Thursday, June 10, 2021

2021 NASCAR All-Star Race (Texas) Betting Preview




June 10, 2021


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.


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.


  • 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)


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.”


  • 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.


“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.


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Kevin Harvick is 12/1 to win 2021 All-Star race at Texas



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


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, 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


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.


  • 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)


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.


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, 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