#20 Joey Logano vs. #2 Elliott Sadler
|Nationwide points leader (Getty)|
Based upon the above information on this 2 car, does the part time entry of Kahne have a shot in this matchup tonight? Sure, if "the price is right"! Looking it over, it would take a pretty chunky price at that as the 38, solid in its own right, doesn't nearly have the results that Sadler and his 2 team do. With a 9.75 average finish in four races and a 10th place finish at Vegas, that is bascially what I would expect for this 38 bunch tonight. To me this price would be 2 -160 or so over the 38, so as much as I hate laying juice in auto racing, anything at a price of -135 or better would have to be a play. Just seriously doubt that price would be available. Update: 38 starts 8th.
#38 Kasey Kahne vs. #3 Austin Dillon
Now this is much more of an intriguing matchup in my opinion. Richard Childress' grandson has been very impressive so far in his Nationwide rookie season with an average finish of 6.6 so far and no finish worse than 12th. He also bested the 38 in this matchup at Las Vegas with a finish of 7th vs. 10th. The initial thought would be to favor the 38 based upon his experience, but I believe that would be a mistake. Dillon is racing like a five year series veteran so far and it sure doesn't hurt to have the RCR power and engineering behind you. I would make Kahne a very slight favorite at best based upon the perception, but not more than -120 at the very most. Therefore, AUSTIN DILLON at +115 or better would be the selection in my opinion. Update: 3 starts 4th.
#3 Austin Dillon vs. #33 Paul Menard
It's a battle between RCR cars in this one, with now 2012 Nationwide part-timer Paul Menard trying to improve the 33's finishes so far in 2012. Menard is the 4th driver to take the wheel of this piece, following Tony Stewart (8th at Daytona), Kevin Harvick (5th at Phoenix, 9th at Bristol), and Brendan Gaughan (5th at Vegas and 10th at California). We are all aware by now that the RCR cars are pretty much the class of the field, but this 33 car seems to be lagging behind both the 2 and the 3 so far this year. With that said, Menard has been fast each time he has hit the track so far, so he definately looks to have the edge going into the race tonight. He also finished 3rd in this spring race last year. I would make the 33 car -135 to -140 at the most tonight, but I would need more of a dog price than I would against the 38 considering it's an RCR showdown. +130 or more would most likely entice me into a backing on the 3 car in this matchup. Update: 33 starts from the pole.
There are four other matchups listed, two with Nationwide regulars and two "funny" ones, including Danica Patrick vs. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. There is the 31 of Justin Allgaier vs. the 88 of Cole Whitt and the 11 of Brian Scott vs. the 7 of Danica Patrick as the two "regular" matchups, with the 18 of Denny Hamlin going up against the 54 of Kurt Busch (driving for his brother Kyle's newly formed Nationwide team). The only edge I would see in any one of those matchups would be the 11 of Brian Scott over Danica, as the 11 has been running very consisently so far this season with some hard luck finishes. Add to the fact that the 11 is a Joe Gibbs Racing machine, I would easily see a wager on the 11 at a price of -130 or better. The Hamlin and Jr. matchups are/should be in the -250 range so unless you're feeling like you know the 5 or the 18 is going to get in some trouble tonight, I would lay off. Then again, the 54 did qualify 6th, so maybe a small flyer at +200 or more? Naahh...I'll pass.
Enjoy NATIONWIDE racing everyone!