The tricky triangle....one more track that hasn't been checked off of my bucket list yet. Who's hot? Who's not? Let's see....
Jimmie Johnson has the best average finish on the Triangle with a 9.5 and Mark Martin has finished with the most top fives coming into this second 2010 race with 19 top five finishes plus another 13 races that saw Mark finish in the top ten. Mark has struggled in recent weeks and I expect him to come back with a vengeance this weekend. He needs a solid finish to get him back into the Chase - he's sitting over 100 points out of the top 12 currently.
Tony Stewart won in 2009 and had a 3rd place finish at Pocono earlier this year. Tony raced hard last week and came out with a nice 5th place finish at the Brickyard and sits in 9th place in the Series Points. Tony should continue his pattern and see another top ten this week, at the least. Kyle Busch would love to finish better than his runner up position in the spring; with the determination that Kyle has shown this season I would guess that we will either see him in the top five or in a big wreck due to his aggressive winner-take-all driving style...of course we also know that if there is a wreck involving Kyle Busch it could never be his fault (you hear the sarcasm there folks?).
Let's talk about Clint Bowyer. Clint has quietly been improving this season. A fourth place finish at the Brickyard last week, he has got to be feeling good going into Pocono. He had a good run at the spring race at Pocono and finished ninth. Clint cracked the top 12 in Cup Points after his 4th place finish at Chicago, moving up two spots. Sitting in 12th is a dangerous place to be, however, with just six races to go before the Race to the Chase closes out. Clint will be looking for any way possible to break into the top five and improve his place in the Points by the end of the 500 mile race on Sunday.
Our current points leader, Kevin Harvick finished 16 laps down at Chicago with a 34th place finish but came back to finish 2nd last week at the Brickyard. With a fairly comfortable 184 point lead over Jeff Gordon, Harvick has some breathing room but doesn't want to let Jeff close the gap. Finishing in the top five is important at this point to keep Harvick solidly in that top spot in the Points. Kevin typically doesn't qualify well at the Triangle, with an average start of 19.94 through the 18 Cup races that he has run there. Looking at Harvick's average finish at Pocono he shows a 15.27. He finished 4th in the June race at the Triangle, 2nd last week, 34th at Chicago, and was the winner of the July race at Daytona. Provided Harvick stays out of any wrecks and avoids mechanical trouble we should see him finish strong this week.