NASCAR Saturday: The Eckel 4 pick the Pocono CBD, like Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin
Pocono CBD 325, 3 p.m. TV: NBCS
A year ago at this time, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin were dominating the NASCAR circuit and never more so then during the weekend doubleheader at Pocono.
Harvick won the Saturday race, with Hamlin in second. The next day Hamlin won, with Harvick in second. No other driver was really in the mix.
The duo went onto finish 1-2 in the Cup Standings and combined to win 16 of the 26 regular-season races.
This year as NASCAR hits the midpoint of the season, with the weekend doubleheader at Pocono, neither Harvick, nor Hamlin has seen Victory Lane.
Instead this year’s hot driver is Kyle Larson, back from a 2020 suspension, Larson has been red hot with three straight wins and four for the season.
Can he keep it going this weekend, and perhaps even pull off a sweep? Or is time for Harvick and/or Hamlin to finally get their first win of the season?
Here’s what The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis, think will happen Saturday. Come back after the race Saturday night for a recap and Sunday’s picks.
Kyle Larson (2-1): These are incredibly short odds for a track known as “The Tricky Triangle," but all of The 4 mentioned Larson and all but one (me) picked him to come out on top. If he does, he’ll break a personal 0-for-12 drought at Pocono.
Kyle Busch (8-1): The one dissenter from Larson (again, me) went with the other Kyle. Can you believe Busch is now the other Kyle? The 2019 champion is racing well of late and has been good at Pocono with three wins, five top fives and six top 10s in his last seven races here. That’s also a decent price on the odds board.
Martin Truex Jr. (10-1): Three of “The 4’’ mentioned the New Jersey native who is also very good at Pocono. In his last eight Pocono starts, MTJ has won twice and finished in the top 10 six times. Double-digit odds might be too good to pass.
Denny Hamlin (7-1): His win last year at Pocono was his sixth all-time here, which is more than any other active driver. He’s still the points leader, despite no wins, but Larson is just 10 points back. He needs and wants a good showing this weekend.