by Mark Mayer | Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson figure to be at or near the front for todays Sunoco Pennsylvania 500, but the sentimental choice has to be Mark Martin. Having done everything but won at Pocono Raceway, Martin has 19 Top 5 finishes and 30 Top 10s in 40 starts. Martin goes off as an inviting 25-1 at Station Casinos.
The race is scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. Pacific Time and can be seen nationally on ESPN. GamingToday motorsports analyst Micah Roberts does not have Busch among his top five selections. Roberts likes Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. Gordon and Kahne are listed at 8-1, while Edwards and Hamlin are slightly lower at 7-1. Hamlin is especially dangerous, posting two wins, two thirds and a sixth in five career starts at Pocono.
Johnson, who won the Brickyard 400 last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, had the fastest qualifying speed and is on the pole for todays Pocono event. Busch leads the Sprint Cup chase with seven victories and an average finish this season of 9.9. The Las Vegas native has also won this season on both the Nationwide and the Craftsman Truck Series.
Other notables at Pocono include Tony Stewart at 8-1, Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 10-1, Matt Kenseth and 18-1, Jeff Burton at 20-1 and Kurt Busch at 25-1. Kurt won the July race at Pocono in 2005 and 2007. Pocono held its first race over the 2.5-mile oval in 1971 and joined the NASCAR Series in 1974. Of the 61 Pocono races, 45 have been won from a Top 10 starting position. The pole sitter has won 13 times.
Some of the Pocono props offered at Station Casinos involve teams and car models such as Hendrick, Roush, Chevy, DEI, Dodge and Toyota. The winning prop is the driver with the best finish among the group.
Group A, Hendrick:
Jimmie Johnson +110, Jeff Gordon +140, Dale Earnhardt Jr +175, Casey Mears +600.
Group B, Roush:
Carl Edwards +105, Greg Biffle +175, Matt Kenseth +200, David Ragan +300.
Group D, Toyota:
Denny Hamlin +115, Kyle Busch +125, Tony Stewart +150, Brian Vickers +400.
Group E, Dodge:
Kasey Kahne +140, Kurt Busch +180, Ryan Newman +190, Elliott Sadler +450.
Group F, DEI:
Martin Truex +125, Mark Martin +150, Regan Smith +600, Paul Menard +600.
Group H, Chevy:
Jeff Burton +120, Kevin Harvick +150, Clint Bowyer, +225, Scott Riggs +600.