NASCAR Picks: Sprint Cup All-Star Race Preview

David Schwab

Saturday, May 18, 2013 6:49 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 18, 2013 6:49 PM UTC

This week NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series takes a break from the point race schedule for the running of its annual All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race

Saturday night’s 90-lap event is set get underway at 6 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on the SPEED Network. Let's have a look at the favorites for our NASCAR picks.

The All-Star Race features any driver that has won a Sprint Cup race either last year or in the first 11 races of this season. Two additional drivers will qualify by finishing first or second in a 40-lap qualifying race known as the Sprint Showdown, which is run right before the start of this race. The following is a look as a few of the drivers favored to claim the $1 million prize purse that goes with winning this race along with our top value pick of the week according to odds provided by bet365.


In a short race with such a strong field of drivers the odds to win remain tight, but Jimmie Johnson still belongs at the top of this list. He has won this event three previous times including last year’s event but the real value in his +500 odds to win is current form. The No. 48 car currently leads the Sprint Cup standings with 423 points after posting two victories and four other top-five finishes in the first 11 races. Johnson has only finished out of the top 10 three times this season.

Another favorite to win at +500 is Kyle Busch. He has cooled off a bit after taking two checkered flags in the span of three point races earlier this year, but a strong showing last week at Darlington with a sixth-place finish points towards a return to that winning form. The No. 18 car is currently in eighth-place in the standings with 325 points as a result of three other top-five finishes to go along with the two wins. Busch has started from the pole position for the All-Star Race the last two years with a second-place finish in 2011 and a fourth-place finish in 2012 to add some solid value to these NASCAR odds.

The third-favorite to win on Saturday night comes in as the hottest driver in the Sprint Cup series. Matt Kenseth has already won three times this season including last week’s victory in the Bojangles’ Southern 500. He has been opened at +600 to add this title to the list. Despite getting docked points for an illegal engine part a few weeks back, the No. 20 car is still in third place in the standings with 364 points. The only time that Kenseth won this race was in 2004, but he came close last season by taking third.

Denny Hamlin spent a few weeks on the shelf after injuring his back in a wreck at Fontana, but in his second race back from that injury he posted a second-place finish at Darlington. It was his second top-five finish in seven races this season. He has been opened at +750 to win this race. This will be his eighth career start in an All-Star Race and while he has yet to win, the No.11 car has finished in fourth place three separate times.

Top Value Pick

If you are looking for a quality driver with longer odds to win this race then take a hard look at Carl Edwards at +1200. After a very disappointing Sprint Cup campaign in 2012, he has returned to form this year with a win at Phoenix to go along with four other top-five finishes. The No. 99 car has raced its way to second-place in the standings with 379 points. What really adds value to these odds is Edwards past performance in this race. He finished 23rd last year, but won the All-Star Race in 2011 in a year when he found himself in the hunt for the Sprint Cup title heading into the final point race of the season at Homestead. 







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