|Feast or famine for Johnson at Indy: 4 wins, 6 finishes of 18th or worse|
That’s what we have this week when NASCAR makes its 20th visit to the fabled bricks of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
When the LVH SuperBook earlier this week began the process of making odds for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 – the race is technically called the Crown Royal presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard – the main consideration among recent races was the June 9 Party in the Poconos 400. That event was absolutely dominated by Jimmie Johnson, part of the reason he's the 7-to-2 favorite this week.
The long straightaways at Indy and Pocono make the tracks similar, but the flat banking of Pocono's turn 3 is a bigger factor because it's similar to all four turns at the Brickyard. Drivers who got around turn 3 well at Pocono will have an immediate edge this Sunday.
These are normal procedures an oddsmaker goes through for any NASCAR race, but for Indy, there is an entirely different function to be considered. There aren’t really many other tracks to go off – for Phoenix, we can include New Hampshire or Richmond as a barometer; for Atlanta, we can look at Charlotte or Texas. The Brickyard is basically all alone, with the exception of Pocono.
But history has shown that the winner is usually the best of the best, a factor that lowers odds on a few drivers.
Eight Brickyard 400 winners have gone on to win the Sprint Cup title the same year, and 15 of the 19 winners have won at least one Cup title overall. That is about as dominating a stat for a group of drivers as there is for any track. Granted, two of the last three seasons have produced winners like Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard, but last season, things came back to normal, as Johnson won for a record-tying fourth time on the bricks.
The Brickyard is universally one of the most coveted trophies in NASCAR garages. Every driver grew up one way or another wanting to win at the Brickyard, and the drivers with good programs have the opportunity to excel at a high level with pure racing, without all the side show restrictor-plate stuff that’s part of the season-opening Daytona 500. Race teams, of course, always want to win, but there's just more thirst for victory at Indy – and more of a chance to shine without someone getting goofy in a draft and causing a 12-car pileup like at Daytona.
Where it gets interesting in the oddsmaking process is what to do with drivers like Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Kenseth has a Cup championship and four wins on the season, which makes him a solid candidate. But neither he nor Busch has ever won at Indy, and a Toyota hasn’t won the Brickyard since joining the series in 2007. A Chevrolet has won the past 10 years and 15 of the last 19.
Read More Here......LVH Brickyard Odds