The challenge at the 2.5-mile triangular track is setting up for three turns, each one with a different radius and degree of banking and then the three straightaways of different lengths. It's similar to setting up cars for a road-course race. Turn 1 has a 675-foot radius and 14 degrees of banking, Turn 2 -- also known as the "Tunnel Turn," has a 750-foot radius and eight degrees of banking while Turn 3 heads to the expansive 3,740-foot long front straight with an 800-foot radius and six degrees of banking.
Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne are probably the four biggest names without a victory yet this season, and all but Kahne have shown some speed this weekend. Kahne is still trying to figure out why he is the one driver in the four-car Hendrick Motorsports stable who has struggled this year.
"I think there has been a touch of bad luck and then we just haven't put together full races," Kahne said. "We've had great practices over the last month, maybe a little more than that. We've been really good in practice; great at times during the race, but we haven't put together the full race.
"And when we have, it's been one and then we forget how for the next three, and then come back for the fourth one and run pretty well. That side of it's been tough and we're all looking at that together to try to make it better."
With the pressure on to secure a Chase berth over these next 13 races, the "haves," such as Kurt Busch, with one win are virtually assured a spot. Those with two wins already are guaranteed a spot. So there's more than just the usual intrigue this go-around at Pocono as the playoffs loom larger.
"Yeah if we win one more race then we are definitely locked in, but it's a matter now of developing the No. 41 team into a championship contender, not just a Chase contender," Busch said.