Thursday, June 17, 2021

Nashville NASCAR Betting Preview: 2021 Ally 400

 

ALLY 400 PICKS, PREDICTIONS, ODDS

 

June 20, 2021

NASCAR Expert
VegasInsider.com

NASCAR is back at Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2011 and for the first time ever, the Cup Series will make an appearance there in Sunday’s Ally 400.

NASCAR ALLY 400 ANALYSIS

All three major NASCAR Series will be in action over Fathers Day weekend with the winner of each race getting a sweet Gibson guitar trophy. There are 14 active Cup drivers who have raced on the 1.33-mile D-shaped concrete oval in the Xfinity and Truck Series and only five active drivers have ever won with Kyle Busch leading the way with three wins. Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski each have two and Austin Dillon and Joey Logano each have one win.

Carl Edwards got his nickname “concrete Carl” by winning five Xfinity Series races at Nashville. By the way, I still have no idea why Edwards suddenly quit NASCAR a few years ago.

Another thing I don’t understand is why they call this a superspeedway. If Nashville is a superspeedway, then Talladega has to be a Super-Duperspeedway, right?

Anyway, there are lots of unknowns with the Nashville layout that has 14 degrees of banking in the turns. When I did my ratings for the week I started with the fact that they are running the 750 horsepower low downforce race package and with no data on the track itself, I used Dover’s 1-mile high-banked concrete layout and Kansas Speedway as a comparison (even though Kansas used the 550 HP package). And then infused an upgrade for all Hendrick Motorsports drivers who have won the last five races including the non-points All-Star Race last week.

It was the four Hendrick drivers that came out 1-2-3-4 in my ratings followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick.

So it came as much of a surprise when I saw sportsbooks like the SuperBook and William Hill offer William Byron at 13-to-1 odds to win and Alex Bowman at 14-to-1. They have Truex, Hamlin, Busch, and Harvick all ahead of the hottest team on the planet right now. Hamlin and Harvick have no wins this season, Bowman has two wins with the 750 HP package and one of those wins was a Dover win in a race in which Hendrick drivers finished 1-2-3-4 and led 382 of the 400 laps.

ALLY 400 BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Sunday, June 20, 2021
  • TV-Time: NBCSN, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Nashville Superspeedway
  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Distance: 400 miles, 300 laps

ALLY 400 CONTENDERS

  • Kyle Larson +275
  • Martin Truex Jr +650
  • Chase Elliott +700
  • Denny Hamlin +850
  • Kyle Busch +900
  • More NASCAR Futures
  • (Odds Subject to Change)

HANDICAPPING NASCAR AT NASHVILLE

William Byron finished fourth at Dover after leading 21 laps and talked about how he's going to approach a new track with little experience on it.

“You’re not going to have a good feel in general going into this weekend, I think,” said Byron who is tied for the series lead with 12 top-10s. “Nashville (Superspeedway) is going to be one of those places that you just need to adapt and learn as you go. It looks like a superspeedway but it’s more of a short track with how tight the corners are. It’s going to be tough, especially with the heat. I think that this race is going to be one of the toughest places we will go this season just because we don’t have any notes on it. No one has any notes from any series, really.

“Things have changed so much since the last race there. I’m going to rely heavily on the truck race and watching the Xfinity race. I’ll use that info to hopefully learn and be able to adapt faster in our race. It’s going to be challenge but it’s good to have a new environment and the excitement around it.”

Byron is a must-play this week for anyone betting the race. He has to be part of your wagering portfolio this week as well as Bowman. They both have huge value by being undervalued by the books, most of whom use robot bookmakers. Bowman brought up the Dover angle earlier this week.

“I have tested at Nashville Superspeedway before but haven’t actually raced there,” Bowman said. “It is going to be interesting learning the track with the No. 48 Chevrolet in practice on Saturday. Our last race we ran on concrete (Dover) we were able to claim the victory, so we are hoping for the same result on Sunday in our No. 48 Ally Chevy.”

Because Nashville is a new track, the teams will get to practice Saturday and have a qualifying session on Sunday morning before the race.

In the old days just two years ago, I used to bet most of my driver matchups after practice and take advantage of books over adjusting to practices, and before that two decades ago, I used to bet driver matchups with prices that didn’t move at all after practices.

Now in 2021, post COVID-19, I feel pretty good about how the solid teams bring their cars ready to roll off the hauler with a winning set-up made at the team headquarters. I don’t really care about practice anymore and I’ve already bet, but I will pay attention to the 10-consecutive lap averages and hope it forces a bet on someone like Tyler Reddick at 40-to-1 or Austin Dillon at 80-to-1.

This will be the 17th points-paying race of the season and the 10th race using the 750 HP package. Truex won three of the first six using the package and Hendrick drivers have won four overall, including the last three.

Again, Bowman has two wins using this week’s race package including a win on a concrete track, but sure, Harvick should be favored over him. Harvick doesn’t even have a top-five finish using the 750 HP package. Robot bookmaker must be on tilt with its date set on 2020 when Harvick won a series-high nine races. Whatever, just bet it and be happy the books are offering a deal.


William Byron has seen a Top 10 result in 12 of his last 14 races, but outside the Top 10 in 2 of his last 3 races. (AP)

LARSON A HEAVY FAVORITE

As for Larson, he deserves to be a heavy favorite. Second or better in five straight races. He’s going for his third straight win. He led a race-high 263 laps at Dover last month settling for runner-up. After his All-Star win Sunday night he hit the road for a Monday night sprint race and won. He raced Tuesday night as well and finally lost. This dude loves any kind of racing. He also has a 2019 win on the concrete Dover layout and has led 880 laps in 13 career Cup starts.

Chase Elliott has eight top-fives in 11 Dover starts, including a 2018 win. He’ll be in the hunt for another Hendrick win. All the Hendrick drivers will be in the hunt for the win just like at Dover on May 16.

READ MORE HERE.....TOP-5 FINISH PREDICTION ON VEGASINSIDER.COM

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Kevin Harvick is 12/1 to win 2021 Ally 400 at Nashville

 

KEVIN HARVICK

Nashville Advance

No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

 

Event Overview

 

●  Event:  Inaugural Ally 400 (Round 17 of 36)

●  Time/Date:  3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 20

●  Location:  Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway

●  Layout:  1.333-mile, concrete oval

●  Laps/Miles:  300 laps/399.9 miles

●  Stage Lengths:  Stages 1: 90 laps / Stage 2: 95 laps / Final Stage: 115 laps

●  TV/Radio:  NBCSN / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

 

Notes of Interest

 

●  Introducing Grrraaaaaaaave Digger! That’s right, one of the most decorated Monster Jam trucks in the world will be represented in the inaugural Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway… and we have Keelan Harvick to thank for it. Keelan wanted to give his dad, Kevin, the most awesome Father’s Day gift ever, so the eight-year-old organized a surprise for his dad – a Grave Digger paint scheme on Kevin’s No. 4 Ford Mustang. It turns out the iconic paint scheme featured on the 12,000-pound, larger-than-life truck that rides on enormous 66-inch BKT tires transfers well to a sleek and fast Stewart-Haas Racing-built Ford Mustang. The No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang is sure to turn heads this Father’s Day weekend – in the stands and on the track as drivers do a double-take when they see Grave Digger looming large in their rearview mirror.

 

●  Fans in Nashville who want to see the real Grave Digger only need to wait a month. Monster Jam visits Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville July 17-18. There are three events – two on Saturday at 1 p.m. CDT and 6:30 p.m., and one on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased by clicking here.

 

●  It’s been 10 years since NASCAR last competed at Nashville Superspeedway, and it was an Xfinity Series race on July 23, 2011 that was won by Carl Edwards. The NASCAR Cup Series has never competed on the 1.333-mile oval, but Cup teams tested there extensively back in the day when it was fashionable to race on Sunday, test somewhere on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then fly to the next Cup race on Thursday. Harvick, now in his 21st year of Cup Series competition, has logged many laps in a Cup car at Nashville Superspeedway despite the track never hosting a Cup race until this Sunday’s inaugural Ally 400.

 

●  Harvick has, however, raced at Nashville Superspeedway and performed incredibly well. In four career Xfinity Series starts at the track, Harvick has two wins – April 15, 2006 and April 3, 2010. He finished third on June 10, 2006 and recorded his worst finish, seventh, in his first Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway on April 14, 2001. It all gave Harvick an average finish of third. He also had a lap completion rate of 100 percent, running all 900 laps available to him, and he led 123 of those laps.

 

●  Harvick also made one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Nashville Superspeedway. It was on April 2, 2010 when he finished second to Kyle Busch.

 

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang 

 

So how does a Monster Jam truck – and not just any Monster Jam truck, but the Monster Jam truck of Monster Jam trucks – rank as a cool Father’s Day gift, and a surprise Father’s Day gift from your son, Keelan?

“It’s THE monster truck. Loud noises, big engines, big wheels, big tires, fast racecars, and to have that be a surprise, it’s surprising to me because of the fact that it’s with Grave Digger and everything, the history, that goes with that truck. But it doesn’t surprise me that it’s something related to a car and tying it in to what we do. This one caught me off guard, though, because I had no idea that any of this was happening and, to have my 8-year-old son be able to pull that off and know more about it than I do makes me feel like I’m a little bit left out. So we’re going to have to talk to somebody.”

 

How many times have you been to Monster Jam and what is it about those events that resonates with you and Keelan?

“We have been to Monster Jam. We went to Charlotte. We went to Atlanta several years ago. We’ve been to a few of them. For Keelan and I, racing is a legacy, you pass it on from one generation to the next. And the same thing has happened with Grave Digger and the drivers of that truck. What we do, you see generations of families that have had their fathers, their sons and their sons move on through the ranks of racing. It’s something that you grow up around and are a part of and you learn to love the sport. And when you’re around it, you understand it’s a family sport and, for me, that’s the best part of it – that it’s something we can do together.”

 

When Dennis Anderson, the patriarch of Grave Digger, was behind the wheel of his Monster Jam truck, he was crushing cars. That doesn’t typically work too well in a stock car. How are you going to live up to Grave Digger’s legacy?

“You’ve got to set yourself apart from everybody else, right? The best way to do that for us is to run faster than everybody else, so hopefully we can have this No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang doing what it’s supposed to do and running fast – scare them right off the track. They’re all going to be jealous because I get to drive Grave Digger’s car.”

 

You last competed at Nashville in 2010 during a NASCAR Xfinity Series race. What are your expectations when you roll back in there in 2021?

“I didn’t ever go to Nashville without the expectation of winning. It was one of our best racetracks throughout the years and we’ve always had good success there and always enjoyed the racetrack itself. I’m looking forward to Cup finally going there. I know that facility was built to entertain having a Cup date and I can’t believe it’s taken this long because Nashville is such a great area for us as a sport. I’m excited to be there because we have just a ton of fans. Obviously, it’s the home of Hunt Brothers Pizza, as well. So there’s just a lot of good things that are happening when we go back to Nashville.”

 

In addition to Xfinity Series racing at Nashville, that track was the go-to track back when you had unlimited testing. Outside of the Xfinity Series, how many testing miles do you think you have at Nashville?

“Not many in the last little bit, but there was a period of time that we spent a lot of time at Nashville. We developed a lot of the coil binding in the front and rear springs there and at Milwaukee. When Nashville was built, I actually was part of the very first tire test – the first time that anybody was on the racetrack. Obviously, I’ve had a little bit of a layoff there, but from the very first moment I’ve been a part of that racetrack.”

 

Talk about those days of unlimited testing, where after a three-day race weekend, you’d go test for two or three days somewhere, oftentimes at Nashville.

“Really, we can go back to 2000. I did all the testing for Dale Earnhardt as we went through the year. So, we would go race and then we would go to a racetrack, whatever racetrack that would be, and I also did my own testing. We probably did four or five tests – I think at that point they could only do seven tests in the Cup Series – and then I had all my tests that you could do in the Xfinity Series. But you could also go to any racetrack that wasn’t on the schedule, and at that particular point, Kentucky wasn’t on the schedule, so we spent a lot of time at Kentucky developing stuff for Dale and the Cup program. But for the most part, we did, midweek, probably 20-25 tests a year as we went through the season, and most of them would be two-day tests. And that’s what you did. You were never home. You tested all the time. When you had a problem, you just went somewhere and tested. Whether it be Greenville-Pickens or Caraway or VIR, Milwaukee, it didn’t matter, you could go to any racetrack if it wasn’t on the schedule. Through the years they just changed that because we would spend so much time at the racetrack. We would test on different brands of tires and different series of cars, and we would do whatever it took. But, for the most part, you probably spent 20-25 two-day tests away from what you did on those three-day weekends.”

 

Do veterans like yourself who have actual, on-the-ground experience at Nashville have a leg up on those who have only driven Nashville on a simulator?

“I don’t think so. Some of the younger guys haven’t been there before, but with all the information and all the technology that we have in today’s world with the tire test already happening there, the information is already spread through all the manufacturers. They’ll have all that stuff plugged into their simulators and have the track measured and do all the things that they do. I think there are a lot of guys who grew up even after I started a decade later, they were still racing there, so a lot of guys have experience at Nashville and I don’t think there will be a huge advantage.”

 

Technology advances quickly. Can you just go out onto the track there at Nashville and start ripping around, or do you need to see what’s it’s like after a 10-year absence?

“The good news is it’s concrete, so it’s always had what I always called the sidewalk hop, like if you’re riding your bike or your skateboard over the sidewalk. And I think as you go through the weekend, a lot of those little cracks and things start to fill in with rubber, so hopefully the tire will actually lay some rubber on the racetrack because that was always the biggest thing there, getting the racetrack rubbered up. Once the racetrack rubbers up, it becomes much better to race on because the groove just becomes so much wider. It’ll be interesting to see if we race on the track as it is, or if we race on the track with PJ1 sprayed on it somewhere.”

 

No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Team Roster

Primary Team Members

 

Driver: Kevin Harvick

Hometown: Bakersfield, California

 

Crew Chief: Rodney Childers

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Car Chief: Robert “Cheddar” Smith

Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin

 

Engineer: Dax Gerringer

Hometown: Gibsonville, North Carolina

 

Engineer: Stephen Doran

Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania

 

Spotter: Tim Fedewa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Members

 

Front Tire Changer: Shayne Pipala

Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

 

Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard

Hometown: Delhart, Texas

 

Jack Man: Stan Doolittle

Hometown: Ninety Six, South Carolina

 

Fuel Man: Evan Marchal

Hometown: Westfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members

 

Mechanic: Richie Bean

Hometown: Bradford, Vermont

 

Tire Specialist: Jamie Turski

Hometown: Trumbull, Connecticut

 

Engine Tuner: Robert Brandt

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

 

Transporter Co-Driver: Rick Hodges

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

 

Transporter Co-Driver: Stephen Mitchell

Hometown: Woodville, Ohio

Hendrick Motorsports Driver quotes for Nashville Superspeedway

Kyle Larson (5/2), driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on getting up to speed at Nashville:
“I’ve tested there before – a couple times in an Xfinity car and I think once in a Cup car. It’s a track where very few drivers have any experience. We will have practice and qualifying before this Sunday’s race, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting up to speed quickly. This team and Hendrick Motorsports as a whole have been strong on intermediate-type tracks this year, so I hope we can have another strong finish in the Valvoline Chevrolet.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on past experience at Nashville:
“The most relevant things to pull from my previous experience there and Kyle’s testing experience there is the nuance of the track. It’s a really unique track geometry. It’s sweeping into turn one but then gets tight off of turn two. We know the track is going to be temperature sensitive. Knowing that will help us, but we don’t have a pure setup or race strategy standpoint. We don’t have any data points to go off of.”



Chase Elliott (15/2), driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on how he is preparing for Nashville Superspeedway:
“My preparation for this weekend is really going to revolve around the test that I’ve had at Nashville in the past. I actually had a test with the 24 team in 2013, back when Jeff (Gordon) was driving with Alan (Gustafson) and (engineer) Tom (Gray) and a lot of our same group that we have now. I’ve spent some time talking about that and just some of the tendencies that I remember from the racetrack. I feel like the rules have changed, the cars are different, and Cup has never raced there to look back at a ton of races. Maybe watching an Xfinity race or something, but I think a lot of it is really just going to be more from the test for me, personally.”

Elliott on being nominated for an ESPY: “It’s just an honor to be considered for an ESPY. I haven’t been doing this stuff near as long as guys like Lewis (Hamilton) and Scott (Dixon). I’m not sure I even belong on the same list as them, but it is such an honor to be there and be considered. Regardless of how it works out, I’ll certainly always be appreciative of being considered for something like that.”

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on testing at Nashville Superspeedway:
“We were lucky to have been able to test at Nashville Superspeedway when he tested for Hendrick Motorsports back seven or eight years ago. There may be a couple things that we can apply, but that test just gives us a rough baseline to know what drove decent back then, but things are so much different now. We have different tires, aero package and hopefully we are smarter than we were in then (laughing). Having that test definitely helps; it’s better than starting from square one with nothing.”



William Byron (13/1), driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the challenges of racing at a new track: “You’re not going to have a good feel in general going into this weekend, I think. Nashville (Superspeedway) is going to be one of those places that you just need to adapt and learn as you go. It looks like a superspeedway but it’s more of a short track with how tight the corners are. It’s going to be tough, especially with the heat. I think that this race is going to be one of the toughest places we will go this season just because we don’t have any notes on it. No one has any notes from any series, really. Things have changed so much since the last race there. I’m going to rely heavily on the truck race and watching the Xfinity race. I’ll use that info to hopefully learn and be able to adapt faster in our race. It’s going to be challenge but it’s good to have a new environment and the excitement around it.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on his experience at Nashville Superspeedway: “Nashville is a tricky place. It races like a short track and has short track features, but it also has the characteristics of a mile-and-a-half track. That’s going to be your biggest issue; finding a setup that balances that line perfectly. You want it to handle similar to how it would at a concrete short track like Dover but also handle well, aero-wise, like a mile-and-a-half. While we have limited notes across the board, we do know that it will also be a very temperature-sensitive track, as well. There’s going to be a lot of obstacles to overcome, but I think with William running the truck race and us having a practice session on the Cup side, we’ll be as prepared as we can be. I’m excited to get back to Nashville and see what we can do as a team.”



Alex Bowman (13/1), driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on competing at Nashville:
“I have tested at Nashville Superspeedway before but haven’t actually raced there. It is going to be interesting learning the track with the No. 48 Chevrolet in practice on Saturday. Our last race we ran on concrete (Dover) we were able to claim the victory, so we are hoping for the same result on Sunday in our No. 48 Ally Chevy.”

Bowman on Ally hosting its first entitlement race:
“This is a huge weekend for our partner Ally. It is their first entitlement race, and they have a lot of fun things planned for the sold-out crowd coming out to Nashville. We have a fun, neon paint scheme designed by Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., and I will have a new helmet that Bernard Pollard and Greg (Stumpff) from Off Axis Paint and I designed. It would be really cool to be able to bring home the Ally 400 trophy on Sunday with so many great people from Ally in attendance.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on his experience at Nashville Superspeedway: “Nashville was always a fun track. You used to be able to test at the speedway all the time and it was always a lot of fun. I remember testing when it was 40 degrees out and you were shivering and wondering how the tires were holding up. Then there were times where you would test and it would be extremely hot out. We have been to Nashville Superspeedway a lot, just not with this configuration. We have been around this track with rental cars multiple times to try to dry the track, so hopefully I can study from some videos I have of that. It is going to be a fun track.”

Monday, June 14, 2021

Odds to win 2021 Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway

Good idea to review Dover results due to the concrete.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
NASCAR CUP SERIES
ODDS TO WIN 2021 ALLY 400
NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 2021 - 3:45 PM ET

Kyle LARSON 5/2
Martin TRUEX JR 11/2
Chase ELLIOTT 11/2
Denny HAMLIN 8/1
Kyle BUSCH 8/1
Kevin HARVICK 12/1
William BYRON 12/1
Alex BOWMAN 14/1
Joey LOGANO 16/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 16/1
Ryan BLANEY 20/1
Christopher BELL 40/1
Tyler REDDICK 40/1
Kurt BUSCH 60/1
Austin DILLON 80/1
Matt DIBENEDETTO 100/1
Chris BUESCHER 100/1
Ross CHASTAIN 100/1
Bubba WALLACE 200/1
Daniel SUAREZ 200/1
Cole CUSTER 200/1
Aric ALMIROLA 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 200/1
Ryan NEWMAN 300/1
Erik JONES 300/1
Chase BRISCOE 300/1
Michael McDOWELL 1000/1
Ryan PREECE 1000/1
Anthony ALFREDO 5000/1
Corey LAJOIE 5000/1
Justin HALEY 10000/1
Quin HOUFF 10000/1
BJ McLEOD 10000/1
Josh BILICKY 10000/1
Garrett SMITHLEY 10000/1
Joey GASE 10000/1
JJ YELEY 10000/1
Chad FINCHUM 10000/1
David STARR 10000/1

Thursday, June 10, 2021

2021 NASCAR All-Star Race (Texas) Betting Preview

 

ALL-STAR RACE PICKS, PREDICTIONS, ODDS

 

June 10, 2021

NASCAR Expert
VegasInsider.com

The last two winners of NASCAR’s annual All-Star Race have been listed as this week’s favorites: Kyle Larson won in 2019 and is the 5/2 favorite to win at William Hill sportsbooks and Chase Elliott won in 2020 and is 6/1 second choice to win.

But none of those wins matter this week because the non-points race is at a different track with an entirely new race package and a wild rules format that should shuffle things up often by inverting the field a few times in the six rounds as they’ll run a total of 100 laps (Rounds 1 through 4 will be 15 laps each, Round 5 will be 30 laps, and the final round will be a 10 lap dash).

Drivers who have won a race since 2020, won a past All-Star Race or Cup Championship are eligible to participate. That means 17 drivers automatically qualify and four more will come from the All-Star Open.

NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE ANALYSIS

This year’s All-Star Race is at Texas Motor Speedway’s high-banked 1.5-mile layout with $1 million in prize money given to the winner. A Hendrick Motorsports driver has won the last four points-paying races on the schedule. Larson has won the last two races and has been runner-up or better in his last five starts overall. Elliott has been third or better in his last four starts. They’re both dialed in whatever package is being used, but this week everyone will be using a race package with 510 horsepower which hasn’t been used anywhere yet.

NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Sunday, June 13, 2021
  • TV-Time: FS1, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Texas Motor Speedway
  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas
  • Distance: 100 laps
  • Defending Champions: Chase Elliott (2020)

Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team captured the NASCAR All-Star Race last July from Bristol Motor Speedway. (AP)

HANDICAPPING NASCAR AT TEXAS

The big question I have here is how much inverting the field at each stage will affect the outcome in the final 10 lap dash which is set by the finish position of Round 5. Crew chiefs and drivers are trying to get a grip on the rules and package as well.

“I think the biggest thing is that you’re going to have the low horsepower, even lower than the horsepower we have currently,” said William Byron who is 10/1 to win. “It’s going to put us closer together, more nose-to-tail, and probably will be drafting constantly. That’s going to make it tough. You’re going to have to have a good handling car to try (to) drive away from people, but I feel like it’s still going to be hard to really ever get away. We’re focusing on getting the handling right, and I think we’re in the ballpark. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE CONTENDERS

  • Kyle Larson +480
  • Denny Hamlin +750
  • Martin Truex Jr. +750
  • Kyle Busch +800
  • Kevin Harvick +800
  • Ryan Blaney +900
  • Chase Elliott +900
  • Joey Logano +1000
  • More NASCAR Futures
  • (Odds Subject to Change)

Byron is definitely someone to consider for a win just because he’s been ninth or better in all five races on 1.5-mile tracks using the 550 HP package which includes a win at Homestead.

But with the field being inverted so often, will the best car be able to emerge from the back and get to the front in time for the last 10 lap dash? That’s not a lot of time to move through the field. Strategy is going to be key and everyone will be in the same boat of not knowing what to expect. It’s the All-Star Race and requires the crew chief to examine more than a regular race.

BACKING BOWMAN

“For me, numbers are a fun Rubik’s Cube,” said Greg Ives, crew chief of the Hendrick Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman. “I like the more intricate that it gets. The invert following the rounds throws in a lot more details and unpredictability that you can’t really solve in a simple math calculation. Ultimately, our job is to go out there and perform at a high level. I am pretty sure at the end of each round they are going to figure out what the invert is and we are going to line up and go as fast as we can again. Hopefully, we have a chance to lead and won’t be in traffic. Hopefully, we can cross the finish line first at the end of the day. That is really all we can focus on. The uniqueness of the format for this event is what is creating all of the buzz and, ultimately, it is what it is and hopefully we can have some fun.”

Bowman is 12/1 to win and deserves consideration based on solid runs at Charlotte (5th) and Atlanta (3rd). Both his wins this season came with the 750 HP package.


READ MORE HERE.......TOP-5 FINISH PREDICTION AT VEGASINSIDER.COM

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Kevin Harvick is 12/1 to win 2021 All-Star race at Texas

 

KEVIN HARVICK

NASCAR All-Star Race Advance

No. 4 #BuschToTheMoon Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

 

Event Overview

 

●  Event:  NASCAR All-Star Race (non-points race)

●  Time/Date:  8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 13

●  Location:  Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth

●  Layout:  1.5-mile oval

●  Laps/Miles:  100 laps/150 miles

●  Stage Lengths:  Stages 1-4: 15 laps apiece / Stage 5: 30 laps / Final Stage: 10 laps

●  TV/Radio:  FS1 / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

 

Notes of Interest

 

●  Kevin Harvick has always been an all-star. Since his 2001 NASCAR Cup Series debut, Harvick has been a part of every NASCAR All-Star Race. The driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing first earned entry into the All-Star Race by winning in his just his third career Cup Series start on March 11, 2001 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth marks the 37th anniversary of the All-Star Race and it will be Harvick’s 21st straight appearance in the race – the most of any active driver.

 

●  Harvick is a two-time winner of the All-Star Race. He won the specialty non-points race for the first time in 2007 by leading the final 20 laps and crossing the stripe .141 of a second ahead of second-place Jimmie Johnson. Harvick scored his second All-Star win in 2019 when he led twice for 36 laps, including the last 11, to take the victory by .325 of a second over Daniel Su├írez. Both victories came at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

 

●  Charlotte hosted the first All-Star Race and 34 in total. The All-Star Race debuted on May 25, 1985 at Charlotte’s 1.5-mile oval and it was won by Darrell Waltrip. Atlanta hosted the All-Star Race in 1986 before returning to Charlotte for a 33-race run. Last year’s All-Star Race was held at the .533-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, the first and only time the All-Star Race wasn’t held at a 1.5-mile oval. This will be Texas’ first time hosting the All-Star Race, returning the non-points event to a 1.5-mile oval.

 

●  Harvick has seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in his 20 career All-Star Races. He comes into Texas riding a streak of three straight top-threes and four consecutive top-10s in the All-Star Race. Harvick has finished third or better in five of the last seven All-Star Races, including last year’s All-Star Race at Bristol when he finished third.

 

●  This year’s All-Star Race at Texas will be 100 laps and broken into six stages with random lineup draws, inverted starts and a pit stop. The final stage is a 10-lap dash with the winner earning $1 million. That’s the overview. The details are as follows:

 ▬  Starting lineup for Round 1 will be determined via random draw.

 ▬  Rounds 1-4 will be 15 laps each. Round 5 will be 30 laps. The final round will be a 10-lap shootout.

 ▬  At the beginning of Round 2, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12) live on FS1.

 ▬  The Round 2 random draw will also be seen live by fans attending the race on Texas’ Big Hoss TV.

 ▬  Before the start of Round 3, the entire field will be inverted.

 ▬  At the beginning of Round 4, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12).

 ▬  Starting positions for Round 5 will consist of the cumulative finish from Rounds 1-4. The lowest cumulative finisher starts on the pole, second-lowest starts second, and so forth. All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5.

 ▬  The fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop will earn $100,000.

 ▬  The starting positions in the final round are set by finishing positions of Round 5.

 ▬  Only green flag laps will count.

 

●  While Harvick is racing for some cold, hard cash in the All-Star Race, fans can tweet for some new-age Bitcoin from Busch Beer. All fans need to do is invest in watching FS1’s broadcast of the All-Star Race beginning at 8 p.m. EDT on Sunday. Tweet #BuschToTheMoon and #Sweepstakes at the launch of each stage and one lucky fan can walk away with $10,000 in Bitcoin. The sky is not the limit with Bitcoin – it’s value is going to the moon – and just like drivers can hit a moonshot payday with an All-Star Race victory, Busch wants to give fans their own shot at a Bitcoin payday with #BuschToTheMoon.

 

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 #BuschToTheMoon Ford Mustang 

 

The 37th All-Star Race takes place Sunday at Texas. There’s likely been 37 different set of rules and formats for the All-Star Race. When do you attempt to figure out the rules and what you need to do during the race?

“I’ve just gotten to the point where I don’t even pay attention to the rules and I just let them tell me the rules when we get there. It’s just too much to take in until the week of the race. So, this week we’ll just kind of go through everything and that’s really the extent of it because it can be a little overwhelming. I leave most of it to the pit box.”

 

The one thing that has stayed the same over the years is the $1 million payout. How much of that do you get and what do you get to do with it?

“I would say that each driver probably has a little bit different of a deal. Usually that percentage kind of varies between drivers, but you definitely don’t get it all.”

 

How helpful is the All-Star Race in determining what you need to do when you return to Texas in the fall for a points-paying race?

“Not much at all because of the different horsepower rules and the differences that you’ll have in your car for the short run. When you go back in the fall, you’ll have to have something a little bit different than what you have now.”

 

You’re making your 21st All-Star Race appearance. How valuable is all of that experience, especially when there’s a new format?

“I used to tell Danica Patrick this all the time – ‘I have 25 years on you and you will never catch up.’ And that is the truth. Experience matters, more so in our sport than maybe in any other sport. The knowledge of the racetrack, things you have been through, things you have done – it all makes a difference.”

 

No. 4 #BuschToTheMoon Team Roster

Primary Team Members

 

Driver: Kevin Harvick

Hometown: Bakersfield, California

 

Crew Chief: Rodney Childers

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Car Chief: Robert “Cheddar” Smith

Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin

 

Engineer: Dax Gerringer

Hometown: Gibsonville, North Carolina

 

Engineer: Stephen Doran

Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania

 

Spotter: Tim Fedewa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Members

 

Front Tire Changer: Shayne Pipala

Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

 

Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard

Hometown: Delhart, Texas

 

Jack Man: Stan Doolittle

Hometown: Ninety Six, South Carolina

 

Fuel Man: Evan Marchal

Hometown: Westfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members

 

Mechanic: Richie Bean

Hometown: Bradford, Vermont

 

Tire Specialist: Jamie Turski

Hometown: Trumbull, Connecticut

 

Engine Tuner: Robert Brandt

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

 

Transporter Co-Driver: Rick Hodges

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

 

Transporter Co-Driver: Stephen Mitchell

Hometown: Woodville, Ohio

-SHR-

Denny Hamlin is 10/1 to win 2021 All-Star Race at Texas

Denny Hamlin has 3 Texas wins.
Denny Hamlin

11 FedEx Office Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:

Race: NASCAR All-Star Race
Date/Time: Sunday, June 13/8:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 100 laps/150 miles
Track Shape: Oval
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Banking: 24 degrees
2020 Winner (Bristol): Chase Elliott

Express Notes:

Press Kit: Download the 2021 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Sonoma Recap: The 12-turn, 2.52-mile, California road course offers plenty of opportunity for cars to make contact, and it happened early for the #11 team. After lining up fourth for the start, the FedEx Camry took on front-end damage during Stage 1 of the 232-mile event, as contact punched in the car’s nose. By the later stages, the left front fender was heavily damaged as well, affecting the car’s speed. Between the torn-up front end and an off-sequence pit strategy, Hamlin didn’t have much of a chance to compete with the dominant car of Kyle Larson, who went on to win his second consecutive race in a two-lap overtime finish. But the FedEx Racing driver did battle back from outside the top 20 to grab a top-10 result, crossing the line eighth.

All-Star Preview: The NASCAR Cup Series makes its way to the Lone Star State for the annual running of the NASCAR All-Star Race. Hamlin and the #FedEx11 team will be ready to show why they’re still at the top of the point standings when they hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the 1.5-mile oval’s first hosting of the exhibition event. Hamlin will go for his second career All-Star victory.

Hamlin Statistics:
Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Races: 30
Wins: 3
Top-5: 7
Top-10: 14
Laps Led: 288
Avg. Start: 13.3
Avg. Finish: 13.8

Hamlin Conversation – Texas (All-Star):

Are you ready for the wild format of the All-Star Race?


“We’re ready for anything. NASCAR sets the format to be entertaining for the fans, and it’s certainly set up to do that. Random draws, inverts, pit stops – it should put on quite a show. It definitely won’t be boring.”

What adjustments will your team need to make to be ready for the All-Star Race in Texas?


“We’ve had strong performances at Texas in the past, but we need to up our game a bit on mile-and-a-halfs. With the wild rules, we might need luck to fall in our favor, too. However, I believe in our FedEx team and know we are always capable of getting the job done.”

FedEx Office Along for the Ride at Texas: FedEx thanks all FedEx Office team members for rising to meet and overcome challenges on a daily basis.

FedEx Office – Closest to Texas Motor Speedway: 9604 Old Denton Rd, Suite 104, Fort Worth, TX (817) 741-3585

2021 NASCAR All-Star race at Texas Format

 The All-Star Open will consist of:

  • 50 total laps.
  • 3 stages (20-20-10).
  • The winner of each stage will advance to the All-Star Race.
  • The driver with the highest total in the fan vote that is not already in the race, will get the final spot in the All-Star Race.

The All-Star race format is as follows:

  • The race will feature six rounds, totaling 100 laps.
  • Starting lineup for Round 1 will be determined via random draw.
  • Rounds 1 through 4 will be 15 laps each; Round 5 will be 30 laps; the Final Round will feature a 10-lap shootout.
  • At the beginning of Round 2, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12) live on FS1.
  • Before the start of Round 3, the entire field will be inverted.
  • At the beginning of Round 4, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12).
  • Starting positions for Round 5 will consist of the cumulative finish from Rounds 1-4. The lowest cumulative finisher starts on the pole, second-lowest starts second, and so forth. All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5.
  • The starting positions in the Final Round are set by finishing positions of Round 5.
  • Only green flag laps will count in the NASCAR All-Star race.
  • The fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop will earn $100,000.
  • The race winner will be awarded $1,000,000.

From a technical side, all elements of the car remain the same except for the tapered spacer which will be 57/64ths. That will give the cars a horsepower of about 510.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Sonoma NASCAR Betting Preview: 2021 Toyota/Save Mart 350

 NASCAR TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350 ANALYSIS

I had a quiet conversation with my conscience to start the week as I was setting up driver ratings for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, which is the third of seven road course races on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season

  • Me: Oh man, come on? Another road course race this week!
  • Conscience: Yes, but you’ve always said Sonoma is your favorite course, what’s your problem?
  • Me: I love Sonoma, but the race date was usually late June after 16 races of ovals had already run and the chance to see right and left turns for the first time during a season was a thrill and breath of fresh air.
  • Conscience: It still has right and left turns, 12 of them over the 2.52-mile layout featuring 160 feet of elevation changes.
  • Me: But the yearning for a road race isn’t there like it used to be, and I’m dreading the next five because not only is there too little passing and few lead changes, but it favors a small segment of drivers that are light years above most of the drivers with their road skills, which also skews the championship chase with the likes of Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. having a massive edge or head start on points heading into the Playoffs.
  • Conscience: What are you talking about? Christopher Bell won the Daytona road course race in the second race of the season for his first career Cup win and got the automatic bid to the Playoffs with it.
  • Me: You’re starting to annoy me, go away.

TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350 BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Sunday, June 6, 2021
  • TV-Time: FS1, 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Sonoma Raceway
  • Location: Sonoma, California
  • Distance: 227 miles, 90 laps
  • Defending Champions: Martin Truex Jr. (2019)

I remember in the mid-1990s when NASCAR die-hards poo-pooed the idea that two road course races a year were too many when there were only two road courses.

I would try to sell them on the idea of real racing across the world being done on courses and street circuits built to stress the drivers. I wonder how they feel about seven road courses on the schedule.


Chase Elliott is getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers this week as the top betting choice for Sunday's road race at Sonoma. (AP)

HANDICAPPING NASCAR AT SONOMA

Alright, enough complaining. We have sportsbooks offering odds on the race which means we have some business to take care of whether we like road courses or not. This isn’t about recreational fantasy leagues with no consequences if we lose, it’s about straight cash and I hate to lose so I work hard to ensure I don’t.

Let’s do a quick take on what has happened through the first 15 races where 11 different drivers have already won a race led by Joe Gibbs racing’s Martin Truex Jr. has three wins (all with 750 HP package).

Another JGR driver, Denny Hamlin, leads the series with points and nine top-fives but doesn’t have a win yet after having seven wins in 2020. Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch also have won under the JGR flag.

Kevin Harvick led the series with nine wins last season but doesn’t have any so far, although it looks like their 550 HP package will be their best chance. No top-fives in the eight races using the 750 package. Here’s to hoping we catch him at some point in the 14-to-1 range at one of the 1.5-mile tracks.

But the season has evolved with the elite teams getting better (Roush Fenway Racing, too) along the way. First, it was JGR doing the dominating, mostly in the 750 package, but Hendrick Motorsports has made it clear they are ready to take control as they’ve won the last three races on the season. They have two wins each for Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman and one each for Chase Elliott and William Byron.

Hendrick is the winningest organization in NASCAR Cup history with 269 wins following Larson’s Coca-Cola 600 win last week where for the fourth time in five races on 1.5-mile tracks he led the most laps.

Larson has finished second or better in his last four races and now goes to his home track in Sonoma. The Elk Grove native has never won on a road course in the Cup Series but does have a K&N Pro Series West win on it from 2014. He has some serious momentum coming into this weekend, where there will once again be no practices or qualifying (Larson already on pole) because it’s not a new track.

“Sonoma is a finesse track, but you still have to be aggressive,” said Larson who is 8-to-1 to win Sunday. “I’ve had a lot of success there with three poles but I seemed to struggle during the race, so I’m really looking forward to going there in Hendrick Motorsports equipment. Hendrick Motorsports’ road course program is really good, especially the 9 team. It seems like Chase Elliott has won every road course race the last four years.”

No on Larson’s Elliott insight, but he’s close. Elliott has six career road wins in 14 Cup starts on them and has won five of the last six, but none of them at Sonoma’s technical course, and Elliott knows he has some work to do to get better.

READ MORE HERE....TOP-5 FINISH PREDICTION ON VEGASINSIDER.COM