Friday, April 13, 2012

Final 2012 Texas Samsung Mobile 500 Driver Ratings Following All Practice Sessions

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Samsung Mobile 500
Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, April 14, 2012 -  4:46 pm (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds      Practice 1   Practice 2   Qualified    Las Vegas*

 1. Denny Hamlin 12/1             9th              7th            13th            20th
Two-time winner, both coming in 2010; said his car this week is his fastest ever at Texas.
 2. Greg Biffle 10/1                  2nd             2nd              3rd              3rd
2005 spring winner; was the star of all practice sessions using a brand new chassis.
 3. Matt Kenseth 7/1                7th              3rd              2nd           22nd
Two-time winner with the best average finish (8.7) among all drivers; new car this week.
 4. Carl Edwards 7/1               10th            14th           20th             5th
Three-time winner, including a runner-up and third last year; using new chassis this week.
 5. Kevin Harvick 12/1             3rd               6th           15th            11th
Fifth best average finish (12.9) among all drivers; strong practice using Las Vegas chassis.
 6. Clint Bowyer 20/1               26th             4th           18th              6th
Runner-up in this race last year with average finish of 13th; using brand new car this week.
 7. Kasey Kahne 12/1             11th            24th             5th            19th  
2006 winner with three other top-5 finishes, including third last fall; using Fontana chassis.
 8. Jimmie Johnson 7/1           20th           22nd          10th              2nd
2007 winner with four other runner-up finishes; using brand new chassis this week.
 9. Martin Truex Jr 40/1           12th            9th              1st             17th
Consistent season (6th in points) and great practices suggests more of the same this week.
10. Tony Stewart 6/1               23rd           35th            29th             1st
Two-time winner; despite terrible practices and using back-up car, he’ll find his way near the front.

* Results from Las Vegas race held March 11, 2012, a sister track that is most similar to Texas among all 2012 races run thus far.

Note: Only two scheduled practice sessions: Thursday’s was 120 minutes and Friday’s was 90 minutes..

Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

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.

Betting Notes
Hamlin as a caddy last week for Bubba Watson
Based on the way the practices went, the top choices to win this race are Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. For all three, they have a combination of great cars for this weekend and great recent history at Texas. The next tier of drivers to consider would include the Michael Waltrip drivers, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.

Edwards had a great practice and we have seen him progress during races at tracks like Las Vegas and California this year with fifth-place finishes despite having poor practice sessions. He was fairly good and consistent during Friday’s final practice and should be well ahead of the game with little altering required, other than for the changes required during the race because of temperature change.

I really loved what Kevin Harvick came out and did in practice and believe he’ll be contending for a top-5 finish. The same goes for Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr, both of whom are currently on a great run coming into this race. Both drivers should find themselves in the winner’s circle very soon.

The Hendrick drivers are kind of a mystery and they all have the look of being cars that will be very good in the later stages of each fuel run. None of them had a great single lap time, but they were able to maintain consistent speeds for a long duration.

Match-up of the Week: Denny Hamlin -130 vs. Kasey Kahne
Hamlin has the look of winner and it’s rather short price to lay with him going against a driver that is snake bit week after week. Kahne will eventually win, but before fully backing the No. 5 team, I’d like to see a few consistent runs in a row. Hamlin should be in contention to win the race.

You also can’t go wrong with Greg Biffle or Matt Kenseth in any of their match-ups as they’ll be in the top-5 for most of the day.

Kurt Busch won’t be matched up against any of the top drivers this week, but has the look of being somewhat reliable because of his final practice. He’s a bit of a gamble based on what he’s done this year, but will still look to lay or take a price on him against most of the drivers not listed above.

Another driver I will look to play is Tony Stewart despite his poor practices. His odds have been severely diminished because of using a back-up car and poor practices, but by 400 miles, I full expect to see Stewart within the top-10 battling for position. His pre-practice and post-practice prices will be about a $1.00 swing in the match-ups making some of them too hard to pass up.

Starting Lineup

No comments: