Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Kansas odds: Truex Jr. has great shot to slay 1.5 giants this week

Martin Truex Jr. is 20/1 at Kansas Saturday night
LAS VEGAS-- Eight different drivers have won the first 10 Sprint Cup races of the season, but those numbers suggesting parity are slightly skewed. Six of the races – the ones on restrictor-plate and short tracks – aren't affected as much by the NASCAR's 2015 rules package. When looking at the races run on 1.5-mile tracks and the 2-mile layout at Fontana, it's crystal clear who the elite programs are as the circuit heads to Kansas Speedway's 1.5-mile layout for Saturday's night's SpongeBob SquarePants 400.

The best wagering strategy this week is to analyze what happened this season at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas and Fontana. Kansas has its own unique attributes that differentiate it from the high-baked layouts at Atlanta and Texas. The best comparison we've seen already is a combination of Las Vegas and Fontana.

The past two seasons of races at Kansas have produced winners easily found by looking at previous races on similar tracks. Last season, Jeff Gordon won this race after a second-place finish on the 1.5-mile track at Texas. In the fall, it was Joey Logano, who had also won at Texas, winning at Kansas. In 2013, Matt Kenseth won the spring race after winning at Las Vegas and would go on to win four of the 11 races 1.5-mile tracks. In the fall, Kevin Harvick won after winning four months prior at Charlotte.

After breaking down what we've seen on similar tracks, you're going to take a look at recent Kansas history and then factor in current form. The final part of the driver rating equation this week will be the chassis the drivers are using and how they perform in Friday's two practice sessions.

Even though Jimmie Johnson has won two of the three races on 1.5-mile tracks so far, and is a two-time Kansas winner, it's Harvick that opens as the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook's 7-to-2 favorite to win this week, based largely on finishing first or second at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas and Fontana.

Here's a complete look at the Westgate's odds to win this week:

KEVIN HARVICK 7/2: He won at Kansas in 2013, his final year driving for Richard Childress, and finished second last spring. All he's done on the 1.5s this season is lead 354 laps and capture a Las Vegas win. He should be just as fast this week and is easily the driver to beat.

JIMMIE JOHNSON 6/1: Despite a 40th-place finish last fall, he still has a 9.5 average finish in 17 starts at Kansas that includes two wins. He finished in the top-10 14 times on the track.

KURT BUSCH 6/1: We didn't get to see him at Atlanta and Las Vegas because of a suspension, but he had the best car at Fontana while leading 65 laps, and then led 45 more at Texas. He's just a notch below teammate Harvick. He finished a career-best second-place in the fall of 2013 while driving the No. 78.

BRAD KESELOWSKI 8/1: He won this race in 2011 and won three times on 1.5s last season. He stole a win at Fontana while leading only one lap and led 27 times before finishing fifth at Texas three weeks later. Penske Racing is dialing in their package for these tracks.

JOEY LOGANO 8/1: He took the fall race last season and finished fourth in his previous two Kansas starts. He led 84 laps at Atlanta and finished fourth, 47 laps at Las Vegas and finished 10th, and 19 laps at Texas and was fourth. There's no reason to think he won't lead a bunch here and get a top-five finish while contending for the win.

JEFF GORDON 8/1: He won the first two Cup races held at Kansas in 2001 and 2002, and then won again last spring, making him the only three-time winner on the track. He's still looking for a top-five finish on this type of track this season.

DALE EARNHARDT JR 10/1: His best finish was second in 2011, but he's a strong candidate to capture his first victory in 17 starts. Not only does he have the momentum from his Talladega win, but he's also finished fourth or better on the 1.5s this season.

Read More Here.... Complete list of drivers odds

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