2009 Pocono 500 Predictions – Betting Preview + Picks + Odds
Race: Pocono 500 – Pocono Raceway
Date: Sunday, June 7, 2009
Time: 2:16 PM EST (scheduled green flag)
TV: 12:30 PM EST on TNT
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Preview: Pocono is known as the “Tricky Triangle” racetrack. It’s 2.5 miles in length with three different corners and three different straights, making it a challenge for both drivers and crew chiefs. Rain may be an issue at Pocono, particularly on Friday, though it’s in the forecast all three days. NASCAR announced a significant rule change this week with restarts throughout the entire race going to double file.
1. Jimmie Johnson (+500): Johnson swept Pocono in 2004 and had finishes of sixth and third here last year. Aside from one bad race in 2007, Johnson hasn’t finished out of the top 15 in 14 Pocono starts.
2. Carl Edwards (+850): Like Johnson, Edwards has two Pocono wins including the fall race last year, in which he lead 53 laps. He also finished ninth in the spring race and is due for a win in 2009.
1. Ryan Newman (+2150): Newman won at Pocono in the summer race of 2003 and, in his last seven starts, has had three top 10s and an average finish of 10.7, including a second-place finish in 2007.
Summary: Statistically, Denny Hamlin has the best record at Dover in terms of average finish (6.7), but Hamlin seems to have trouble closing the deal in recent races, even when he leads the most laps. The new double file restart rule should add some excitement and drama to races starting with Pocono, but it will likely take a few weeks to see what the overall impact on race outcomes will be.
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Becca Gladden is a freelance writer and race handicapper specializing in NASCAR.