Everything you need to know about Sunday’s Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. There’s a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms at race time and it’s supposed to get worse from there. With no lights at Pocono Raceway, bad weather would push the race to Monday.
2. Martin Truex Jr., who won at Pocono last June, is coming off a dominant performance at Charlotte. He didn’t run well in qualifying, but was fast in practice Saturday.
3. Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger had their crew chiefs suspended because of infractions at Charlotte. Biffle, a former Pocono winner, and Allmendinger struggled in qualifying.
▪ Dale Earnhardt Jr. insists there are no issues between him and crew chief Greg Ives. But something was amiss during a difficult May. Earnhardt says he’ll be more “available” setting up the No. 88.
▪ Brad Keselowski is playing with house money, with two wins assuring him a place in the Chase. Keselowski said NASCAR’s playoff format creates an “interesting dynamic” in which Chase-qualified drivers have to find the motivation to keep racing.
▪ Hat tip to Pocono Raceway officials, who added 5,160 feet of SAFER barrier during the offseason. By next season every wall at the “Tricky Triangle” will have SAFER walls. Pit road also was extended after a couple of scary practice accidents in recent years.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Brad Keselowski: The No. 2 Ford has been one of the fastest cars all weekend. Keselowski won his first pole of the season and said restarts on the wide track will be key.
Kurt Busch: Having an interim crew chief didn’t slow down Busch, who had the second-fastest car during Saturday’s practice. The only driver faster? His brother Kyle.
Jimmie Johnson: No one’s talking about “Six-Time.” But Johnson has three wins at Pocono and has been running well this weekend after a third-place finish at Charlotte.
He said it
“You look at a car in the garage area, you look across at the guy that is really running well. You are looking at everything they are doing. Their body doesn’t look better than my body. Their motor can’t be better than my motor. It’s just a combination of dozens of things doing everything right, preparing and working hard..” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Where/when: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa. Green flag 1:18 p.m.
Track type: 2.5-mile, paved, triangle-shaped.
Race distance: 400 miles or 160 laps.
Weather: Thunderstorms throughout the afternoon.
TV: Fox Sports 1.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.