Friday, October 12, 2012

Final Charlotte Driver Ratings Following All Practice Sessions

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Bank of America 500
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Saturday, October 13, 2012 -  7:46 p.m. (ET)

Rating    Driver     Odds        Practice 1     Qualified    Practice 2    Practice 3

 1. Denny Hamlin 5/1                 1st                 9th              15th               6th 
Career best runner-up in May Coca-Cola 600; best 10-consecutive lap average in final practice.
 2. Kyle Busch 7/1                      6th                 8th              14th              1st 
Finished third or better in four of past five Charlotte starts; third-place in Coca-Cola 600.
 3. Kasey Kahne 8/1                   8th               10th              2nd               9th 
Four-time winner, including Coca-Cola 600 in May; using third-place Michigan chassis.
 4. Jimmie Johnson 5/1              9th                 5th               4th               4th 
Six-time winner, but only one win in past 13 starts; using winning All-Star race chassis.
 5. Brad Keselowski 8/1            10th               20th              7th                8th 
Career best fifth-place in May; two 1.5-mile track wins in 2012; using Brickyard chassis.
 6. Mark Martin 25/1                  2nd                2nd                5th               3rd  
Four-time winner, the last in 2002; second fastest 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 7. Regan Smith 30/1                 8th                26th              8th               2nd 
Takes over No. 88 car, the only car to finish 10th or better at all 1.5-mile tracks this season.  
 8. Greg Biffle 12/1                    16th               1st                1st              18th 
Runner-up in 2008; fourth-place in May race; using chassis that last ran at Chicago.
 9. Jeff Gordon 10/1                   5th                13th             10th             13th 
Five-time winner, including first career win in 1994; third or better on past six of seven tracks.
10. Tony Stewart 15/1               17th               32nd            16th             12th 
2003 winner; top 10-consecutive lap average in Practice 2; using sixth-place Chicago chassis.

Note: The high-banked 1.5-mile sister tracks of Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta have all had races run on this season and the results offer a great barometer to use in finding top candidates to win tonight.  

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 on the race, go to The Linemakers on or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7. 

Betting Notes
Kyle Busch may have looked a little better than Denny Hamlin throughout Friday’s practices, but Hamlin gets the nod because of his past body of work and also his 10-consecutive lap average in in the final session. Busch’s recent history at Charlotte has been spectacular and he looks like a driver that is sure to eventually get his first win on the track sooner than later.

Jimmie Johnson was also looking racey during practices, but it’s hard to get past the image of him finishing 28th or worse in three of his past five Charlotte starts.

The driver I’m most excited about is Regan Smith, who was outstanding in both Friday sessions, including having the second best 10-consecutive lap average in the final session behind Hamlin. The No. 88 car has been impressive on these types of tracks all season and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Smith compete for the win.

We saw a similar situation at Charlotte in the 2002 fall race where a young Jamie McMurray took over Sterling Marlin’s dominant ride and won in his second career start.

Can you imagine the bitter-sweet taste in Junior Nation’s mouth if Smith were to come in and take Junior’s car to a win in his first crack at it?

The LVH Super Book had offered Regan Smith at 500-to-1 odds early in the week and when it was announced that he wouldn’t taking over the No. 88, the odds dropped down to 30-to-1. The LVH confirmed that they do have a few wagers at 500-to-1 simply because bettors take a crack at him every week since he won at the same odds last season at Darlington.

Jeff Gordon didn’t do anything special in practice and may be a driver to find some good value on in matchups.

The best longshot value rests with Mark Martin.

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