With a week off, the NASCAR Truck Series drivers were able to collects their thoughts and get energized ahead of their next race on the 2020 calendar which is “The Tricky Triangle” Pocono Raceway.
The 2020 Pocono event will mark the 10th race in the tracks history, that dates back to the first inaugural event in 2010, which was won by former NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler.
Since then, the Pocono Truck race has seen nine different winners with the exception of Kyle Busch who won twice in 2015 and again in 2018. However it is likely that there will be a new or different Pocono winner this weekend. The only winner entered in this event was last years victor, Ross Chastain.
In fact, we will most likely have a new winner at the 2.5 mile speedway located in Long Pond Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon.
With that in mind, here are five drivers who might be the new victor in Saturday’s, Pocono Organics 150 to Benefit Farm Aid.
Currently, there are 40 Trucks entered on the preliminary entry list and are scheduled to compete.
- Johnny Sauter- Sauter is riding on a one-year winless streak dating back to Dover of last year. However, that might just come to an end this weekend. The Wisconsin native had made all 10 starts at “The Tricky Triangle” and has a best finish of second, which came in 2014. His first few starts at the track were not that great and pretty scary numbers. However, since 2014 Sauter has managed to finish inside the top-10 in every outing. In the 2017 race, he was able to led 12 laps. He’s never been able to win a stage, but the ThorSport driver just might be a good value pick for your fantasy lineup. For a notable, Sauter finished eighth in last years race.
- Brett Moffitt- Moffitt’s finishes has been up and down over the last three Pocono starts. In his GMS debut last year, the Iowan native started fourth and placed fifth for a top five finish. Overall, he’s been unable to lead any laps over three starts, but finished fifth in Stage 1 and second in Stage 2 in the 2019 event. Four years ago, driving for Red Horse Racing, Moffitt placed the No. 7 Toyota Tundra in the third position. His only bad finish came in 2018, where Moffitt finished 26th, seven laps down. If last year was any indication for this years event, Moffitt finishing in the top five or perhaps winning, shouldn’t come to a surprise.
- Ross Chastain- It may be pretty obvious to pick the recent winner of this race, but it’s kind of hard not too. In three starts, Chastain has finished inside the top-10, especially in his first outing in 2012. Placed fifth in 2013 for Brad Keselowski and won last year with Niece Motorsports. Not competing in a truck for six years at Pocono and going out to win is pretty impressive. Especially, considering how different the trucks are now, compared to what they were in 2013. Also for some more nuggets, Chastain led all but six laps en route to victory last year and won Stage 1. If the team does not suffer any mechanical issues and brings back another strong truck, Chastain will be tough to beat.
- Tyler Ankrum- One start is hard to go off sometimes, but Tyler Ankrum and the GMS crew will look to lean off that one start with the No. 26 team from last year and previous years notes. Ankrum placed the No. 26 Chevrolet runner up to eventual winner Ross Chastain in the 2019 outing. The Californian also scored a stage point, placing 10th in Stage 1. GMS has been pretty solid at Pocono in years past and I can’t imagine they will contend again on Saturday.
- Christian Eckes- Eckes has decent chance for an impressive showing on Saturday afternoon and here’s why. He’s made one start in the Truck Series and four starts in the ARCA Menards Series. The New York native won last years ARCA event driving for Venturini Motorsports. Excluding his 2018 ARCA finishes (where Eckes finished 18th and 13th), he picked up his average finish in both races last year, finishing third in the ARCA summer race and of course winning later in the year after leading 26 laps, and starting second. The ARCA experience obviously paid off for the Truck event, as Eckes started 13th and finished fourth in the overall running order. He also placed the Kyle Busch Motorsports entry, seventh in Stage 1.
As mentioned, there have been 10 races dating back to 2010. Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick, Joey Coulter, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain all have won here. Busch is the only driver to have won twice but he is not set to compete this weekend. Brandon Jones will be taking his place.
The most amount cautions in this event have been nine for 27 laps, which occurred in 2016. That race was won by William Byron. While, the least amount of cautions seen was two for eight laps set back in 2018, won by Kyle Busch.
As for lead changes, the most occurred 10 that came back in 2014. The race was won by Austin Dillon. The fewest amount of lead changes was two in 2011, won by Kevin Harvick.
Chevrolet has the most manufacturer victories with five (Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick, Joey Coulter, Austin Dillon, and Ross Chastain). Toyota has four a piece (Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Christopher Bell). Ford only has one lone win (Ryan Blaney in 2013). Chevrolet won three in a row from 2010 to 2013, while Toyota has four wins in a row, the most of any manufacturer consecutively.
Qualifying will be important at “The Tricky Triangle.” There has never been a winner outside the top 10 in the history of this event. In fact, the lowest a winner started was sixth, which came in 2013 by Blaney. Four times the winner came from the pole position, which was achieved by Sadler, Harvick, Byron, and Busch. The top pole speed is 171.347 mph set by Ross Chastain in 2019. However, there will be no qualifying this year due to COVID-19 to limit overexposure.
Ever since stages were implemented in 2017, Kyle Busch, Todd Gilliland, Stewart Friesen, Ross Chastain, and Harrison Burton have managed to win at least one stage.
The Pocono Organics 150 will be a short race on Saturday. Just 60 laps make up the 150 mile distance, as 15/30/60 will make up the three stages.
The race can be seen live on Fox Sports 1 at 12:30 p.m./ET and heard on MRN Radio.