NASCAR Betting: Brickyard 400

Brickyard 400 Preview

Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:00 PM EST

Race Distance:  160 Laps; 400 Miles

Jeff Gordon is among the favorites for Sunday's event
Jeff Gordon hasn’t won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in six years, but many expect him to be near the top of the field, if not win it again, this year.  His ability to take corners at very high speeds enabled him to win the Coca-cola 600 in his second season and only two months later he had his Brickyard 400 victory.

Dale Earnhardt took a cheap shot at Gordon after winning the next year, saying he was the first “man” to win the Brickyard, but it did little to deter Gordon from going on to build a successful career, one that he hopes will re-emerge to prominance with a victory on Sunday.  Gordon has earned the publicity that has been reserved for the very best drivers, and at 10/1 odds, he is ranks favorably amongst the very best in the field.

In 1998, Gordon had compiled two consecutive 10 win seasons and he became the first to win the Brickyard twice.  He won again in 2001 and again in 2004, his last victory at the Indy speedway.

While the odds are the same for Gordon as the aformentioned three drivers, his past success at Indy bodes well for him.  A win Sunday would tie him for the track record with five wins.

“I don’t think what I’ve done should ever be compared to what A.J. Foyt or Al Unser or Rick Mears did here with their four Indianapolis 500 victories,” Gordon commented, “And I don’t think Michael Schumacher’s five wins (in Formula 1) should be compared either. They are all completely different disciplines — sometimes on a completely different track.”

With regards to handicapping the field, Pocono can be used as a guideline, due to the similarities in the flat turns and long straight-aways.  Using Pocono as a measuring stick, one would expect Denny Hamlin (12/1), the Busch brothers, and Juan Pablo Montoya (10/1)  to race well.  And one cannot forget about the two time winner Tony Stewart (9/1), or Kevin Harvick (12/1) who has six top 10 finishes in his last 10 races.

Over the last six races at Indy, Tony Stewart has the best NASCAR rating at 109.3, which is a rating that takes into effect “quality passes, laps led, and finish position,” and despite using two different racing teams, Stewart has been the top dog.  The fact that he is from Indiana also gives Stewart added incentive to peform well on his “home turf.”

It’s my home race, obviously,” Stewart said. Growing up in Indiana and every year watching the Indy 500 and the whole month of May leading up to it, a race at the Brickyard is more than just a regular points race. It’s always been a big race to all of the Cup drivers, but then when you grow up in Indiana, it just makes it that much more important.”

A full run down of those with better than 50/1 odds:

Jimmie Johnson 6/1
Carl Edwards 7/1
Kyle Busch 9/1
Tony Stewart 9/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 10/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Kurt Busch 12/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Greg Biffle 16/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 25/1
Kasey Kahne 25/1
Brad Keselowski 35/1
Joey Logano 35/1
Ryan Newman 35/1
David Ragan 40/1
David Reutimann 40/1
Jeff Burton 40/1
Mark Martin 40/1
Martin Truex Jr. 40/1
Jamie McMurray 50/1

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