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NASCAR Finish Line: Analyzing Group 2 for Pocono doubleheader


Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski are in Group 2 for NASCAR Finish Line at Pocono Raceway, but they aren’t the stats-based choice to make.

NASCAR Finish Line, a free-to-play gaming app from Penn National Gaming, is back with the resumption of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Each week, there will be six groups of five drivers for the upcoming race. Users will predict which driver will finish first among each of the six groups and then the overall race winner and second-place finisher for a chance to win $25,000 if all eight scenarios are correctly selected.

RELATED: Download NASCAR Finish Line

The second of six groups for this weekend’s Pocono Raceway doubleheader (Saturday race at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio; Sunday race at 4 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) consists of Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones. Clint Bowyer is part of Group 2 for Saturday’s race, while Kurt Busch is part of Group 2 for Sunday’s race. Everyone but Jones and Bowyer have victories at the 2.5-mile track with Hamlin (five wins) and Busch (three wins) accumulating multiple wins to their ledger.

For a stats look at each driver, NASCAR.com has compiled the career average finish at Pocono, the average finish from the last two races at Pocono, the percentage of top fives at Pocono and the 2020 average finish for the season. All this has been done to see who is the best play to make in Group 2.

A point system has been assigned, starting with one point for the best finisher and counting up to five points for the worst finisher. Those numbers were then added up. The lowest total signifies the strongest driver (green), and the highest total represents the weakest driver (red).

Driver Avg. finish at Pocono Last 2 avg. finishes at Pocono Percentage of top fives at Pocono 2020 avg. finish
Total
Ryan Blaney 11.5 (3) 11.0 (5) 12.5: 1 in 8 starts (5) 12.5 (4) 17
Clint Bowyer* 14.3 (5) 8.0 (4) 10.7: 3 in 28 starts (6) 16.5 (6) 21
Kurt Busch# 14.4 (6) 19.0 (6) 37.8: 14 in 37 starts (4) 11.2 (3) 19
Denny Hamlin 12.0 (4) 3.5 (2) 39.3: 11 in 28 starts (3) 10.2 (2) 11
Erik Jones 8.3 (1) 2.5 (1) 66.7: 4 in 6 starts (1) 16.0 (5) 8
Brad Keselowski 11.1 (2) 5.0 (3) 50.0: 10 in 20 starts (2) 9.7 (1) 8

*Bowyer is only part of Group 2 for Saturday; #Busch is only part of Group 2 for Sunday.

The runaway favorites for this group are Jones and Keselowski with Hamlin not far behind. If you favor Pocono-only statistics, Jones is the play to make without question. He has the best Pocono numbers of the group, and the only thing he is missing is a win. If you value wins, Hamlin is the choice to make as he has five at Pocono, is the most recent winner there and has a knack for winning in streaks there. He has won back-to-back races at Pocono twice, and Saturday would mark the first race there since his most recent win. If you like a mix of Pocono stats and 2020 numbers, then Keselowski is the pick to make.

Make sure to get your picks for all the groups as well as the first- and second-place finishers in the NASCAR Finish Line App before both races at Pocono.