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


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Denny Hamlin is 10/1 to win 2021 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

Denny Hamlin

11 FedEx Express Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:

Race: Toyota Save Mart 350
Date/Time: Sunday, June 6/4:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 90 laps/226.8 miles
Track Length: 2.52 miles
Track Shape: Road Course
2020 Winner: N/A

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.

Charlotte Recap: Hamlin started the race in 14th and quickly learned the handling of the FedEx Freight Toyota was going to be challenging for the NASCAR Cup Series’ longest race of the season. The car responded differently depending on what line Hamlin ran and whether he was in traffic, and the day-into-night track conditions affected the handling, too. The #11 team was able to lead three laps in Stage 2, but the car wasn’t strong enough to maintain a spot up front. With track position difficult to come by, the team was able to use pit strategy and fast pit stops to move up the leaderboard at various points of the race. But it wasn’t enough to get close to Kyle Larson, who led 327 of the 400 laps and scored the victory.

Sonoma Preview: The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the road course of Sonoma Raceway after a year off (due to COVID) on Sunday, June 6. With 12 turns and 160 feet of a total elevation change on the track, Sonoma will be the third test of the FedEx team’s road racing program this season. Hamlin seeks his first career victory at Sonoma and first of the 2021 season.

Hamlin Statistics:
Track: Sonoma Raceway
Races: 14
Wins: 0
Top-5: 4
Top-10: 6
Laps Led: 100
Avg. Start: 17.1
Avg. Finish: 17.7

Hamlin Conversation – Sonoma:

Your team has faced adversity, especially these past few races. How does your team remain confident week in and week out?


“We have a talented squad and some things just haven’t gone our way. Looking at Charlotte, our FedEx Camry wasn’t quite handling the way we needed it to that night. But considering the challenges our team has faced, we have still remained the points leader and are continuing to learn from each race.”

How are you preparing for the road course and elevation changes at Sonoma?


“Road courses are never easy and always tough no matter where you race. But JGR has a strong road course program, and I will be preparing myself to handle the conditions so I can give our team the best chance to win.”

FedEx Express Along for the Ride at Sonoma
: Amid increased safety and security risks stemming from civil unrest, dedicated team members in the Minneapolis, Minn., market spent months navigating emotional crowds, street closures and other obstacles while on the road providing service to FedEx customers. Safety and security are top priorities at FedEx Express. That is why they are pleased to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the Minneapolis employees at MSPR, AELA, BRDA, DLHA, EAUA, FBLA, JDTA, MICA, and STCA with the letters MSP on the B-post of the Toyota #11 at the Sonoma Raceway Toyota/Save Mart 350.

FedEx Office – Closest to Sonoma Raceway: 901 E Washington St, Petaluma, CA 94952, (707) 763-6553

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Charlotte NASCAR Betting Preview: 2021 Coca-Cola 600

 NASCAR COCA-COLA 600 ANALYSIS

We have a lot to review before finalizing our bets for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 15th race of the Cup season, beginning with thanking all our fallen U.S. soldiers through America’s short history. No sport does it better than NASCAR as each year they put the names of a fallen soldier on the visor of each car as a reminder of what this day is about.

The first task in our money-making goal is understanding what happened in the previous four races on 1.5-mile tracks, which are also the only four races using the race package featuring engines producing 550 horsepower.

We have four different winners from three teams, but one of the winners was equally good in all four races

COCA-COLA 600 BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Sunday, May 30, 2021
  • TV-Time: FOX, 6:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Location: Concord, North Carolina
  • Distance: 600 miles, 400 laps
  • Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski

COCA-COLA 600 CONTENDERS

  • Martin Truex Jr. +400
  • Chase Elliott +550
  • Kyle Busch +600
  • Denny Hamlin +850
  • Kyle Larson +850
  • Kevin Harvick +1100
  • Brad Keselwoski +1100
  • Joey Logano +1100
  • More NASCAR Futures
  • (Odds Subject to Change)
Coca-Cola 600
The Coca-Cola 600 will take place on Sunday, May 30 from Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. (AP)

KYLE LARSON LAP LEADER

Kyle Larson led laps in all four races, won at Las Vegas, and led the most laps in three of them.

That’s 499 laps led between four races and different types of 1.5-mile layouts. Charlotte’s asphalt isn’t as abrasive as Atlanta’s, but they both have a quad-oval shape and have high banks at 24 degrees in the turns.

“Definitely looking forward to the 600 and getting back on a mile-and-a-half track where we have been one of the strongest cars all year long,” Larson said. “Charlotte is a different mile-and-a-half compared to the other ones we’ve run so far. It’s really bumpy and the transition from day to night is challenging. For whatever reason, I’ve always struggled with that transition, so I’m really looking forward to taking on that challenge in a Hendrick Motorsports car. It’s a long race. We need to keep our nose clean, stay in the hunt and not doing anything too flashy until the end.”

Larson has no wins and just one top-five in 11 Charlotte starts and despite what Larson said about the differences, I still think the Atlanta notes will help them this week as well as others who did well that March 21 day such as winner Ryan Blaney, runner-up Larson, and third-place Alex Bowman.

I went through each driver and determined that all the Hendrick Motorsports cars are good enough to win, and I absolutely love Bowman and William Byron value in the 18-to-1 range when both have been almost as good as the favored Larson (+550).

BETTING ON BOWMAN OR BYRON

Byron won on the 1.5-mile paperclip layout of Homestead to start a string of 11 straight top-10s. The streak ended Sunday at COTA when he finished 11th. You have to be there at the end of the longest race of the season and Byron has done an amazing job of keeping his car clean and choosing his battles. His crew has also been incredible with fast pit stops, and they’ll be critical to adjusting the car with each pit stop as the weather changes from daylight, to dusk, to twilight, and then nightfall. Each temperature change also needs a change to the car.

“This is a big race for us, both Hendrick Motorsports and for myself, growing up in Charlotte,” Byron said. “It’s technically a hometown race for all of us and this was always my favorite racetrack growing up. With how we’re running right now, I feel like we have positive momentum on our side and I feel like we have a chance to win. We just need to keep building off of the things we’ve been working on this year and we’ll be in contention. It’s going to be a great race for us.”

Bowman was cruising to a Coca-Cola 600 win last season winning the first two stages and leading 164 laps and other teams adapted better to the needed changes as the weather and conditions cooled the track. Four days later at Charlotte, he led 51 laps and won the second stage until having some late issues. His best finish on the 1.5s this season was third at Atlanta. His two wins in 2021 have come with the other race package (750 HP).

“The Charlotte oval is one of my favorite tracks,” Bowman said. “It is where I got my first career NASCAR win back in 2017 in the Xfinity Series and it is just a special place. We were really strong in the 600 last year and led the most laps, but just didn’t get the finish to show for it. Our mile-and-a-half program is really strong and I feel like Hendrick Motorsports continues to build fast cars for these tracks.”

The No. 48 winning at Charlotte used to be a regular thing. Rick Hendrick winning at Charlotte has been a regular thing since he came into the series in 1984 as a car owner. His next win anywhere will give him 269 NASCAR Cup wins which will pass Richard Petty Motorsports. If a Hendrick driver were to win Sunday it would up their 12th Coca-Cola 600 win, another record.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Video: Micah Roberts offers betting selections for 2021 Coca-Cola 600

 


Denny Hamlin is 6/1 to win 2021 Coca-Cola 600

Denny Hamlin

11 FedEx Freight Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:

Race: Coca-Cola 600
Date/Time: Sunday, May 30/6:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 400 laps/600 miles
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Track Shape: Quad-oval
2020 Winner: Brad Keselowski

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.

COTA Recap: Sunday’s event at the Circuit of the Americas road course was soaked with rain for most of the afternoon, creating treacherous conditions and poor visibility, resulting in multiple serious wrecks. Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota avoided any damage-causing incidents but did go off course once after a spin in Stage 1. With teams on various pit strategies balancing fuel mileage and worsening weather, Stage 3 saw numerous lead changes. Hamlin was running fifth when he hit pit road on Lap 49 for his final green-flag fuel stop. He rejoined the field in 19th and gained five positions before NASCAR called the cars to pit road and finalized the race on Lap 54, giving Chase Elliott the win and Hamlin a 14th-place result.

Charlotte Preview: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway as Hamlin and team gear up for 600 miles of racing, the longest race this season. The FedEx Racing team will honor SSgt T.J. Dudley during NASCAR’s “600 Miles of Remembrance” this Memorial Day weekend. Dudley was a United States Marine Corps V-22 Osprey crew chief when he was killed in action on July 7, 2011, in Afghanistan. In his 11 years in the Marines, Dudley was honored with the Air Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Outstanding Service Medal, Campaign Medals for Iraq and Afghanistan, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and the Purple Heart. Members of his family will attend the Coca-Cola 600, where Hamlin’s name on the FedEx Toyota’s windshield will be replaced with “SSgt. Dudley.”

Hamlin Statistics:

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Races: 29
Wins: 0
Top-5: 10
Top-10: 18
Laps Led: 377
Avg. Start: 11.6
Avg. Finish: 12.5

Hamlin Conversation – Charlotte:


Charlotte is one of a few tracks where you’ve yet to win in your career. How bad do you want to capture that elusive first win?

“It’s probably the No. 1 race on my list of races to win. I’ve been a Coke driver for 16 years, so it would be big to win the Coca-Cola 600. It’s just an elite event that you want on your resume. I’ve finished everywhere in the top five but, for various reasons, have never been able to get the win.”

What does it mean to have SSgt. T.J. Dudley’s name on your windshield this race?


“It’s an absolute honor to have Sgt. Dudley’s name on our FedEx Toyota for the Memorial Day race weekend. Reading about his years of service, the medals he earned and all the sacrifices he made for our country, we can truly call him a hero. We’ll work hard to get our car out front Sunday night so all eyes will be on his name.”

FedEx Freight Along for the Ride at Charlotte: For the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, FedEx Freight recognizes the company’s Baltimore, Md., service center by featuring the call letters BMM on the #11 FedEx Freight race car. The Baltimore service center, opened in 1995, has approximately 200 team members who are committed to making every FedEx experience outstanding.

FedEx Office – Closest to Charlotte Motor Speedway: 7741 Gateway Lane NW, Suite 110, Concord, NC, (704) 979-1971

Video: Micah Roberts offers selections to win 2021 Indy 500

 


With a win this weekend Denny Hamlin could join elite club

Denny Hamlin is 6/1 to win Coca-Cola 600.
Three major pillars within the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, some even refer to them as the ‘Crown Jewel events’ of the series – the Daytona 500, the Southern 500 and this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – are all extremely difficult to win by themselves, but even more so, is conquering all three. In NASCAR Cup Series history only 11 drivers have won all three major events, and with a win this weekend, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin could be the 12th.

NASCAR Hall of Famer and current FOX Sports TV Analyst Jeff Gordon leads the series in ‘Crown Jewel’ wins with a combined 12 victories across the three events – three Daytona 500 wins (1997, 1999, 2005), six Southern 500s (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2007) and three Coca-Cola 600s (1994, 1997, 1998). Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick is the only active driver to already accomplish the feat with five combined victories across the three historic events – one Daytona 500 (2007), two Southern 500s (2014, 2020) and two Coca-Cola 600s (2011, 2013). 

NASCAR Cup Series Drivers With Wins In All Three Events

Rank

Drivers

Daytona 500

Southern 500

Coca-Cola 600

Combined

1

Jeff Gordon

3

6

3

12

2

Richard Petty

7

1

2

10

3

Bobby Allison

3

4

3

10

4

Jimmie Johnson

2

2

4

8

5

Dale Earnhardt

1

3

3

7

6

Darrell Waltrip

1

1

5

7

7

David Pearson

1

3

3

7

8

Buddy Baker

1

1

3

5

9

Kevin Harvick

1

2

2

5

10

Matt Kenseth

2

1

1

4

11

LeeRoy Yarbrough

1

1

1

3


Denny Hamlin is one of 10 active drivers that have already won at least one of the three events – the Daytona 500, Southern 500 or Coca-Cola 600 – and leads all active drivers in combined wins of the races with five victories – three Daytona 500s (2016, 2019, 2020) and two Southern 500s (2010, 2017).

William Byron Quotes prior to 2021 Coca-Cola 600

William Byron is as high as 18/1 to win at Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY WILL BE BACK TO FULL CAPACITY WITH FANS THIS WEEKEND. DOES THAT MEAN ANY MORE TO YOU THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR’S RACE? OR ARE YOU USED TO HAVING FANS BACK AT THE TRACK BY NOW?


“I think a little bit of both. Yeah, I’m used to seeing fans the last couple of weeks. So, it’s not going to be that different. But I think Charlotte, they always do it a little bit bigger and better, so I feel like it’s probably going to be bigger and better than the last few weeks. It’s probably going to be pretty crowded. I think it’s going to be a different experience and just going to have to stay focused on my end just to continue doing what we’ve been doing, which is staying focused and performing and not listening to the noise too much. That’s our biggest focus.”

WHAT’S THE DYNAMIC LIKE AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS NOW WITH ALL FOUR CARS RUNNING REALLY WELL AND HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM YEARS PAST?
“I think there’s just more confidence. I think we’re not searching as much like on what to do. There are less questions going into the race weekend of what the car needs and what we need from a downforce or an aero standpoint, or set-up wise. So, there’s a lot less questions. There is still the desire to perform. It’s always been there. I feel like the desire for us on the No. 24 is higher than ever because we feel like we’re really close. So we’ve just got to work a little bit better on some things, but we’re really close to another win.”

YOU’VE STARTED A PAIR OF RACES AT CHARLOTTE ON THE POLE BUT HAVEN’T FOUND THE SUCCESS MAYBE YOU HOPED FOR. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CHANGE THINGS TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN THIS WEEKEND?
“I think just focus on the race car and what the race car needs as the runs go on and as the race goes on. I’m going to do a lot of studying and prep this week on figuring out what the trends are with the race track and what some of the guys that have been successful there, our teammates, have done better than us. I’ll say that’s my goal this week is just to learn some of those little details that might pay off as the race gets longer and gets toward the end. Like you said, I’ve run really well at Charlotte. I know how to go fast there. So, I don’t have to worry about that. But I just have to focus on what my race car needs to do throughout so I don’t fall off at the end.”

THE COKE 600 IS 100 MILES LONGER THAN WE’RE USED TO RUNNING. AS A DRIVER, DO YOU FEEL THAT IN THE RACE?
“Yeah, I think if you’re not running well, for sure. But if you’re running well, the race feels really short and you kind of feel like you’re always trying to get ahead of the next adjustment and trying to get ahead of whoever you’re racing against to try to get that track position and try to win the race. Yeah, I think it is definitely a challenge to keep up with the race track and to stay focused for all 400 miles. The preparation during the week is really critical because you can easily get behind and it can feel like a really long race like you said. But if you’re prepared and your race car is driving well then it’s fine.”

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT COMES FOR WINNING THE 600 IS A RESTORED VINTAGE COKE VENDING MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
“Yeah, I think it would be great. I don’t discriminate trophies. Any of them are good (laughs). So, I don’t feel like any trophy I have is a bad one. But I love all the glitz and glamour that comes with winning the 600. It would be awesome, I’m sure.”