Friday, February 17, 2012

Final 2012 Budweiser Shootout Driver Ratings Following All Practices

Micah Roberts Top 10 Driver Ratings
Budweiser Shootout
Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 5:10 pm (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds       Practice 1  Practice 2  Start Pos.  2011 Shootout*

 1. Kevin Harvick 8/1             12th           DNP              22nd              7th
Two-time Shootout winner (2009, 2010), using winning car from 2010 Daytona Firecracker.

 2. Tony Stewart 12/1              9th           DNP              15th             11th
Three-time Shootout winner, the last coming 2007, and 16 wins overall at Daytona.

 3. Jamie McMurray 15/1        4th             1st                   4th              2nd
Shootout Runner-up in 2009 and 2011, third in 2010; using same chassis from 2011 and 2010.

 4.  Jeff Gordon 10/1              21st            DNP             14th              6th
Two-time Shootout winner (1994, 1997); finished sixth or better in last four starts.   

 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr 10/1      24th           12th                 8th             19th
Two-time Shootout winner (2003, 2008); hasn’t finished better than 11th in last three starts.

 6. Clint Bowyer 25/1              10th            DNP              17th             9th
Best finish of ninth last year; had fastest time in one of the Daytona pre-season test sessions.

 7. Jeff Burton 20/1                  2nd            DNP              12th             8th 
Best finish was fifth in 2001; using chassis from Harvick that ran in three 2011 plates races.

 8. Kurt Busch 20/1                 15th            DNP              6th              1st
Won Shootout last season (new team this year); fastest overall in Daytona pre-season testing.

 9. Juan Montoya 30/1            23rd            2nd                 25th            20th
Best finish of 10th in 2010; tandem racing with McMurray. Using 2011 sixth-place Daytona 500 car.

10. Kasey Kahne 12/1            17th              4th                19th            24th
Runner-up in 2010; teamed with Gordon in Daytona pre-season testing and worked very well.  

Note: The Budweiser Shootout is a 75-lap non-points race consisting of drivers that finished in the top-25 final standings last season, won a past Budweiser shootout or a past points paying Daytona race.

* Results from last season’s Budweiser Shootout. 
Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

Bud Shootout Plays
Even though Kurt Busch was involved in an accident during Friday’s practice, I still think he’s got a great shot of winning this race. He took the least punishment of the five cars involved and won’t have to go to a back-up like the others have to. I also like Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Jeff Burton to have a great showing in this race and they all have excellent odds.

The match-up I would go after is Jeff Burton at pick ’em against Brad Keselowski, and not just because Keselowski is using a back-up car -- likely the Daytona 500 back-up car, but more so because I think Burton has a great shot at winning and running up front for most of the race. Of all the match-ups on the board, this one stands out the most.

As with any plate race, the best advice is to look at playing almost all of the match-ups that are showing plus-money. These type of races -- especially a non-points plate race -- are too much of a crap shoot to have anyone favored too much.

Match-up of the week:
JEFF BURTON -110 vs. Brad Keselowski

Odds to win Selections:
Kurt Busch 20/1, Clint Bowyer 25/1, Jeff Burton 20/1 and Jamie McMurray 18/1     

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to, or follow MicahRoberts7 on Twitter.

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