|Carl Edwards won the Watkins Glen pole Saturday; he's 8/1 to win Sunday.|
Edwards, listed at 8-to-1 odds to win, was already a strong contender just based on his own past history on the seven-turn, 2.45-mile road course where he's got an 8.4 average finish in 11 starts. His best finish was third-place in 2009, but his consistency has been incredible with eight top-10 finishes.
Track history shows that the pole winner has won nine times in 33 Sprint Cup races all-time, which comes out to 27.2 percent, the most proficient start position in the field. Las Vegan Kyle Busch was the last to do it in 2008.
Starting from the top-five has produced 21 of the 33 winners (63.6 percent), which makes those starting immediately behind Edwards worthy of a strong look at the bet window. Kyle Larson (30/1)starts second, Sonoma winner Tony Stewart (18/1) starts third, followed by Matt Kenseth (30/1) and race co-favorite Kyle Busch (6/1).
Among those, Busch is still the driver to beat and considered the favorite. He's a two-time winner at Watkins Glen with a 10.5 average finish and he practiced extremely well in both of Friday's 85-minute sessions with top-five speeds which included having the best 10-consecutive lap average.
Micah Roberts' Sprint Cup Driver Ratings
Watkins Glen International
Sunday, August 7, 2016 - 10:50 am PT
RATING DRIVER ODDS PRACTICE 1 PRACTICE 2 QUALIFIED SONOMA*
1. Kyle Busch 6/1 5th 4th 5th 7th
Two-time winner (2008, 2013); runner-up last season. Best 10-consecutive lap average practice 2.
2. Joey Logano 8/1 6th 14th 7th 3rd
2015 winner (also won Xfinity race); passed Harvick on last lap, his only lap led of race.
3. Brad Keselowski 8/1 7th 6th 12th 15th
Three-time runner-up (tied for track record). Best 10-consecutive lap average during practice 1.
4. Carl Edwards 8/1 4th 10th 1st 4th
Eight top-10s in 11 starts, 8.4 average finish. Pole-sitter has won nine of 33 WGI races (27.2%).
5. A.J. Allmendinger 8/1 8th 1st 9th 14th
2014 winner, the only win of Cup career. Needs win; it's his last legitimate chance to make Chase.
6. Tony Stewart 18/1 11th 15th 3rd 1st
Five-time winner (track record); looks like Smoke of old with 5.7 average in past four on schedule.
7. Denny Hamlin 30/1 2nd 16th 6th 2nd
2007 runner-up; carries momentum from runner-up at Sonoma where he led a race-high 33 laps.
8. Kyle Larson 30/1 10th 12th 2nd 12th
Fourth as rookie in 2014; fighting for Chase, comes off two strong runs: fifth at Indy, sixth at Pocono
9. Kevin Harvick 6/1 13th 11th 15th 6th
2006 winner; third last season - led race-high 29 laps, ran out fuel on last lap (using same chassis).
10. Martin Truex Jr. 12/1 1st 2nd 14th 5th
Career-best third in 2013, 13.7 average finish in 10 starts. Very fast in both of Friday's practices.
* Results from the June 26, 2016 race at Sonoma Raceway. The two road courses are drastically different, but the driver skill set still required to do well applies the same.
Odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1994. Follow on Twitter @MicahRoberts7
Watkins Glen Betting Notes