Aric Almirola – Pocono has not been a good track for Aric Almirola, but don’t count him out. In eleven starts he’s never had a top fifteen and his average finish is 27.5. In terms of evaluating his fantasy value I wouldn’t even bother looking at his track record and just focus on how he’s run on a weekly basis this year. On Sunday I would look for him to be a low-double digits driver who’ll have a great chance to compete for a top ten. Last summer at Pocono, Aric Almirola started in 25th and never even completed a lap because in turn #3 he was caught up in a wreck. In spring 2017 he missed the race due to injury. In summer 2016 Almirola had a tough race and on lap 67 while he was running in 22nd he wrecked. In spring 2016 he finished 20th, had a 20th place average running position and earned the 24th best driver rating. In August 2015 he tied his career best finish at Pocono and finished 18th.
Jimmie Johnson – Pocono is a great track for Jimmie Johnson, but he’s fallen on hard times recently. In 3 of the last 4 races at “The Tricky Triangle” he’s wrecked and has finished 35th or worse. At Pocono, Johnson is a three-time winner who’s finished in the top ten 59% percent of the time. Last summer, Johnson had a short race and on lap 58 he backed his car into the wall which led to his 35th place finish. At the time of the incident he was running in the low-teens. If he didn’t have problems its very reasonable to think he was low-teens good. Last spring he had a strong car and was top ten good but careened into the wall which led to his 36th place finish. At the time of his problem he was running in 7th. 2016 was a tough year and he finished outside the top 15 both races. In summer 2016 Johnson finished 16th. That race played out very unconventionally with its abrupt ending (rain shortened) so I wouldn’t read into it too much. Performance wise he was likely top ten good. In spring 2016 he had a great car and had top five potential but was caught up in a wreck that led to his 35th place finish. At the time of that incident he was running around 5th. On Sunday if Johnson has an incident free race I would look for him to compete for a top ten.
Daniel Suarez – Daniel Suarez had a respectable rookie season at Pocono and between the combined races he had an 11th place average finish. Last summer he had his better of the two performances. In the race he started 8th, finished 7th, earned the 8th best driver rating and had a 10th place average running position. It was a very solid performance from him. Last spring he had a respectable race. He finished 15th, had a 13th place average running position and earned the 17th best driver rating. To set his baseline fantasy value for Pocono I would write him down as a low-double digits to mid-teens driver.