Harvick Keeps on Winning
Kevin Harvick picked up his 6th win of the Cup Series season last week at New Hampshire, bumping Kyle Busch, who was also going for his 6th win of the season, to get the victory. Harvick is the 2nd driver since 2000 to win at least 6 of the first 20 races of the season, the other is Kyle Busch in 2008. Before Busch, you have to go back to Jeff Gordon, who did it 3 straight seasons (1996-98), before Gordon, Dale Earnhardt did so 3 times in the prime of his career.
Busch took a lead over Kyle Busch in the playoff points accumulate this year, with 32 to Busch's 30. Those 2, along with Martin Truex Jr., have a lead over the rest of the pack.
But Busch could pull back ahead at Pocono, 1 of 2 tracks currently on the Cup Series schedule where Harvick has never won. On the flip side, Martin Truex Jr. won at Pocono earlier this season, and Kyle Busch is the defending winner of the 2nd Pocono race.
Dominance at the Top
Harvick (6), Kyle Busch (5) and Martin Truex Jr. (4) have combined to win 15 of the first 20 races of the season. This is just the 7th season in series history in which 3 or more drivers have each had at least 4 wins 20 races into the season. It most recently happened in 1999. Before that, you have to go back to the late 1970s.
Johnson Makes Start #600
7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be making his 600th career start Sunday at Pocono. He'll be the 29th driver in series history to make that many starts, and the 5th active (Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman).
Johnson ranks tied for 6th on the all-time wins list.
But Johnson might be hardpressed to add another win anytime soon. He's in the midst of a career-long 43-race winless streak, in fact, his next-longest winless streak is a 24-race run in 2016. He's also having his worst statistical year in a number of categories.
Who's Hot and Who's Not - Pocono
Kyle Busch (Gibbs): 7.8 Avg finish this season; would be best by a driver in a full season since Jeff Gordon in 2007 (7.3)
Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas): finished 4th or better in last 4 Pocono races
Brad Keselowski (Penske): 6 straight top-5 finishes at Pocono
Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row): finished 6th, 3rd, 1st in last 3 Pocono races
Kyle Larson (Ganassi): 10.6 Avg finish is 2nd-best at Pocono among active drivers (Brad Keselowski, 10.2)
Denny Hamlin (Gibbs): winless in last 16 Pocono races after winning 4 of first 9 Pocono races
Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick): wrecked out of 2 of last 3 and 4 of last 8 Pocono races (22.3 Avg finish)
Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas); 2 top-5 finishes in 25 career starts at Pocono (best: 3rd in August 2009)
Aric Almirola (Stewart-Haas): failed to finish 4 of last 7 races at Pocono
Joey Logano (Penske): finished 23rd or worse in 3 of last 4 Pocono races
--- ESPN Stats & Info ---