Paul Menard – Pocono has been one of Paul Menard’s least successful tracks. In 9 of the last 10 races he’s finished 19th or worse. Hopefully in the #21 car he’ll be competitive. I think it will lead to an improvement in performance and I would look for him to likely be about a mid-teens performer. Last year, Menard didn’t do anything special in either race. Last summer he finished 19th and had a 22nd place average running position. In spring 2017 he had a similar performance. He finished 20th, earned the 21st best driver rating and had a 16th place average running position. In 2016 Menard had problems in both races. In summer 2016 it’s hard to speculate how good he was. He qualified in 3rd but on lap 20 during a restart when he was in 4th he had transmission issues that sent him to the garage and led to his 35th place finish. In spring 2016 he was likely high-teens good but his race wasn’t incident free. On lap 87 he had a broken brake rotor and it sent him to the garage. At the time of that incident he was running around 20th.
Matt Kenseth – Matt Kenseth has two races under his belt at Roush Fenway Racing and it’s becoming pretty clear he doesn’t have a lot of upside. “Performance wise” he’s likely a high-teens driver in the #6. As a best case scenario he might be mid-teens good. At Pocono in recent races Kenseth has been strong, but I don’t think his track record is all that relevant since he’s in a less competitive situation. Since 2015 he’s finished in the top 10 in five of the last six races. Last year at Pocono he was one of seven drivers who swept the top ten. He finished 9th in the summer and 10th in the spring. In the rain shortened summer 2016 race he finished a misleading 17th. In the three races prior to that he had results of 7th, 1st and 6th.
Kasey Kahne – Pocono has historically been a good track for Kasey Kahne. He’s won here twice and has finished in the top fifteen 54% percent of the time. In his current competitive situation I would look for him to be a high-teens to low-twenties driver. At Pocono in recent races he’s been competitive. Since 2016 minus the race last spring when he wrecked he has a 10.7 average finish and a 12.7 average running position. Last summer he ran well. He finished 11th and had a 15th place average running position. In spring 2017 he showed potential (finished 12th in Stage #1, 9th in Stage #2) but with 19 laps to go while he was running in 19th he nailed the wall hard which led to his 35th place finish. Realistically he was probably around mid-teens good. In summer 2016 he ran well. He earned the 9th best driver rating, had an 11th place average running position and finished 15th. In June 2016 he had a great performance and finished 6th.