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Pocono Will Be Packed With Rivalries

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What’s Happening?

As the NASCAR circus moves to Pocono Raceway for this weekend, like all NASCAR weekends, there are some rivalries for fans to watch out for. Whether driver vs. driver, team vs. team, or something else, here are all the rivalries to watch for this weekend at Pocono.

  • Pocono is not always a track associated with tempers and payback. However, in 2023, the Cup Series race saw Austin Dillon throwing a helmet at Tyler Reddick’s car and the Kyle Larson vs Denny Hamlin battle on the last lap.
  • A few storylines from the previous week could lead to some interesting rivalries for the weekend. Which ones could boil over?
  • Fans love to focus on rivalries and always scope out potential conflicts between drivers. This weekend at Pocono, there are a few topics to watch out for.

Alex Bowman vs. Bubba Wallace

Bubba Wallace was unhappy with Alex Bowman in Chicago following an incident before the rain delay. Wallace expressed his displeasure by putting Bowman in the wall on the cool-down lap, and NASCAR fined Wallace $50,000. Bowman admitted post-race that the initial contact was his fault.

It’s tough to imagine this rivalry going much further than that. However, if the two continue to run into each other, this could be an interesting story.

Denny Hamlin vs. Kyle Larson

In Chicago, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson took a break from their usual run-ins, primarily because Larson crashed out of the race early. Now, they return to the venue where their rivalry hit its’ most sour note. Hamlin pushed Larson into the wall in the closing laps while racing for the lead, leading to Larson expressing his displeasure under the ensuing caution.

Hamlin said in a recent episode of “Actions Detrimental” that it is okay with the two to race aggressively, and any track where they could compete for the win is a place to watch this battle. Will we see a sequel to Hamlin vs Larson this weekend?

Ryan Preece vs. SHR Drivers

Six weeks after the initial shutdown announcement, three SHR drivers have rides for 2025, with Ryan Preece as the lone exception. There was tension between the Preece and SHR drivers when Preece responded to news of a “Study group” at SHR by saying, “Study Group I wasn’t aware of.” Kelly Crandall of RACER reported a week later that Preece eventually joined the study group.

How much tension is there really at SHR? That’s unknown, but Preece is currently the odd man out regarding Silly Season at SHR. That motivates him to beat his teammates and prove what he can do.

Sheldon Creed vs. The World

A more proper title might be Sheldon Creed vs The Universe since he just cannot come through to get an Xfinity Series win. In three Xfinity Series seasons, Creed has 10 second-place finishes. Most recently, he finished second at New Hampshire after leading on the white flag lap.

Could Pocono be the place where he gets it done? He’s never won here at any level, but it seems a win will come eventually.

Thad Moffitt vs. Niece Motorsports

Some pretty major drama broke out in the back of the Truck Series grid the last few weeks, with the Niece Motorsports-aligned Faction46 seemingly shutting down out of nowhere. Thad Moffitt, the team’s driver, returns to the driver’s seat this weekend in the No. 46 for Young’s Motorsports.

While we don’t know everything that happened between Faction and Niece, Moffitt certainly wants to prove he belongs in the NASCAR ranks. What better opportunity than this weekend at Pocono?

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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