Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kevin Harvick goes to Michigan as 7-to-2 favorite to win

Kevin Harvick has finished second in past four Michigan starts
LAS VEGAS -- Chevrolet has won the past two NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway, and it’s favored to win again in Sunday's Quicken Loan 400 – the top-five drivers on the oddsboard are guys with bow-ties. However, in 91 Cup races on the two-mile D-shaped track, Ford – with 34 wins – has the all-time lead among the eight manufacturers that have battled for bragging rights in the Motor City’s backyard. Chevrolet has 22 wins, and Toyota has four.

Here’s a driver-by-driver breakdown for this weekend’s race, with opening odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Super Book:

KEVIN HARVICK 7/2: All this guy does is finish first or second. In 14 races this season, he's had 10 top-two finishes (two wins), and the second-place theme has been huge for him at Michigan, as he comes in riding a four-race runner-up streak at the track – two for Richard Childress Racing and two for Stewart-Haas Racing. He won at Michigan in 2010, but probably most important for this race is what he's done on the seven horsepower tracks this season. At Fontana, Pocono and the five 1.5-mile layouts, he's been the most impressive in practice, and that’s translated to race day with six top-two finishes among those races. Michigan requires lots of horsepower, and Harvick has consistently had the most, which is why his odds are so low here. The good news for bettors looking elsewhere is he hasn't won a race since March 15 at Phoenix.

JIMMIE JOHNSON 6/1: He took the checkers in this race last year, marking his first-ever win at Michigan in 24 starts, but he'd been close several times only to have something go wrong in the late stages. In 26 starts, he has a 15.8 average finish with only five top-fives. It's one of his least successful tracks on tour, but his series-leading four wins through 14 races makes him one of the top contenders to finish just ahead of Harvick again.

KURT BUSCH 8/1: Even though history has shown that Michigan doesn’t correlate well with its near-identical sister track at Fontana, you still have to respect what Busch did at Fontana on March 22, when he led the most laps and dominated, but had the misfortune of late cautions take away his leads. He settled for a disappointing third. He's a two-time winner at Michigan, with the last victory in 2007.

MARTIN TRUEX JR 10/1: After leading the most laps in the four straight races, he finally got his due at Pocono, becoming the 10th driver to win this season. The last driver to lead the most laps in four straight races was Jeff Gordon in 2001, and he went on to win his fourth and final championship. Only Gordon and Harvick have 13 top-10 finishes in the 14 races this season, showing just how good the No. 78 single-car team from Denver has been in 2015. He's averaged only an 18th-place finish at Michigan over 18 career starts, but you can throw that all out the window because this team is dialed in more than anyone, including Harvick. If you’re thinking championship, the Westgate has him at 10-to-1 odds.

DALE EARNHARDT JR 10/1: Prior to his four wins last season, the only two wins Junior had for Hendrick Motorsports were at Michigan (2008, 2010). In 31 career starts here he's averaged a 15.6 finish and has led 354 laps. He finished fifth and seventh in the two races last season. On the seven big horsepower tracks, he's finished sixth or better six times, with his worst finish being 11th at Pocono last week.

Read More Here...complete list of odds and driver by driver breakdown

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