NASCAR Sunday: The Eckel 4 pick the Pocono Mountains 350 with Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, William Byron on top
Pocono Mountains 350, 3:30 p.m. TV: NBCS
Kyle Larson was less than a lap away from his fifth straight win and sixth overall win of the season and then. . .
A flat tire on the final lap allowed Larson’s teammate Alex Bowman, who had led until Larson passed him with four laps to go, to pass him for his third win of the season.
Those two along with the rest of the NASCAR field will go at again Sunday in the second Pocono race of the weekend at 3:30.
Both drivers were still a bit shellshocked when Saturday’s race ended.
“Yeah, I hate to win one that way,” Bowman told NBC Sports post-race, “but hell, yeah, I’ll take it.”
Said Larson: “I guess disbelief still. I don’t know, a little bit laughable just because I can’t believe it. Hate that we didn’t get another win. Would have been cool to win five in a row. Just wasn’t meant to be I guess today.”
Larson, who will start at the back Sunday, will see if he can make it five wins in six races.
Here’s how The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis see Sunday’s race.
Kyle Busch: Rowdy finished second Saturday (he would have been third if not for Larson’s mishap), but was in the mix the entire race. In his last eight Pocono races he’s won three, finished in the top five, six times and in the top 10, seven times. So he knows this track.
Kyle Larson: It’s not going to be easy for him to bounce back, but the way he’s been racing you can’t just leave him out altogether and two of “The 4’’ think he’ll be right there.
William Byron: Saturday’s third-place finisher should benefit from the first race as well. He’s been under the radar most of the season. But Race 1 here gave him his eighth top five finish and 14th top 10 finish of the season.
Martin Truex Jr.: Since his third win of the season at Darlington, the New Jersey native has been quiet. His 18th place finish Saturday was the sixth time in the last seven races he’s been out of the top 10. But he’s had success at Pocono (two wins in nine races) and he’s certainly due.
Longshot Play: Chris Buescher: His 20th place finish Saturday knocked him out of the playoffs (Kurt Busch passed him for 16th), but also earned him the pole. He needs a good showing in the worst way Sunday.