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  • Four-time Pocono Cup Series winner Kyle Busch looking to punch his ticket for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with a return to Victory Lane at “The Tricky Triangle.”
  • Pocono Raceway among Denny Hamlin’s best-performing tracks in his entire career.

LONG POND, Pa. (July 9, 2024) – The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA at Pocono Raceway on Sunday is the first of six remaining regular-season races that will finalize the 16-driver field for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Twelve different drivers already have earned a win through the first 20 races and The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA presents the next opportunity for someone to provisionally join the coveted Playoff field for the 10-race, post-season format that begins Sept. 8 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Nine of those come from three organizations – Hendrick Motorsports (Kyle Larson, William Byron, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman), Team Penske (Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Austin Cindric) and Joe Gibbs Racing (Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell). The other three are Tyler Reddick of 23XI Racing, Daniel Suarez of Trackhouse Racing and Brad Keselowski of RFK Racing.

Of the 12, Hamlin, Larson, Byron and Bell are guaranteed Playoff berths with multiple wins on the season.

There are several prominent names in search of a victory – most notably former Cup Series champions and Pocono winners Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. – heading into this weekend’s event that will feature all three of NASCAR’s national series.

The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series opens the racing with the CRC Brakleen 175 on Friday (5:30 p.m. ET, TV: FS1, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM) and will be followed by Saturday’s Xfinity Series Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 (3 p.m., TV: USA Network, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM). The weekend is highlighted by The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA Cup Series race on Sunday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (TV: USA Network, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM).

Here’s a look at the “Tricky 5” storylines for The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA:

  1. Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch of Richard Childress Racing is still looking to extend his streak of 19 consecutive seasons of at least one win and, more importantly, secure a Playoff berth.

Busch sits 19th in the playoff picture – 98 points behind Chris Buescher who is currently in the 16th and final position – and Pocono Raceway arrives at a time to possibly turn around his season with a much-needed victory. He owns just two top-five finishes through 20 races and Sunday’s ninth-place finish in the Chicago street race was his first top-10 performance since Kansas Speedway on May 5.

Busch’s four career wins at “The Tricky Triangle” have all come in his last 11 starts, with the most recent coming in 2021, but all came while competing for Joe Gibbs Racing. Last season with RCR, he qualified 25th and finished 21st, and the lone start could be an anomaly given his overall success at Pocono.

Busch’s victory total ranks tied for fourth all time (second among active drivers), his four poles are tied for second and he has recorded top-10 finishes in half of his 36 career starts, including 11 among the top five.

Busch has qualified for the Cup Series Playoffs 16 times, which includes a run of five consecutive Championship 4 Round appearances from 2015-2019.

  1. Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing also may lean on Pocono Raceway to provide his first win of the season or, at the very least, provide more valuable points in his effort to make the Playoffs.

Truex Jr. is in a much better position than Busch, currently ranking 13th in the post-season outlook and the top-ranked driver among those who have yet to record a win. He is a two-time Pocono winner (2015-1, 2018-1) and has finished among the top 10 in five of his last seven visits, including third last season. He also has qualified well recently, starting among the top eight in his last three Pocono races including second last year.

The 2017 Cup Series champion, in his final season, is a 10-time Playoff qualifier and tied for the most Championship 4 Round appearances with five. He also has finished runner-up in the championship standings in three of the last six seasons (2018, ’19 and ’21).

  1. Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing has not found “The Triangle” very tricky over the course of his career and could be a spoiler for any Playoff hopefuls.

Hamlin collected his seventh career win at Pocono Raceway last season to break a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the track record. Three of those have come in his last seven starts and it would have been four if not for the disqualification in the 2022 race.

In a 20-year career highlighted by 54 victories and 42 poles, Pocono Raceway ranks among his best-performing tracks. The seven wins are the most he has recorded at a single Cup Series track, with Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway ranking second at five each. He also has collected four pole positions at Pocono, which is tied for first with Martinsville, Dover Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway in his career.

In 34 career starts at Pocono, he has an average starting position of 7.6 and finishing position of 11.5.

  1. Team Penske enjoyed a June boon for its Playoff fortunes. The organization began the month with no drivers qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and left with all three firmly entrenched with pivotal victories.

Team Penske won three of June’s five races, beginning June 2 with Austin Cindric at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Ryan Blaney, who ran out of fuel entering the final lap at WWT Raceway to give his teammate the victory, rebounded with a June 16 win at Iowa Speedway.

Joey Logano, who did win the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race in May, closed out the month in fashion by winning the five-overtime thriller at Nashville Superspeedway on June 30.

Two of the three Team Penske drivers have won previously at Pocono Raceway, with Logano winning in 2012 and Blaney in 2017. Logano’s win came with Joe Gibbs Racing while Blaney’s first career Cup win came with the Wood Brothers.

  1. Stewart-Haas Racing announced May 28 that the organization would cease operations at the conclusion of this season. The decision suddenly left the team’s four Cup Series drivers – Chase BriscoeJosh BerryRyan Preece and Noah Gragson – without rides for 2025 and utilizing the remainder of the season as an opportunity to audition for potential landing spots.

On June 25, Briscoe was the first to announce a move for next season as he will be heading to Joe Gibbs Racing to replace the retiring Truex Jr. Last week, Berry’s plans for next season were solidified when the Wood Brothers announced he would be replacing Harrison Burton.

Gragson, 23rd in points, recorded his sixth top-10 finish of the season two races ago at Nashville Superspeedway. He followed with a 14th-place effort in Sunday’s street circuit race in Chicago. Preece, 26th in points, also responded at Nashville by finishing fourth for his first top-five effort on the season.

For tickets or additional information about The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA, please

About Pocono Raceway

Pocono Raceway, also known as ‘The Tricky Triangle,’ is family-owned and situated in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. In business for over 50 years, the Raceway hosts multiple, national motorsports events including the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series events each year. The facility’s calendar also consists of over 200 events including Elements Music & Arts Festival and a wide range of non-motorsports entertainment, car clubs and racing schools. Pocono Raceway is recognized as the world’s first, privately-owned solar-powered sports facility. Their 25-acre, three-megawatt solar farm provides the energy needs of the Raceway, as well as, adds electricity to the local power grid. Each member of our raceway staff is committed to creating exciting experiences and lifelong memories. For more information, please visit

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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