Favorite Kyle Larson was poised to win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Series race after taking the lead from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman on lap 127 of the 130 lap race but had disaster strike when he experienced a flat tire within sight of the finish line on Saturday’s Pocono Organics CBD 325 at the 2.5 mile Pocono Raceway.
Bowman ended up the winner, followed by Kyle Busch and another Hendrick driver, William Byron, with Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five. The order of finish determined the starting order for the second race of the weekend’s doubleheader taking place at the same track, Sunday’s Explore the Pocono Mountains 350.
Larson, who started from the pole on Saturday, eventually limped home in ninth place with a cut tire and a bruised ego. The race was full of pit stop strategy by the various crew chiefs all afternoon, and it appeared that Larson had the right combination of speed and tactics to pull off the victory.
Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 Starting Positions and Betting Odds
The starting grid for the second race of the two-day doubleheader was determined not by qualifying or NASCAR Cup Series points but instead by order of finish in Saturday’s race. The top twenty finishers had their positions inverted, with the 20th place car starting on the pole for Sunday’s race, the 19th place car also on the front row, etc.
Those finishing higher than 20th would start in the same position as to where they ended the Pocono Organics CBD 325. With his 20th place finish, Chris Buescher, at odds of +12500, will have the pole position, with Michael McDowell at +40000 also on the front row followed by Martin Truex, Jr. at +1100 and Christopher Bell at +4000 on the second row.
MyBookie betting favorite Kyle Larson at +200 will start from the 12th position in the sixth row, with Denny Hamlin at +700 starting in the ninth row. Chase Elliott, who battled back from an early race mishap, is at +800 and will start in the fifth row after finishing 12th on Saturday.
Kyle Busch is also at +800 and will have to work his way through the field from the tenth row if he wants to replicate his stage one win from Saturday. Kevin Harvick, despite past success at Pocono, never posed much of a challenge in the first race but still managed to finish in the top ten and will start with odds of +900 from the seventh row alongside Joey Logano at +1500.
With his third-place finish on Saturday, William Byron will be in row nine at +1000 while winner Alex Bowman has odds of +1600 and will start next to Kyle Busch in row ten. Other notables include Brad Keselowski in row six at +1400, Eric Almirola in row three at +5000, Ryan Blaney at +1500 in row eight, and Bubba Wallace starting in the fourth row with odds of +25000.