The Sprint Cup series action continues Friday afternoon at 1 PM at Texas Motor Speedway. We’ll take a look at the elite drivers in this race and analyze the factors involved in determining the best betting values in this race. All betting odds are taken from Bodog.
Jimmie Johnson (7/1)
Jimmie Johnson is no longer a contender in the Sprint Cup, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a threat to win this race. Prior to this season, the least wins that Johnson had accumulated in a year was three. In 2007, he won at Texas. Over his last three races, his average finish has been 6.3 and over his career he has only finished outside the top 15 twice on this course, and both of those poor performances were due to crashes. He would be in the running for a championship if not for his poor performance in Charlotte, marked by a late accident that ended his race.
Carl Edwards (7/1)
Carl Edwards has won this race three times and he finished 3rd in Aril. He has the fourth highest driver rating this season at 116.0 and is great in 1.5 mile tracks. He had been racing with a broken leg and crashed after running well last race. In the three 1.5 mile tracks he has raced in this year, he has finished 4th, 5th, and 3rd. His performance on these types of tracks is a good reason to go with Edwards in this race. Besides that, he seems due to win a 1.5 mile track since it is his speciality, so to speak.
Matt Kenseth (15/2)
Matt Kenseth had gone 76 races without a win at Texas Motor Speedway. He led last April through 169 laps and his driver rating was 144.7. His average finish of 5.9 has been among the best and he has led 354 laps (3rd among drivers). He’s projected by a lot of experts to win this race, especially on the heels of his win at Charlotte last month. Look for Kenseth to finish in the top 5 at the worst, and he has a legit chance at 7.5:1 to win this one.
Tony Stewart (8/1)
Tony Stewart has not finished in the top 10 in this event since ’09. Still, there are a lot of reasons to expect a high finish from Stewart: He won at Chicagoland, and did well at Kansas before poor pit management cost him the race and caused him to finish 15th. His pit crew really must step it up, though, to avoid costing him another race. He has 112 points and is ranked the fourth best driver with 37.3 points per race. At 8/1 odds, Stewart offers a great payout considering his chances are equally as good as Johnson in most experts’ eyes.
Kyle Busch (9/1)
Busch hasn’t finished well in Texas races, but oddly enough, he still has been one of the better drivers in them. In 2009, he had a good shot at winning, but the lack of fuel ended up costing him the race, after leading 232 laps. He finished 11th. In spring of 2010, however, he finished 3rd. His pit crew cost him another one earlier this year due to a loose lug nut. If he can avoid such pitfalls in this race, it will go a long way towards ensuring a high finish. Busch has the talent to win a race like this, and at 9/1 you’re getting pretty decent value for a guy that has consistently been among the top drivers in Texas.
Kevin Harvick (11/1)
Harvick, like Carl Edwards, has been better in Texas than other races. While he only finished 20th earlier this year on this track, he could be looking at some new strategies in this race. In the three preceeding races to this year’s Texas race, Harvick finshed 5th, 7th, and 6th. At 11/1, he’s more of a long shot than the others in this piece, but he does still offer some value from the standpoint that this is a race in which he will be more favored than perhaps he would be on a longer track.
Greg Biffle (16/1)
Biffle has had a lot of problems closing out races this year and his year has been marked by inconsistent performances. But he has finished in the top 10 in six straight races and that is tops among active drivers. In the six races, he has led for 339 laps, and his driver rating is 113.8. His average finish in those races is 5.9. At 16/1 odds, you could do a lot worse than picking Biffle, whose recent performance indicates that he should be a legit threat in this race.
Having looked at the favorites in this event, you may feel inclined to back up your opinion with a wager at Bodog, where they offer a 10% bonus on deposits, not to mention a free hassle-free cashout system.