M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 Picks, Odds & Predictions 7/24/2022
M&M's Fan Appreciation 400
Sunday, July 24, 2022
3:00 PM EST
Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA
We now enter the sweltering months of NASCAR and the series is heading to Long Pond, PA to the Pocono Raceway for the &M's Fan Appreciation 400. This is a three-turn oval that feels unlike any other oval track on the circuit. What makes this one different is that it feels like a road course. It has very long straightaways with every turn being distinctly different than the other. This means the crew will have to set up the vehicle to have it as comfortable as possible for the drivers because they can't be honed in for the corners. It also means the crew will try to have the car setup to take on two of the three as easy as possible and leave the last one up to chance. This is why this course feels so similar to a road course.
Now that we're through 20 of the 26 races on the schedule, the pressure has really been turned on for those without a win this season. This is a great track, and challenging to say the least, to take us into the home stretch before the field gets cut down. It'll be the first and only time this year that NASCAR will be at Pocono so there will be some unknown factors with the NextGen cars. The "Tricky Triangle" is a 2.5-mile track that began hosting NASCAR events back in 74'. There is 14 degrees of banking in turn 1, nine degrees in turn 2 and six degrees of banking in turn 3.
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Ambetter 301 Recap
Christopher Bell has basically locked himself into a playoff position when NASCAR was in New Hampshire last week. That leaves only two drivers left in the "points only" positions with six races before the cut. To give you an idea of how it looks, Kevin Harvick is 68 points behind Martin Truex Jr for a playoff spot, yet he is ninth in overall points. This is parity at its finest.
One driver that looked to be in a great place to get his first win of the season was Martin Truex Jr. he led 182 laps in this race, and he won both stages. It was his sixth and seventh stage win of the year, which is the best in NASCAR. He looked like he would be the driver to beat in this one, but a two-tire change with around 100 laps to go through him off course. He ended up dropping out of the top 10 before working his way back up to 4th.
For Bell, it was his first win of the season. He's won the pole three times this year, has 11 top 10 finishes and five top 5 finishes.
NASCAR Playoff Standings
Chase Elliott still sits at the top of the playoff standings with two wins and 734 points. He's got three wins this year and is a lock for the playoffs. Sitting behind Elliott with two wins each are Ross Chastain (667 points), Joey Logano (582 points), William Byron (536 points) and Denny Hamlin (441 point). Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr have the last two points spots. One win can launch a driver into the playoff picture so neither Blaney nor Truex Jr should be comfortable.
M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 Odds
Kyle Busch - +700
Kyle Larson - +800
Denny Hamlin - +800
Chase Elliott - +800
Ryan Blaney - +1,000
Martin Truex Jr. - +1,000
Ross Chastain - +1,000
Kevin Harvick - +1,000
William Byron - +1,200
Joey Logano - +1,500
Christopher Bell - +1,500
Kurt Busch - +2,000
Alex Bowman - +2,000
Tyler Reddick - +2,500
Daniel Suarez - +3,000
Chase Briscoe - +3,000
Bubba Wallace - +3,000
Brad Keselowski - +4,000
Aric Almirola - +4,000
Austin Cindric - +5,000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - +10,000
Erik Jones - +10,000
Chris Buescher - +10,000
Austin Dillon - +10,000
Kyle Busch won the most recent race at Pocono and has won here on four different occasions. Rightfully, he is the favorite in this one. He's also had a lot of success on 2.5-mile tracks by finishing in the top 10 in six of the last eight races with two wins. He's the odds-on favorite and we think he'll pick up his second win of the season.
Josh's Pick: Take Kyle Busch (+700)
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