|Is Tony Stewart worth a shot at 25/1 to win Sunday? Sure, why not.|
Which is the most relevant trend for Sunday’s 23rd running of the Brickyard 400, this year known as the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard?
During Friday’s first 85-minute practice session, the guys in bow ties laid down seven of the fastest nine laps with four-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson being almost 4 mph faster (184.185 mph) than the third-fastest. In the final session, Kyle Busch’s Toyota paced the way (184.619), but nine of the next 12 fastest speeds were Chevrolet. Denny Hamlin’s Toyota got set-up for race simulations and ran a session high 57 laps. He only had the 17th fastest lap going against teams who were also working on faster qualifying set-ups, but he ended up with the best 10-consecutive lap average.
Toyota also flexed its muscles during Saturday’s qualifying with Kyle Busch (6-1 odds to win race) taking the pole (184.634) and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Carl Edwards (8-1) second and Hamlin (18-1) fourth.
LEGENDS RACING — Indiana native Tony Stewart (25-1) qualified third in his 18th and final start at his home track. The two-time Brickyard winner practiced well on Friday and has a little more zip in his step since winning at Sonoma in late June. Gordon (20-1) won the inaugural race in 1994 and is the only driver to start all 23 events. He’s come out of retirement to drive Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s (concussion) Chevrolet, of which he is part owner. He qualified 21st and practiced so-so. Either one of these NASCAR legends winning would be the NASCAR story of the year, and also pay decent at the sports books.
LOOK TO POCONO — A trend that can be followed to help pick the winner is reviewing what happened at Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile tricky triangle. Because Indy has a flat 2.5-mile layout with both tracks featuring the longest straightaways, there has always been a strong correlation between them. The tight Turn 3 at Pocono can also be referenced for balance setups this week by teams. Prior to last fall, Chevrolet had won six straight at Pocono. Matt Kenseth won one week after teammate Kyle won at Indy. Kurt Busch (12-1) would win for Chevrolet at Pocono in June. In fact, four of the top-six finishers at Pocono were Chevrolets, three of them driven by a Hendrick Motorsports driver and, surprisingly, one of them wasn’t Johnson.
Read More Betting Notes Here......Las Vegas Review-Journal
Micah Roberts' final Brickyard Driver Ratings