Hallowell
1. Kyle Busch
Busch has won four of the past five races, including three in a row, and is on a roll like we haven’t seen in a long time in NASCAR’s top series. The only potential saving grace for Busch’s competition this weekend? He’s notoriously average and occasionally downright bad at Pocono, a triangular-shaped 2.5-mile track where he’s never been to Victory Lane and boasts just four top-fives in 21 starts.