Saturday, November 3, 2012

Final 2012 Texas AAA 500 Driver Ratings Following All Practice Sessions

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
AAA 500
Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, November 4, 2012 -  12:16 p.m. (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds        Practice 1     Qualified    Practice 2    Practice 3

 1. Jimmie Johnson 5/1             27th                1st              2nd               4th  
2007 winner with 9.7 career average finish; using chassis that won All-Star race.
 2. Matt Kenseth 10/1                  7th                10th            14th             3rd  
Two-time winner; track best 8.6 average finish; best 10-consecutive-lap average in practice 3
 3. Greg Biffle 10/1                    10th                2nd              4th              11th 
Two-time winner, including April race; has finished fifth or better in past four starts on track.
 4. Brad Keselowski 8/1              3rd                 8th              1st               1st 
Was star of Saturday’s practice sessions, but 25.3 average in eights starts counts against him.
 5. Clint Bowyer 12/1                   4th                 4th              6th               2nd 
13.3 average finish, runner-up in 2011; using winning Charlotte chassis from three weeks ago.
 6. Denny Hamlin 5/1                 11th               12th             3rd               6th 
Swept 2010 season; recent win at Atlanta and runner-up at Charlotte says he’ll be very good.
 7. Jeff Gordon 12/1                   26th               16th            11th             13th  
Eight top-five finishes, including 2009 win; second best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 8. Carl Edwards 15/1                12th                9th               5th               5th 
Three-time winner; showed dramatic change in practices from rest of season, he may be back.
 9. Martin Truex Jr. 15/1             1st                 5th             10th              12th 
Had the best average speeds and third best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
10. Kyle Busch 8/1                    14th                3rd               7th               8th 
15.8 career average finish; strong Atlanta and Charlotte runs make him a contender.

Note: Recent results from races held at Texas’ sister 1.5-mile high-banked tracks in Atlanta (Sept 2) and Charlotte (Oct. 13) offer great insight to who may be the best prepared Sunday.

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 on the race, go to The Linemakers on or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7. 

Betting Notes   
Keselowski turned the pressure up on Johnson with practice (Getty) 
I don’t know if I’ve ever been more impressed with Brad Keselowski than I was Saturday during practice when he was fastest in both practice sessions. Here’s a driver that could have wilted away under pressure -- I didn’t say Denny Hamlin -- after losing his points lead last week, knowing that he is going to one of worst tracks statistically (25th average finish), and yet in practice alone, he gives something for Jimmie Johnson to sleep on over night.

Instead of Johnson coming in full of confidence -- which he will anyway -- knowing Keselowski‘s track-record at Texas, now he knows he’s got to bring his A-game Sunday. He turned the tables back around on Johnson, and even though Johnson won’t acknowledge such, there is more pressure on him to win his sixth title than there is on Keselowski to win his first. Also in the back of Johnson’s mind is spinning out and losing control on his own at Texas last fall, which helped eliminate his chances of winning six straight titles.

Having said all that, I really like Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer in this race. I think the top long shot is Martin Truex Jr and I also think Carl Edwards actually has a chance to win as well, for some of the same reasons I like Biffle and Kenseth.

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