Kyle Busch Looks for Charlotte Double in NASCAR's Longest Race: Coca-Cola 600

David Schwab

Thursday, May 25, 2017 3:05 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 25, 2017 3:05 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series caps off a big day of auto racing this Memorial Day weekend with the running of Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The green flag for this race is set to wave at 6 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast on FOX.

Last Saturday night at Charlotte in the $1 million exhibition All-Star Race, Kyle Busch took home the top prize with the victory as one of the top favorites to win followed by Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson. The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and long shot to win this Sunday night at Charlotte in NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes.


Top Valued Favorite

There is a solid group of drivers listed as +600 favorites to win this race, but I am going with Kyle Busch as the best of the bunch on the heels of last week’s victory on this track. The main reason why I like Busch and the No. 18 Toyota is his momentum combined with a high level of motivation to get his first points race victory of the season after getting shut out in his first 11 events. He has been able to work his way into position to win with four finishes inside the top five; however, the big concern with these lofty odds is Busch’s lack of success in his Cup series career at Charlotte. He has never won a point race at this track, but I am still betting on that to all change.


Top Valued Contender

Anyone who follows my NASCAR picks on a regular basis already knows how much I have been touting Chase Elliott in just his second full-time season racing at the sport’s highest level. I have backed off the No. 24 Chevrolet the past few weeks in light of some favorable odds for some veteran drivers, but they have all let me down so this week I am getting back on the "young guns" bandwagon given his favorable +1500 betting odds to win. Elliott has cooled a bit following three top-five finishes in his first six races this season, but I have a hunch he will be right in the mix Sunday after finishing eighth last season in his first Coca-Cola 600.


Top Valued Long Shot

The betting odds really start to drop off once you get past the first eight drivers on the list, so any pick at this point is basically a shot in the dark. In situations such as this, I normally go with the best driver on the list of long shots, and in this case that would be Denny Hamlin at +2000. He is another veteran Cup series driver still looking for his first points race victory of the year driving the No. 11 Toyota, but one encouraging sign was his recent third-place finish at Richmond. He is another veteran driver who has never won a Cup series race at Charlotte, but I am also encouraged by his fourth-place finish in last year’s event.


Odds For Other Notable Drivers

The other three favorites to win at +600 are Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and defending champoin Martin Truex Jr., who have combined to win five races this season. The trio of Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano are next on the list at +700 before the odds drop like a rock to Elliott at +1500 and Hamlin at +2000.

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