Wednesday, October 9, 2013

LVH Posts Kenseth 4/1 Favorite to Win 2013 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

Johnson does have 1.5-mile track win, the All-Star race
LAS VEGAS - It's only fitting that since Matt Kenseth has won four of the eight races at 1.5-mile tracks this season that the LVH SuperBook installed him as the 4-to-1 favorite to win Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kenseth maintains a three-point lead in the Sprint Cup standings, but it's five-time champion Jimmie Johnson who is closing in fast and has become the 5-to-7 favorite to win the title with six races to go.

Even though Kenseth is the second choice to win the Sprint Cup at 5-to-4, perhaps he should be the favorite to take home the big trophy. Beginning this week at Charlotte, there are still three 1.5-mile tracks remaining on the Chase schedule. That's half the races on tracks where Kenseth has excelled. In contrast, Johnson and the No. 48 team have a real edge only at Martinsville.

The reason Johnson is the favorite is because of perception. Everyone has seen Johnson close the deal in five of the past seven seasons while our greatest Chase memory of Kenseth may be his 2003 Cup winning season, in which he only won one race the entire year, that spurred NASCAR to create the Chase format.

The bottom line with the number favoring Johnson is about what the public thinks. Just about everyone loves Johnson in these spots, while we're not sure what Kenseth can do under pressure.

Johnson hasn't won on any 1.5-mile tracks this season which was always his bread and butter during his five championship runs. However, Kenseth hasn't won on the any of the Charlotte sister tracks, which are all faster and much higher-banked than the flatter 1.5-mile tracks Kenseth has been dominating. Kyle Busch won at Atlanta and Texas, while Kevin Harvick won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in late May.

Johnson is the second choice to win Saturday night at 5-to-1 odds. Kyle Busch is next at 6-to-1 and should be a driver to consider, not only because of Texas and Atlanta wins, but also because of his history of dominating at this track. He's yet to win in the Cup, but between the Nationwide and Truck series, Busch has 12 wins combined.

The big question with Busch this week is how he'll respond to adversity, something that hasn't been a strong suit on his Chase resume. Last week he wrecked in practice and also during the race at Kansas en route to a 34th-place finish. Busch is 35-points behind Kenseth in the standings, but at 15-to-1 odds to win the Sprint Cup, he is definitely an intriguing look and if he wins this weekend, don't expect a 15-to-1 price anymore.

Harvick comes in at 10-to-1 odds to win this week and 15-to-1 to win the championship. The Richard Childress cars have been super fast for the last 10 weeks and Harvick's dominating performance at Kansas last week puts him in select company that no other Chevy driver can claim. Harvick now has two wins on the 1.5-mile tracks this season, joining Toyota drivers Kenseth (four wins) and Busch (two wins).

The most interesting story of the race, besides Busch trying to win his first Charlotte Cup race, is how Johnson will fare. When the Charlotte track used to be called Lowe's Motor Speedway, which is Johnson's sponsor, he dominated like no other, winning five times in six races from 2003-05. Since then, he's only notched one win and has finished 22nd or worse in four of his last seven starts.

On the season, Johnson has only three top-5 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks, but two of them came during the four races within the Chase. It should also be noted that Johnson won the non-points All-Star race at Charlotte in May. In his attempt to capture his first win at a 1.5 mile track this season, Johnson will be driving his winning Dover chassis from two weeks ago. His winning All-Star chassis will serve as the back-up.

Read More Here......LVH Charlotte odds to win and Video

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