It will be a real endurance test at Pocono. The race is long at 500 miles, it's likely to be hot and humid and the track has three distinctly different turns. The one break the drivers do get is the long straightaway at Pocono, so they do get a chance to catch their breaths for a few seconds before going into turn one.
First a look at how my picks fared last week at the 600-miler:
Kyle Busch: Finished third, so OK there, whether Jeff Burton likes it or not.
Jimmie Johnson: Got caught in an accident, but came back out and ran some laps to finish 37th.
Jeff Gordon: Was solid all day and took sixth, continuing a very good season.
Kurt Busch: The winner. You're welcome.
Kasey Kahne: A respectable 12th. Debated on whether to pick Kahne or Logano in that last spot, and Logano was 13th, so not much difference.
OK, for this week at Pocono ... remember when a deer ran onto the track there? You never know what kind of critters you might see up in Long Pond.
Denny Hamlin - He runs well at Pocono and the team is pretty hot, so hard not to pick him.
Tony Stewart - He needs a win and he won here last year. Has traditonally run better in warmer weather, so maybe it's his time to step up.
Kyle Busch - He drives for Gibbs. He's been leading and winning in everything, so got to pick him here.
Jeff Gordon - The dude's gonna win soon ... really.
Joey Logano - I wrote about why I liked him earlier this week, so it wouldn't look good if I didn't pick him right?
P.S. - Wanted to pick Junior, but not a believer on one good qualifying run.
Don't forget the race is on TNT, Sunday, 1 p.m. start.