Friday, July 1, 2016

Final Coke Zero 400 Driver Ratings

Greg Biffle starts from the pole Saturday night at Daytona.
Thursday's Sprint Cup practices at Daytona International Speedway got rained out, but the series added time to the schedule on Friday morning where Brian Scott posted the fastest lap. Kyle Busch also wrecked his primary car in the session which is why crew chiefs and drivers aren't very enthused about trying too much on the volatile track. Why try mimicking race conditions when actual race conditions require side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper racing? Qualifying doesn't mean much, either. These restrictor-plate races really are crap shoot, so shorten your bankrolls, and make a few wagers for fun and enjoy the fireworks.

Micah Roberts' NASCAR Sprint Cup Ratings
Coke Zero 400
Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, July 2, 2016 - 5:08 pm (PT)     

Rating     Driver       Odds     Daytona '16*   Talladega '16*     Practice     Qualified
 1. Denny Hamlin 10/1                1st                    31st                    30th               9th
Only Bobby Allsion (1982) has won Unlimited, Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 in same year.
 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr 9/2          36th                   40th                    32nd            16th 
Four-time winner, including 2015; active leader with 13 top-fives, second with 593 laps led.
 3. Kyle Busch 12/1                      3rd                     2nd                    28th                3rd
2008 winner, the last season he won a restrictor-plate race. Crashed primary car in practice.
 4. Jimmie Johnson 8/1           16th                   22nd                   19th                 8th
Three-time winner, including 2013 sweep; 16.9 avg. finish, 11 top-fives and 278 laps led.
 5. Joey Logano 10/1                   6th                   25th                      8th                11th
2015 Daytona 500 winner, and won at Talladega in fall, his only two plate wins of career.
 6. Kevin Harvick 10/1                4th                   15th                   33rd                 21st
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2010; using '16 back-up chassis from Talladega/Daytona.
 7. Matt Kenseth 12/1              14th                  23rd                    26th                  7th
Two-time Daytona 500 winner; led 40 of final 41 laps in Feb. race, shuffled back on last lap.
 8. Brad Keselowski 15/1         20th                     1st                      3rd                  5th
No Daytona wins in 14 attempts, but has four wins at Talladega. Best finish: third in 2014.
 9. Chase Elliott 15/1                 37th                     5th                    25th                24th
Debut in Feb. wasn't so good, but leading 27 laps and finishing fifth at Talladega impressive.
10. Kurt Busch 15/1                   10th                     8th                    20th                10th 
The best plate racer without ever winning a plate races -- top-10 finish in his last four starts.

Note: Thursday's two scheduled practice sessions were cancelled due to rain and made up into one early Friday session.

* Results from the past two races using restrictor-plates to slow the cars down: Daytona (February, 2016) and Talladega (May, 2016).

Odds courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting NASCAR odds since 1994. Follow him on twitter @MicahRoberts7

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