No need for four turns this week as NASCAR heads to the “Tricky Triangle” of Pocono Raceway for the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400. This 2.5 mile asphalt track is located in Long Pond, Pennsylvania and is the only track to feature three turns. Built back in 1971, Pocono Raceway’s three turns were modeled after turns at other race tracks. Turn one is modeled after Trenton Speedway, turn two is after Indianapolis Motor Speedway and turn three is after the Milwaukee Mile. Pocono has hosted over 88 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to 1974, where “The King” Richard Petty won the first race.
“The King” however, isn’t the driver with the most wins at the “Tricky Triangle.” In fact, Jeff Gordon & Denny Hamlin both share the record for most career wins with six. Something maybe to consider when setting your NASCAR DFS lineups this week.
This week’s NASCAR DFS slate is pretty tough being that Pocono doesn’t really compare to any of the other tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. There are some questions you should be asking yourself when setting your lineups this week. Do you believe Chevrolet will continue to be the strongest manufacturer? Can Toyota capitalize off of last week’s success? Will Ford step up and gain strength heading into the final stretch of the regular season?
M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 NASCAR DFS Picks
NASCAR DFS Drivers to Pay Up For
Denny Hamlin (#11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing) $10,400
The driver at the top of my list this weekend for Pocono is Denny Hamlin. Hamlin has owned Pocono in his career. In 32 races, the driver of the #11 Toyota has six wins, 14 top 5s, and 21 top 10s. That’s almost two-thirds of the time finishing in the top 10. In the last five races at the “Tricky Triangle,” Hamlin has finished in the top five four times. This season has been very up and down for Denny, but recently he seems to be on the up. Hamlin has shown his prowess at Pocono and that should continue this weekend. Denny should definitely be a driver to pay up for at Pocono.
Chase Elliott (#9 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports) $10,100
Has anyone been stronger in the last handful of races that Chase Elliott? The answer is no. Elliott has finished 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd in the last four races and for the 2022 season, he’s been the strongest driver amongst his peers. Three wins, seven top 5s and 14 top 10s in 20 races make Chase Elliott a play any week in DFS. Pocono is still a track that the driver of the #9 Chevrolet has yet to conquer in his career. In 12 races up in Pennsylvania, Elliott has three top 5s and 7 top 10s. With his recent success, Chase Elliott will be up front of the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400, so he is definitely a driver to pay up for
RETWEET to congratulate @chaseelliott!
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 10, 2022
NASCAR DFS Drivers to Consider
William Byron (#24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports) $9,200
Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron is a driver to consider this weekend at Pocono. Byron has some great finishes at the “Tricky Triangle” in his young career. In eight races, Willie B has two top 5s, five top 10s and an average finishing position of 9.1 (best among active drivers). The 2022 season has been testy season for the driver of the #24 Chevrolet. Although he got his two wins early, he’s kind of fizzled off with only four top 5s and five top 10s on the season. I don’t think his recent short coming should deter you from playing Byron. Instead, his Pocono stats state he is a driver to consider for your DFS lineups.
Kevin Harvick (#4 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing) $9,000
Kevin Harvick is an interesting driver when it comes to Pocono Raceway. In 42 starts, he’s only recorded one win, but he’s finished inside the top 10 22 times. In fact, in the last 12 races, the driver of the #4 Ford has finished in the top 10 11 times. Add on top of all that his career average finish at the “Tricky Triangle” of 11.7. Another reason that Kevin Harvick is a driver to consider is that he needs a win to get into the playoffs. He’s desperate and out of desperation comes opportunities to either succeed or fail miserably. He may not have won a race in 2022, but in the last five races, he’s finished in the top 10. Harvick should definitely be a driver you consider when setting your lineups for the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400.
Kurt Busch (#45 Toyota, 23XI Racing) $8,500
A driver that I believe is undervalued is Kurt Busch. The driver of the #45 Toyota has shown flashes of brilliance this season with his one win and eight top 10s. At Pocono, the numbers are about the same. In 41 starts at the “Tricky Triangle”, Kurt Busch has visited victory lane three times and finished in the top 10 more than 50% of the time. In those same 41 races, Busch has an average finish of 14.4. $8,500 I believe is a cheap price for such a strong driver. Kurt Busch should be given strong consideration for your NASCAR DFS lineups.
— Pocono Raceway (@PoconoRaceway) June 6, 2016
NASCAR DFS Driver to Stay Away From
Ricky Stenhouse Jr (#47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing) $6,600
Lay off Ricky Stenhouse Jr this weekend in the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400. Ricky and Pocono just don’t seem to mix well. In 18 races, the driver of the #47 Chevrolet has never finished in the top five, nor even the top 10. In the last seven races at Pocono, Stenhouse hasn’t finished better that 15th place. The 2022 season hasn’t been great for Ricky either. Five top 10s on the season and no top 15 finishes in the last six races. Pocono spell out the struggles for Ricky. The stats say this weekend at Pocono, Ricky Stenhouse Jr should be avoided when setting your DFS lineups.