Saturday, May 26, 2012

Final 2012 Coca-Cola 600 Driver Ratings Following All Practices

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Coca-Cola 600
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Sunday, May 27, 2012 -  3:19 pm (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds         Practice 1     Qualified   Practice 2   Practice 3

 1. Jimmie Johnson 5/1             11th              3rd             6th             4th
Six-time winner with 11.9 average finish; best 10-consecutive lap average in final practice.
 2. Brad Keselowski 18/1           31st             24th            7th             1st
Career best of 12th in ‘09, but very strong average speeds during practice 2; new car this week.
 3. Kyle Busch 7/1                       8th             17th             4th            16th
Ran the most laps in important practice 2; two-time runner-up, eighth or better in 8 of last 9 starts.
 4. Martin Truex Jr. 18/1            18th             15th             5th            11th
Career best of seventh in ‘05; best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2; will win very soon. 
 5. Tony Stewart 8/1                   24th            21st            18th            6th
2003 fall winner with a 13.6 average; using winning Fontana chassis, a clone to Vegas winner.
 6. Mark Martin 40/1                   10th             6th             12th            3rd
Four-time winner, the last coming in 2002; had top average speeds during final practice.
 7. Denny Hamlin 10/1                 9th              8th              1st            20th
Career best of fourth-place in ‘10; great practices Saturday suggest he’ll be a contender.
 8. Carl Edwards 8/1                  22nd            28th             3rd             2nd
Looking for first career win; has three third-place finishes and 12.6 average; using Texas car.
 9. Kevin Harvick 12/1                13th            14th             9th            23rd
Captured first win here last May; using chassis that finished sixth at Charlotte last October.
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr 15/1         17th            12th            14th           22nd
No wins in 25 career starts with five top-5 finishes; using stout chassis from All-Star race.

Note: Practice 2 was most important of the three sessions due to it being most similar to cooler race day temperatures.

Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to, or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7.

Betting Notes
Going against Jimmie Johnson in this race is a risky stance to take. He’s got super high marks in everything you want to see out of driver if wagering except for high odds offered at the sports books. By the time the green flag drops, Johnson could be below 3-to-1.

If looking to take a chance anyway, as most of us will, the only thing going in our favor will be that Johnson hasn’t won at Charlotte like he used to and the race is a long 600 miles. That extra 100 miles usually leads to some crazy things happening whether through fuel mileage, irregular pits stops or a team that just finds something that works late better than others.

To go against a giant like Johnson you’ll at least need a couple drivers that have shown in practice that they’ll at least be close to the front near the end of the race. Those drivers include Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr, all of whom have great prices of them that might make the holiday weekend a little more enjoyable.

Match-up of the Week: Mark Martin -135 vs. Ryan Newman & A.J. Allmendinger
I like Martin lot in this race and the match-ups against both Newman and Allmendinger appeared to be the easiest. The four drivers mentioned above who have a chance to beat Johnson should all warrant looks in driver matchups against almost anyone.

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