NASCAR Heads to World's Fastest Half-Mile at Bristol for Food City 500

David Schwab

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:59 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017 4:59 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series returns to action Sunday after taking last week off with the running of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Race time is set for 2 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast nationally on FOX.

Jimmie Johnson was able to shake off a slow start in defense of his 2016 Cup series title with a victory his last time out at Texas. Kyle Larson stayed hot with his fourth runner-up finish of the season and Joey Logano stayed in the mix by taking third.

The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and long shot to win this Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes.


Top Valued Favorite

Joey Logano is one of three +600 second-favorites to win at Bristol this Sunday, and with the way he has been racing lately I like the value on those odds. Along with a solid run at Texas two weeks ago, he has been able to guide the No. 22 Ford into fifth place in the Monster Energy Series standings with a total of 243 points. He is still searching for his first victory this season, but he also came close at Martinsville with a fourth-place run following a fifth-place finish at Fontana in his previous two events. Logano’s recent track record at Bristol includes a 10th-place finish in both races here in 2016 as well as a victory in the second race here in both 2015 and 2014.


Top Valued Contender

This has not been one of Denny Hamlin’s stronger starts in his 12 seasons racing at NASCAR’s highest level. However, sometimes with a veteran driver who has a proven ability to win at almost any track in this series, you get a feeling that he is due. With just two runs inside the top 10 in the first seven events, it is easy to see why the No. 11 Toyota’s odds to win on Sunday have been set at +1400. Hamlin has not burned up the track at Bristol over the course of his career, but he has managed to finish third in two of his last three runs around this short-track venue.


Top Valued Long Shot

Another veteran Cup series driver who has gotten off to a slow start out of the gate has been Dale Earnhardt Jr. with just one Top-5 finish behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet. The encouraging sign for this Sunday’s race as a +2200 long shot is that the Top 5 came in his last race at Texas, so he is definitely moving in the right direction after missing the second half of last season with a concussion. The main reason why I like Dale Jr. as a top-valued long shot this Sunday is his overall consistency at this track over the course of his career. I also like the fact that he finished second in this race last year.


Odds To Win For Other Notable Drivers

Brad Keselowski is the only two-time winner this season in the Monster Energy Cup Series, and he has opened as a +550 favorite to make it three wins on the year this Sunday. Joining Logano at +600 odds are both Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. Kevin Harvick’s odds to notch his first victory of the season have been set at +700 followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott at +800 odds to win. Rounding out the group of front runners for Sunday’s race is Matt Kenseth and Johnson at +900 odds to win.

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