Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Odds to win 2019 Daytona 500

Austin Dillon rocked the series with a 2018 win at Daytona. 
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2019 DAYTONA 500
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2019

Kevin HARVICK 8/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 8/1
Joey LOGANO 8/1
Clint BOWYER 10/1
Aric ALMIROLA 12/1
Denny HAMLIN 12/1
Chase ELLIOTT 12/1
Ryan BLANEY 12/1
Daniel SUAREZ 18/1
Kyle BUSCH 14/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 14/1
Kurt BUSCH 14/1
Martin TRUEX JR 14/1
Alex BOWMAN 25/1
Erik JONES 25/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 25/1
Kyle LARSON 30/1
Austin DILLON 40/1
Paul MENARD 40/1
Daniel HEMRIC 50/1
Ryan NEWMAN 50/1
Ryan PREECE 80/1
William BYRON 40/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 80/1
Chris BUESCHER 100/1
Matt DIBENEDETTO 200/1
Ty DILLON 100/1
David RAGAN 100/1
Michael McDOWELL 200/1
FIELD (all others) 30/1

Odds to win 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Championship

Martin Truex Jr is 6/1 to win the title driving the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Toyota.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2019 NASCAR MONSTER ENERGY CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

Kevin HARVICK 9/2
Kyle BUSCH 9/2
Martin TRUEX JR 6/1
Chase ELLIOTT 7/1
Kyle LARSON 7/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 10/1
Ryan BLANEY 10/1
Joey LOGANO 10/1
Clint BOWYER 15/1
Erik JONES 15/1
Aric ALMIROLA 25/1
Denny HAMLIN 25/1
Kurt BUSCH 25/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 30/1
Daniel SUAREZ 40/1
Alex BOWMAN 50/1
Austin DILLON 60/1
William BYRON 60/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 100/1
Paul MENARD 100/1
Daniel HEMRIC 300/1
Ryan NEWMAN 300/1
Ryan PREECE 1000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 2000/1
Chris BUESCHER 2000/1
Matt DIBENEDETTO 2000/1

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Homestead Betting Preview: 2018 Ford EcoBoost 400

Kyle Busch and Martin Truex jr going for second title.
It's been a long ride on the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, and now the sun is setting. Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is race No. 36, the 10th of the Playoffs and 11th on a 1.5-mile track.

The Playoffs began 10 weeks ago in Las Vegas and now we finally have our Championship 4. There are no carryover points from previous races. Whoever has the best finish Sunday wins the season championship and the past four seasons have seen the eventual champion win at Homestead and three of those drivers are looking for another championship Sunday.

Kevin Harvick won the 2014 Homestead race to seal his first career title and Las Vegan Kyle Busch also did it in 2015 for his first. Last season, Martin Truex Jr. completed the double for his first title. Those three drivers have been called the Big-3 all season long. They were supposed to be here. The driver looking for his first championship is Joey Logano who has twice been in the Championship 4.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook adjusted its championship odds with Busch and Harvick co-favorites at 11/5, Truex next at 11/4 odds and Logano with the longest odds at 7/2. The reason the odds are the way they are is far deeper than Busch and Harvick each winning a series-high eight races and Truex winning the next most with four wins. It's more about the type of track.

There are more races on 1.5-mile tracks than any other type and Harvick won four of the 10 so far this season, Busch won three of them and Truex won one. Logano's two wins on the season came at Talladega where almost any driver can win and the other was on Martinsville's half-mile layout. He's had good runs lately on the 1.5s, such as leading 54 laps and finishing third at Texas two weeks ago, a race won by Harvick who led a race-high 177 laps.

“Well, it’s exciting for us, I think, to be in this position again,” said Truex. “This is our third trip to Homestead in four years, which I think is something we’re all really proud of as a group, and obviously going to be our last race together as a complete group, it’s definitely going to be a special weekend.

“You know, all we can do is prepare the best we can and do the same thing that we’ve done down there before and just try our best. That’s all you can do at the end of the day. We’ve got a great team. It’s been an amazing, amazing ride together, and hopefully, we can get down there next week and make our owners proud and just live up to our potential.”

Can you imagine a team closing shop after winning back-to-back titles? That's John Elway-type of stuff right there. The SuperBook has Truex 6/1 to win. Harvick and Busch are co-favorites to win the race at 11/4 odds.

One variable to be considered when betting on Harvick is that crew chief Rodney Childers was suspendedfor the final two races of the season for creative engineering (cheating) and Tony Gibson has taken over the duties. Imagine being suddenly told you're in charge of the two most important races of the season.

“Yeah, it was a pretty nerve?racking deal there for sure," Gibson said of taking over crew chief duties. "My biggest deal, like I said before, is just making sure that we take each practice ?? the inspection process we all know is pretty intense, so making sure that stuff flows good and we get through there safe and sound, and then we’ll take each practice just like we did Phoenix. We took each practice, each run one at a time, thought about changes and what we needed to do, and like I said, Rodney had a great plan laid out, and we kind of just followed his lead through that. He has an awesome race team. They all pretty much know what to do. You don’t have to tell them what to do."

I really don't think it matters who's on the pit box making calls. As Gibson said, these guys know what has to be done.

All the 1.5-mile tracks have their own unique traits and Homestead's layout is different from all of them with progressive banking up to 20 degrees around the turns of a paperclip shape. All the other 1.5s are on D-shaped tri-ovals. But the thing that matters most is the distance and the banking making most of them set-up similarly.

“I feel like we’ve got as good an opportunity as anybody," said Logano's crew chief Todd Parrot. "If you look back, the thing I would build off of is we led over 100 laps at Kansas at a progressively banked racetrack that’s similar banking to what Homestead is, not a high?falloff racetrack, but it was a good place for us. We lost some track position and really didn’t recover from that to finish the way I think we could have, but we had a great run there, and I think at Texas, the 4 car was dominant at Texas, but beyond the 4 car, I thought we were as good as anybody and finished third there. Our mile?and?a?half program I think through the summertime was lacking speed, and we just needed to understand how to make our race cars faster. Setup wise and everything. And I think we’ve continued to understand what we need to do to make ourselves faster, and we’re working on that, and I think through the last two mile?and?a?halfs we’ve had speed. We’ve been competitive."

Yes, they've been very competitive lately on 1.5s. In addition to Logano's nice runs at Texas two weeks ago, he led a race-high 100 laps at Kansas and finished eighth in October and before that he led 46 laps at Las Vegas to kick off the Playoffs and finished fourth. Still, no wins on the 1.5s this season for Logano.

Recent history also shows that those who do well in the first 10 races on 1.5s do just as well at Homestead in the finale. Last season Truex won seven of the 11 races on 1.5s closing out with a Homestead win. In 2016 Jimmie Johnson had won two of the 10 races before winning at Homestead for his first career win there in what would be his seventh championship. The Big-3 will have an edge at Homestead, but Logano isn't far behind. It wouldn't be a surprise to see all four finish in the top-five.

Of course, there will be 35 others drivers trying to close their season out with a win. Denny Hamlin and Johnson have won at least one race a season for their entire Cup careers and Homestead is their last chance to keep it alive. For Johnson, this will be his last race with Lowe's as a sponsor on the hood as well as last race with Chad Knaus as crew chiefs. He's been with both since his rookie year in 2002.

"Man, I want to win this year. I want to win with Lowe’s on the car and I want to win with (No. 48 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus)," Johnson said. "So, that’s our top priority. Seeing that (rookie) paint scheme is going to trigger emotions from myself and I’m sure our fans. So many good years with that paint scheme and victories and such. I think this weekend’s definitely going to be an emotional one.”

If liking Johnson's chances the SuperBook has posted his odds at 80/1 to win, which is the largest number the seven-time champion has ever had at Homestead.

In 2013, Hamlin won the finale at Homestead to keep his streak alive and he's 20/1 to win his first race of the season on Sunday. He also won there in 2009 and has a solid 10.4 average finish in 13 starts.

Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski each won on a 1.5-mile track this season and will be battling amongst the Championship 4 for the win. Elliott is 20/1 and Keselowski is 15/1, which are both attractive numbers despite a Championship 4 driver winning at Homestead the past four years. Hamlin's 2013 win was the last driver to win at Homestead and not win the title.

And then there's Kyle Larson who seems to be 8/ to win each week because of being respected by the sports books, but he has yet to win in 2018. The SuperBook has him at 3/1 this week, crazy. However, Homestead is a really good track for him -- top-five in his last three starts there.
READ MORE HERE....TOP-5 FINISH PREDICTION ON VEGASINSIDER.COM

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Odds to win 2018 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead

Martin Truex Jr is going for back-to-back championships.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2018 FORD ECOBOOST 400
HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2018 - 2:35 PM PT


Kevin HARVICK 11/4
Kyle BUSCH 11/4
Kyle LARSON 3/1
Martin TRUEX JR 6/1
Joey LOGANO 10/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 15/1
Chase ELLIOTT 20/1
Denny HAMLIN 20/1
Clint BOWYER 25/1
Kurt BUSCH 25/1
Erik JONES 30/1
Aric ALMIROLA 40/1
Ryan BLANEY 40/1
Austin DILLON 80/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 80/1
Daniel SUAREZ 100/1
Alex BOWMAN 100/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 200/1
Jamie McMURRAY 300/1
Paul MENARD 300/1
Ryan NEWMAN 500/1
William BYRON 500/1
Matt KENSETH 500/1
TY DILLON 1000/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 1000/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
Michael McDOWELL 2000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 2000/1
Regan SMITH 5000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Phoenix Betting Preview: 2018 Can-Am 500

NASCAR racing in the desert is awesome!
We've got some exciting new drama to add to Sunday's Can-Am 500 storyline at Phoenix. This is the cutoff race of the third round of NASCAR's Playoffs and when it's over we'll know who the Championship 4 drivers will be for next week's season finale at Homestead. But layered over the top of it all is alleged cheating and the severe penalties that come with it.

Kevin Harvick looked to have earned an automatic Championship 4 berth by winning Sunday at Texas, but his spoiler was proven to be too high in a post-race inspection and he had 40 driver points stripped along with the automatic berth for winning. Also, crew chief Rodney Childers was suspended for the final two races and fined $75,000. Wow!

No wonder those guys were so fast over the weekend. But I really do love the creative engineering effort. It's old school among so many new school things in the sport. So the deal here is Harvick's No. 4 passed the pre-race inspection, but failed post-race, as if someone changed the spoiler after the pre-race inspection? Bizzare, but perhaps a bit too harsh.

As a team, you have to find that edge somewhere, but now Harvick is fourth in points, only three points above fifth-place Kurt Busch. Only Joey Logano is locked in, so three Championship 4 spots are waiting to be claimed Sunday at Phoenix.

Among the seven drivers looking to advance, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have an edge in points with each being at least 25-points ahead of fifth-place Kurt Busch. To give an example of how small a 25-point lead is, consider Harvick gained 53-points for his March 11 win at Phoenix in NASCAR's first visit this season during its West Coast swing. Rookie William Byron gained 25-points for his 12-place finish. So Kyle Busch and Truex appear to have a comfortable lead, but they really don't. And if Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola or Clint Bowyer win Sunday, they'll automatically qualify and either Kyle, Truex, or Harvick will be chopped.

“I’d like to think our odds are pretty good," Kyle Busch said of advancing. "Obviously, anything can happen. Things didn’t go our way at Texas last weekend and we felt we had a good car, but things just didn’t fall our way after having the loose wheel. You still have to have some luck on your side and have everything kind of go your way. It’s tough to rebound, sometimes, after a difficult start to a day or, even if you have trouble later in the day, it’s really difficult to rebound and get a good finish like you need. We’d love to be able to win and automatically lock ourselves through but, if that’s not the case, then you just have to be smart and mindful of a good points day and try not to hurt yourself – just try and keep what happens to you under your own control if you can.”

While the Playoff standings have some impact in handicapping this race, the main criteria should still begin with handicapping the type of track. In the case of Phoenix's flat 1-mile layout, we can group its results in the same category with the two races at Richmond's flat 3/4-mile layout and New Hampshire's flat 1-mile layout. All three configurations are drastically different, but between the distance and lack of banking, the results have been almost identical in all four races on them this season. If a driver does well on one of these tracks, they do just as good on the other.

This isn't new. It's been happening ever since Cup racing began at Phoenix in 1988. Car chiefs get that winning balance set-up and stick with it, and sometimes use the exact same chassis for all three tracks during a season. Chances are pretty good that Harvick will be using the same chassis he won with in March.

So let's review the four races on these tracks with more emphasis given to the Spet. 22 Richmond race just because it's most recent. Three drivers finished in the top-five of all four races and one driver finished in the top-five of three of the four races and another driver finished in the top-five in the last two races on them.

Check it out, Harvick won at Phoenix and New Hampshire, finished fifth at Richmond in April and was runner-up there seven weeks ago and he led laps in all of them. Kyle Busch took the checkers at both Richmond races, was runner-up at Phoenix while also leading the most laps and was also runner-up at New Hampshire. That's an insane 1.5 average finish for Busch between the four races.

The other driver with all top-fives is Chase Elliott, and he's perhaps the most interesting look to get in the Championship 4 Race. He was third at Phoenix, runner-up at Richmond, fifth at New Hampshire and fourth in the last Richmond race. His 6.8 average finish between five Phoenix starts in the best among all active drivers. Kyle Busch and Harvick have proven to be better on these tracks this season, but Elliott is certainly knocking on the door and he knows he needs to win to advance.

“The No. 9 team and I are looking forward to heading to Phoenix this weekend," said Elliott. "We have to win this week so we are going to go to work and try to get it done. I feel good about Phoenix – we’ve run pretty good there in the past. I think it has actually been one of my more consistent tracks.”

Eliott's crew chief Alan Gustafson elaborated further on the need to win this week.

“We are trying to win. Our outlook hasn’t changed," said Gustafson. "Phoenix is a great place that we have had some success at and it’s a fun place to race. I feel like we will stack up a little better to the competition there than last week. We had a strong run in the spring, obviously, that doesn’t mean anything going back, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. We are going to do everything we can, I can promise you that.”

Yes, I love the team objective. Win! All-in! And man, NASCAR sure would love to have NASCAR royalty in its Championship 4 Race. Not that NASCAR can do anything special but wish for Elliott to win, but I'm on board with wishing as well. I'm also in on a wager for him to win.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Odds to win 2018 Can-Am 500 at Phoenix

Kevin Harvick snatched his ninth Phoenix win in March.

WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2018 CAN-AM 500
ISM RACEWAY (PHOENIX)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2018 - 2:45 PM ET

Kevin HARVICK 8/5
Kyle BUSCH 4/1
Martin TRUEX JR 7/1
Chase ELLIOTT 7/1
Kyle LARSON 12/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 15/1
Clint BOWYER 15/1
Denny HAMLIN 15/1
Erik JONES 20/1
Kurt BUSCH 20/1
Joey LOGANO 20/1
Aric ALMIROLA 20/1
Ryan BLANEY 25/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 60/1
Alex BOWMAN 60/1
Austin DILLON 100/1
Daniel SUAREZ 80/1
Ryan NEWMAN 300/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 300/1
Paul MENARD 300/1
William BYRON 300/1
Jamie McMURRAY 300/1
Matt KENSETH 300/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 1000/1
Michael McDOWELL 2000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 2000/1
Regan SMITH 5000/1
TY DILLON 2000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Texas Betting Preview: 2018 AAA Texas 500

The Busch brothers still alive in NASCAR Playoffs.
Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick evenly split up wins in the first six races on 1.5-mile tracks, which includes Busch's April 8 win at Texas Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday's AAA Texas 500. But it's been a different story in the three ensuing races on 1.5s since then with three different winners, none of which are Harvick or Busch. The early advantage is gone as plenty of other teams have caught up in the set-up and horsepower requirements needed to win on these type of tracks.

This sets up for a fantastic finish in the NASCAR Playoffs!

Joey Logano won his first career race at Martinsville last week and got the automatic berth into the Nov. 18 Championship Race at Homestead. There's Texas this week and Phoenix the following week for the seven other eligible championship contenders to try and get an auto-berth by winning. If none of those drivers get a win in the next two weeks the final three slots will be awarded by points and the current leaders are Busch (4,104 pts) and then Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are tied with 4,083 each.

“We have faced plenty of adversity in the playoffs so far but we’re still in it,” Truex said late race bad luck in the Playoffs at Charlotte, Dover, and last week at Martinsville. “We should have been in Victory Lane at both Charlotte and Martinsville and have a secured transfer spot for the championship round at Homestead.

“Our guys at the track and at the shop are giving everything they have. They all want that championship as bad as I do. None of us are quitting because the team is shutting down at the end of the season. We all have one mission and that’s to successfully defend our championship.”

Back-to-back championships for Truex as the team is shutting down would be an incredible feat. Harvick is looking for his second Cup title as well.

“There’s a lot of respect amongst the three teams, but we all want to beat each other," Harvick said of the Big-3 leading in points vying for those final three Championship Race slots. "Ultimately, that’s why we’re here. We want to win and I feel like that same passion lives in those garage stalls next to us and they like you, but they want to beat you. And a lot of times, you do whatever you have to do for your team to go out and do that and that’s what makes it fun. But there’s also a lot of respect there. In the end, we all want to beat each other, but it has been a lot of fun racing with those guys.”

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBookadjusted its championship odds on Monday and have Busch the 9/5 favorite followed by Logano at 11/4, Harvick at 5/2, and Truex at 9/2.

After that its Chase Elliott at 12/1, Las Vegan Kurt Busch at 25/1, Clint Bowyer at 30/1, and Aric Almirola, who is currently last in points (4.033), at 40/1 odds. Among those last four drivers, Elliott offers the best opportunity to win at Texas this week.

Elliott, who sits sixth in points (4,052), won the last race on a 1.5-mile track at Kansas two weeks ago. He finished 11th at Texas in April which was his worst finish there in five Cup starts. He's showing a lot more speed in the past two months everywhere and also happens to be the active leader at Texas with a 7.4 average finish. He also has a 2014 Xfinity Series win at Texas.

"I don't think there's one moment that I can say was the turnaround," Elliott's crew chief Alan Gustafson said of the No. 9 teams surge. "It's been coming and coming because of hard work. We've got an amazing group of people that work at Hendrick Motorsports. Certainly, great resources, a great boss. If we get an opportunity we can make some things happen. With Texas, we haven’t been good since they reconfigured it, but the result at Kansas certainly makes me feel a little better."

After no Cup wins in 2.5 seasons, Elliott now has two wins in the last 12 races, the last coming at Kansas which applies well here despite Texas being banked much steeper making it faster.

Brad Keselowski was chopped from the Playoffs in the last round, but his win at Las Vegas to kick off the postseason on Sept. 16 should serve as a major indicator that he can win this week because its banking is steeper and closer to Texas than recent races on 1.5s at Kentucky (July 14) and Kansas. He led 38 laps at Kentucky and finished third and led 26 laps at Kansas finishing sixth. Only Truex has been better in those last three races.

Read More Here......Top-5 Finish Prediction on VegasInsider.com

Odds to win 2018 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch won the spring race at Texas.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2018 AAA TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2018 - 3:15 PM ET

Kevin HARVICK 11/4
Kyle BUSCH 7/2
Martin TRUEX JR 5/1
Kyle LARSON 6/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 8/1
Joey LOGANO 12/1
Chase ELLIOTT 12/1
Ryan BLANEY 12/1
Clint BOWYER 18/1
Kurt BUSCH 18/1
Aric ALMIROLA 25/1
Erik JONES 40/1
Denny HAMLIN 40/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 60/1
Alex BOWMAN 60/1
Austin DILLON 100/1
Daniel SUAREZ 100/1
Paul MENARD 300/1
Ryan NEWMAN 300/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 300/1
Jamie McMURRAY 300/1
William BYRON 500/1
Trevor BAYNE 1000/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 1000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 2000/1
Regan SMITH 2000/1
Michael McDOWELL 2000/1
TY DILLON 2000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1

Monday, October 29, 2018

Joey Logano gets first grandfather clock with Martinsville win



Martinsville Results

Joey Logano wins at Martinsville in wild, controversial finish

Oct. 28, 2018
By Reid Spencer
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Joey Logano provided his own interpretation of the Golden Rule in Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway, as in "Do unto others as others didn’t do to you."
With a guaranteed spot in the Championship 4 Round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at stake, Logano moved the Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. out of the way in Turns 3 and 4 of the final lap to win for the first time at the .526-mile short track and claim his berth in the title race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"Just thinking about Miami, man," Logano said unapologetically after climbing from his car to an evenly divided chorus of cheers and boos from fans in the frontstretch grandstand. "Some are going to like it, and haters are going to hate a little bit, but I'm a hard racer. I don't think that's a secret to anyone. We're here to win a championship this year."
Truex, who cleared Logano off Turn 2 on the final lap after an extended side-by-side battle, vowed that Logano wouldn’t win his first title this season.
"He may have won the battle, but he ain’t winning the damn war," promised Truex, who slid across the finish line in third place after Denny Hamlin edged him for second in a wild scramble off the final corner. "That’s it. I’m not letting him – I’m going to win the championship...
"I was next to him for six laps. I never knocked him out of the way. We were going to race hard for it in my book. I cleared him fair and square. We weren’t even banging doors for me to pass him. He just drove into the back of me and knocked me out of the way. It’s short-track racing, but what goes around comes around."
From past experience, Logano knows that retaliation can be sudden and decisive. In 2015, after turning Matt Kenseth to win a Playoff race at Kansas, Logano appeared a likely winner at Martinsville and a favorite for the championship until Kenseth pile-drove him into the Turn 1 wall at Martinsville and ended his Playoff run.
But that incident seemed a distant memory on Sunday evening, as Logano savored his second victory of the season, the 20th of his career and the cherished grandfather clock trophy that comes with a Martinsville win.
"We raced hard there," Logano said. "He raced really clean, and I laid the bumper to him, so I don’t expect him to be happy. We had to do what we’ve got to do, and maybe there’s something he’s got to do, and we’ll hash it out, I’m sure, one way or another.
"But that was our shot. It may be our only shot, so we had to make it happen."
Hamlin, who had an excellent long-run car but couldn’t fight his way past fourth-place finisher Kyle Busch and fifth-place Brad Keselowski in time to challenge for the win, nevertheless had a ringside seat for the pyrotechnics between Logano and Truex.
"I think the 22 (Logano) saw he was in a vulnerable position," Hamlin said. "They were side by side for two laps. The 22 was on the outside. That's a position where you can't do anything to the leader. So it looked like to me that he conceded the spot on the white-flag lap. Once I saw that he conceded the spot, followed in behind him, I knew we were in for an exciting Turn 3 and 4.
"I knew it was coming. Everyone probably saw it was coming. I just think it would have been still a cool battle if they would have just stayed side by side. I think the 22 thought he wasn't going to win that way."
Despite finishing third, Truex leaves Martinsville tied for third on the Playoff grid with 10th-place finisher Kevin Harvick, 25 points ahead of Kurt Busch (sixth Sunday), the first driver below the Championship 4 cut line. Harvick is the last driver above the cut line due to a tiebreaker because Truex currently has the higher Round of 8 finish. Kyle Busch sits second on the grid, 46 points ahead of his brother.
Chase Elliott, who ran seventh, is 31 points behind Harvick. Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola are 42 and 50 points out of fourth, respectively. A late spin cost Bowyer dearly. He finished 21st, one lap down.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race - 70th Annual First Data 500
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, Virginia
Sunday, October 28, 2018
 
                  1. (10)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 500.
                  2. (3)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 500.
                  3. (33)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 500.
                  4. (1)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 500.
                  5. (7)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 500.
                  6. (6)  Kurt Busch (P), Ford, 500.
                  7. (19)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 500.
                  8. (16)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 500.
                  9. (8)  Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 500.
                  10. (12)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 500.
                  11. (5)  Aric Almirola (P), Ford, 500.
                  12. (34)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 500.
                  13. (13)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 500.
                  14. (15)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 500.
                  15. (23)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 500.
                  16. (17)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 500.
                  17. (14)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 500.
                  18. (36)  David Ragan, Ford, 500.
                  19. (18)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 500.
                  20. (4)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 500.
                  21. (2)  Clint Bowyer (P), Ford, 499.
                  22. (35)  Paul Menard, Ford, 499.
                  23. (24)  Matt Kenseth, Ford, 499.
                  24. (28)  Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 498.
                  25. (20)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 497.
                  26. (21)  Erik Jones, Toyota, 494.
                  27. (29)  DJ Kennington(i), Toyota, 493.
                  28. (27)  Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 492.
                  29. (22)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 492.
                  30. (25)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 491.
                  31. (38)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 491.
                  32. (32)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 490.
                  33. (39)  Jeb Burton(i), Chevrolet, 489.
                  34. (37)  Bubba Wallace #, Chevrolet, 488.
                  35. (30)  Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 467.
                  36. (26)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 451.
                  37. (9)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, Engine, 393.
                  38. (40)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Engine, 368.
                  39. (11)  William Byron #, Chevrolet, Accident, 364.
                  40. (31)  Hermie Sadler III, Chevrolet, Brakes, 230.
 
Average Speed of Race Winner:  75.31 mph.
Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 29 Mins, 32 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.107 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  8 for 68 laps.
Lead Changes:  11 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders:   K. Busch (P) 1-30;D. Hamlin 31-44;C. Bowyer (P) 45;K. Busch (P) 46-115;D. Hamlin 116-132;J. Logano (P) 133-359;M. Truex Jr. (P) 360-376;J. Logano (P) 377-418;B. Keselowski 419-459;J. Logano (P) 460-498;M. Truex Jr. (P) 499;J. Logano (P) 500.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Joey Logano (P) 4 times for 309 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 2 times for 100 laps; Brad Keselowski 1 time for 41 laps; Denny Hamlin 2 times for 31 laps; Martin Truex Jr. (P) 2 times for 18 laps; Clint Bowyer (P) 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 11,22,18,14,41,31,78,12,4,10
Stage #2 Top Ten: 22,11,18,78,41,31,9,14,47,2

Martinsville Betting Preview: 2018 First Data 500

Late post from last Wednesday

Who's going to be the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion? Will it be a former champion like Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. or Kevin Harvick? How about the beginning of a new era with Chase Elliott? Or maybe the upset with an old dog like Clint Bowyer or Kurt Busch?

Four drivers were chopped from championship contention last week at Kansas and only eight remain as the third round of NASCAR's Playoffs begin this weekend at Martinsville Speedway's flat half-mile layout. It's the first of three races in this round and four drivers can advance to the Nov. 18 Championship Race ay Homestead by winning one of the next three races or accumulating the most points.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook updated their odds to win the NASCAR Championship and posted Las Vegan Kyle Busch and Bakersfield's Kevin Harvick as 9/4 co-favorites (Bet $100 to win $225). Both are most likely to advance to the Championship Race just because they've been given a huge head start by carrying over playoff points acquired during the regular season. Busch has seven wins and leads with 4,055 points and Harvick has seven wins and 4,054 points, but no wins in the playoffs. Harvick's last win came at Michigan, 10 races ago, on Aug. 12.

Based on Harvick's past history between the next three races, he's almost assured of being of the four championship drivers. He's only had one career Cup win at Martinsville (2011), but he won the fall Texas race last season and has three wins on 1.5-mile tracks this season and at Phoenix, he has nine career wins and owns most of the track records. Kyle Busch also feels good about his chances.

“I like it," Busch said of the third round. "I think it’s going to be good. I really look forward to this round. I feel like it’s our best round. We run well at all three of those places and we won at Texas in the spring, we won Martinsville last fall and Phoenix has been getting better for us, too. We just need to continue to execute and do a good job and make sure that we mind our Ps and Qs. There are certainly some areas that we need to clean up right now and continue to get better because, when you get to Homestead – you’ve got to get there first, but when you get there – you better be picture perfect, so hopefully we can get it all sorted out.”

Busch should advance as well. He won at Texas April 8 and also has three wins on 1.5s and swept both Richmond races, a set-up which transfers over well to Phoenix. He's got a 17-point lead over third-place Martin Truex Jr. who has been posted at 9/2 odds to win the title. Defending Cup Champion Truex has four wins on the season, but none since July 14 at Kentucky, which is shortly before his team announced they would be closing the doors of their shop permanently at seasons end.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Red hot Chase Elliott rolls into Martinsville with Championship hopes

Chase Elliott has won three of the past 11 races.
Chase Elliott on having added pressure as the playoffs continue:
“I think that needs to be the mindset, for sure. I think every week has to be pressure-packed. You have to keep the pressure on yourselves. If you were to make it to Homestead, you have to pretty much win Homestead. I think you have to have that mentality every week. The points game is nice, I guess, to play. Really, you just need to care about winning. If you're trying to win, putting yourself in position to win, that's way more important than just barely trying to squeak through. Having the ability to win, do it weekly, putting yourselves in those positions week by week is the most important thing. If we can do that these next three weeks, I think we can give ourselves a chance.”

No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson on whether his past playoff runs can aid him over the next four weeks:
“Well, I'd like to think so. I'd hope so. Certainly, from my perspective it does. There's no replacement for experience. When I was young, it was like, 'Experience? What does that do for you?' You go through things and you realize it's a big deal. I've lost my fair share, I've won my fair share. As you go through that, you kind of know what works and doesn't work. You can help apply it, use that to your advantage.”

Chase Elliott will be available to members of the media on Saturday, Oct 27, at 8:15 a.m. local time in the media center at Martinsville Speedway.

LET’S GO: On Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Mountain Dew team captured their third victory of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season. Although a Diet Mountain Dew / Dark Knight Rises car won with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2012, it marked the first win for a Mountain Dew primary paint scheme since October 1982 with Darrell Waltrip. Since the Watkins Glen race weekend at the beginning of August, Elliott has won three times – the first three wins of his NASCAR Cup Series career – and earned eight top-10s, six of which were top-five finishes. The No. 9 team is on quite a run, advancing to the Round of 8 in the Cup Series playoffs – one step closer to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

THREE WINS: At 22 years, 10 months, 23 days old on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Elliott became the second-youngest driver to earn three wins, 11 top-two results and 33 top-five finishes – Kyle Busch ranks first in all three categories. Alan Gustafson was the crew chief for both Elliott and Busch’s first three wins. Elliott is the youngest driver in Cup Series history to reach 56 top-10s. With Elliott’s three wins all coming in the 2018 season, he has set new track records at Watkins Glen, Dover and Kansas for being the youngest NASCAR Cup Series winner at each.

#DI9: This weekend at Martinsville Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 begins. Since the start of the playoffs in 2017, Elliott has earned six top-two finishes, tied for the most with Busch and Martin Truex Jr. This season alone, the driver of the No. 9 has already collected three top-five results in the playoffs – tied for the most with Truex and Joey Logano – and is currently the only driver to win more than one race in the playoffs. With only a nine-race span between his first and third win, Elliott joins the ranks of Tony Stewart (seven races) and Bobby Labonte (nine races) – both of whom are NASCAR Cup Series champions – for the fewest number of starts between their first three wins in the modern era (1972-present).

ROUND OF 8: Bring on the Round of 8, which consists of Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway. Elliott’s top-10 percentage on the next three tracks combined is 62.5 percent, the best of all playoff drivers. His top-five percentage for the Round of 8 tracks combined is 31.25 percent, ranking him second among the playoff drivers (Busch is ranked first at 44.16 percent). Elliott has led laps at all three tracks for a total of 292 laps (Martinsville – 143, Texas – 9, ISM – 140). He finished in the top 11 in each of the three races on the tracks in the Round of 8 earlier this season.

THE LAST 11: In the last 11 races, Elliott has earned six top-five finishes, which is the most among all drivers during that span. He also secured eight top-10 finishes and three wins, both tied for the most.

MARTINSVILLE SUCCESS: Elliott finished inside the top 10 in two of the last three races at Martinsville Speedway. In the one race he finished outside of the top 10 – the playoff race at the track last season – he led 123 laps and was spun from the lead with three laps to go, ultimately finishing 27th. Elliott is currently on a streak of three straight top-five finishes on short tracks, marking the longest active streak in the Cup Series. He has earned four top-10s on short tracks in 2018, tied for the second-highest total behind Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick's five. No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson has won twice at Martinsville.

SUNENERGY1 RETURNS: For the fourth and final time this season, SunEnergy1, one of the world’s largest privately held solar energy companies, will adorn the hood of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The SunEnergy1 team was most recently on the No. 9 Chevy at the Charlotte Motor Speedway "roval," where Elliott finished sixth and advanced to the Round of 12 in the playoffs. The Mooresville, North Carolina, company also served as the primary sponsor for Elliott’s first career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Watkins Glen in August.

SEE ELLIOTT AT MARTINSVILLE: On Sunday, Oct. 28, Elliott is scheduled to participate in a question-and-answer session at 11:45 a.m. local at the Martinsville Speedway pre-race experience on the frontstretch. For more information on the experience, click here. He will also appear at the Team Chevy Racing display at 12 p.m. local time for a question-and-answer session

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kansas Betting Preview: 2018 Hollywood Casino 400

Kyle Larson led the most laps (101) in May Kansas race.
Hello cookie-cutter Kansas, here we come loaded with NASCAR Playoff drama as four more drivers will get chopped from championship contention this weekend. Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway will be the ninth race of the season on a 1.5-mile track and second visit to Kansas.

Only two drivers Aric Almirola and Chase Elliott, are sure to advance by virtue of winning the first two races in the second round, while Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have almost enough points to advance without needing a strong performance Sunday.

“We’ve obviously not had the round we wanted, but we had some similar issues in this round last year," said Kyle Busch. "If we didn’t have those bonus points, this weekend might look a lot different heading into the race. So I’m thankful that the system is in place that rewards the good runs we had during the regular season. We’ll just have to do what we’ve been doing all year and see where that puts us, and if we have a shot to go for the win, then we’ll obviously try to do that, as well, like we do every week with our M&M’S Halloween scheme."

Busch and Harvick have been the dominators all season long with seven wins each, and three each between the eight races run on 1.5-mile tracks so far, including Harvick's win at Kansas on May 12.

The Cup Series has tested at Kansas Speedway since the last race. There was a two-day session, Sept. 24-25, where I'm sure we'll see effects of it on display Sunday.

“At Kansas, we had a great test," said Chase Elliott crew chief Alan Gustafson. "So, we’re going to go there and work on our mile-and-a-half program and try hard to win that race. I think getting as many points as we can and closing the gap to the guys in front of us will help significantly.”

Lots of strategies will be happening among the 12 drivers still in championship contention. Others like Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are just looking to get their first win of the season to see their win streaks stay active. Both have won at least one race a season since their rookie years.

It's a good idea to scan over the May 12 Kansas box score and see that following Harvick was Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, and Hamlin rounding out the top-five with Larson leading the most laps (101), but the best advice I can offer is to review what happened at Las Vegas to kick off the Playoffs because it's more recent and relevant to how the cars are likely to run this weekend.

We're in a completely different place from May 12 to now. At the time, I think I was whining weekly about the Big-2 of Harvick and Busch winning every weekend and dominating on the 1.5-mile cookie cutters which they combined to win the first six. But then at the halfway point of the season at Daytona, suddenly the rest of the series caught up to the Big-2 and we added Truex to the mix and called them the Big-3. Erik Jones and Chase Elliott would both win their first career Cup race, Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney would get their first wins of the season and Brad Keselowski would win three straight races culminating with a Las Vegas win Sept. 16.

Odds to win 2018 Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas

Kevin Harvick was dialed in last time at Kansas.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2018 HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
KANSAS SPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2018 - 2:35 PM ET

Kevin HARVICK 5/2
Kyle LARSON 7/2
Martin TRUEX JR 9/2
Brad KESELOWSKI 8/1
Kyle BUSCH 8/1
Ryan BLANEY 10/1
Joey LOGANO 15/1
Chase ELLIOTT 18/1
Clint BOWYER 20/1
Kurt BUSCH 20/1
Erik JONES 25/1
Aric ALMIROLA 30/1
Denny HAMLIN 40/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 40/1
Austin DILLON 80/1
Alex BOWMAN 80/1
Daniel SUAREZ 80/1
Paul MENARD 100/1
Jamie McMURRAY 200/1
Ryan NEWMAN 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 300/1
William BYRON 300/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
Trevor BAYNE 1000/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 1000/1
Regan SMITH 2000/1
Michael McDOWELL 2000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 2000/1
TY DILLON 2000/1
FIELD (all others) 500/1

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chase Elliott advances in Playoffs, gets free roll at Kansas

Chase Elliott can sleep walk this week at Kansas if he wants to.
Chase Elliott on racing at Kansas:
“Over my first couple of years competing in the Cup Series, we have had a couple of really good runs there. We have struggled there at times as well, but when we have hit it and we have been good. I feel like we have had good runs there. I think we can certainly have a good run there this time around. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to this one.”

No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson on competing at Kansas:

“At Kansas, we had a great test. So, we’re going to go there and work on our mile-and-a-half program and try hard to win that race. I think getting as many points as we can and closing the gap to the guys in front of us will help significantly.”

1.5-MILE TRACK STATS: Chase Elliott is set to make his 32nd 1.5-mile track start this weekend at Kansas Speedway. In the third-year driver’s previous 31 starts on the track length, he has led 245 laps and averaged a starting position of 13.8 and finishing position of 14.6. Elliott has collected nine top-five finishes – two of which are runner-up results – and 16 top-10s.
LAST 12: The No. 9 team continues its strong showing in the last 12 races, winning twice, leading 246 laps and finishing inside the top 10 nine times. Elliott is currently tied with Kevin Harvick for the most top-five finishes (six) in the last 12 races of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season.

KANSAS TEST: In September, Elliott and the No. 9 team participated in NASCAR’s two-day organizational test at Kansas Speedway. On the first day of testing, the No. 9 team posted the top lap of 186.477 mph. The entire team gained valuable information during the test. For more on the Kansas test, click here.

MOUNTAIN DEW RETURNS: This weekend at Kansas Speedway, the green and black Mountain Dew paint scheme will adorn the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Earlier this season, Hendrick Motorsports and Mountain Dew announced an extension to their long-standing partnership through 2020. DEW is a four-race primary sponsor of the No. 9 team this season with Kansas being its final race of 2018. Elliott also piloted the green and black No. 9 Mountain Dew Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona in the Clash.

HOME SWEET HOME: No. 9 team tire carrier/jackman T.J. Semke hails from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, less than 40 miles from Kansas Speedway. Before stepping on the football field at the University of Kansas in 2012, Semke was a part-time bounty hunter. The 25-year-old was a defensive lineman for the Jayhawks for three years, and in two of them, he earned Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honors. Semke signed with Hendrick Motorsports in October 2016.

DEW ATHLETES AT CABELA’S: On Saturday, Oct. 20, Elliott is scheduled to participate in a Mountain Dew question-and-answer session with DEW athletes Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danny Davis and Sean Malto at Cabela’s in Kansas City (10300 Cabela Dr., Kansas City, KS 66111) at 5 p.m. local time.




Driver Chase Elliott Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 22 Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

 
 

2018 Season

  • 8th in points
  • 31 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 10 top-five finishes
  • 17 top-10 finishes
  • 265 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 108 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 32 top-five finishes
  • 55 top-10 finishes
  • 1,183 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 5 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 4 laps led
 
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Talladega Betting Preview: 2018 1000Bulbs.com 500

This was "The Big One" in April Talladega race.
The second race in the second round of NASCAR's Playoffs is at the beastly, treacherous 2.66-mile high banks of Talladega SuperSpeedway, and for 11 of the 12 drivers still in the championship chase their knees have to be knocking with fear. Talladega offers the quickest way to be ousted from playoff contention by being caught up in "The Big One." The lone playoff driver who can roll freely with no repercussions is Chase Elliott, who won last week at Dover and gets the automatic bid into the next round.

“Oh, it’s huge," Elliott said of the lack of pressure this week. "I mean, I think it's nice to be able to know you're going to move on, but you can't get complacent in the fact that you are moving on, and you can't let those points just sit out there and not try to go get them because those bonus points you get for winning or winning a stage, that's huge, and you need as many as you can get. One or two points could be the difference in you making the Round of 4 or not. Just knowing that we don’t have to worry about Talladega, so excited to be able to win the first one of three and get to enjoy it all a little bit more. We are going to keep the hammer down and see what we can do.”

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has Elliott at 10/1 odds to win this week and he's proven to be a good restrictor-plate driver with wins the past two seasons in the Daytona Duels and a third-place in this season first Talladega race April 29.

It's the randomness of restrictor-plate racing that drivers chasing a championship hate having to deal with in the Playoffs. Almost every car in the race can win which is why you won't see 500/1 longshots offered at the sports books like happens with other races. You also won't see heavy favorites like we see each week with Kyle Busch, who is 15/1 this week. Kevin Harvick is 12/1 and Martin Truex Jr. is 25/1. They're usually at 9/2 odds or less each week.

No matter how hard a driver tries to run a clean race and simply try to finish, the track's nasty attitude can instantly wipe out half the field in a spectacular chain reaction wreck. The drivers are going 200 miles per hour and have little time to react or get out of the way because they're bunched up bumper-to-bumper sometimes going four-wide.

For drivers like Harvick, Busch and Truex this race scares the heck out of them because its the one race where they no longer have an edge and if they roll into one of those wrecks, they won't score many points and have less of a chance of advancing, not only in the second round but also the third round. Imagine being the best for the first 30 races and then one track ruins everything. That's Talladega.

“It’s such a wacky, wild-card race,” Truex said about Talladega. “We tried all different strategies and it seems like it doesn’t make a difference. What you need is a lot of luck there. If you can avoid the wrecks and have a car that can maintain its position with the lead pack you have a chance of posting a solid finish. But usually it comes down to being in the right place at the right time. We’ve been in the wrong place too many times recently and need to change that.”

Truex has been involved in a late accident the last three Talladega races and has just two top-fives in 27 starts.

Despite all the cars being fairly equal, there are a few drivers that have shown a special flair for plate racing. In the four races between Talladega and Daytona each season, a couple drivers always seem to find their way to the front. And being upfront has proven to be the safest place on the track.

Joey Logano wrecked early at Daytona in July, finishing 39th, but in April he won at Talladega for the third time in his career. In February he had an amazing Daytona Speedweeks with second-place finishes in the Clash and one of the Duels before finishing fourth in the Daytona 500. Overall, Logano has four wins in plate races. Team Penske and Ford have somewhat of a small edge in plate races.

The best statistical driver at Talladega is Logano's Penske teammate Brad Keselowski who has five wins there and also won once in the summer at Daytona. His six plate wins are more than any other active driver. Jimmie Johnson has five wins and Jamie McMurray has four.

Read More Here....Top-5 Finish Prediction on VegasInsider.com