NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway this week for the running of the Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer. Sunday’s race is slated to get underway at 10 a.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Picking the favorites in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series can still pay well after I cashed-in on Jimmie Johnson last week as my +600 top-valued favorite with his victory at Texas. Kevin Harvick regained his championship form by taking second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended-up third. My top valued contender for that race was Matt Kenseth at +1000, but he fell all the way to 23rd.
Top Valued Favorite
I was able to stretch the odds a bit by taking Johnson over Harvick in last week’s race and I am going with that plan again this week by going with Joey Logano as a +600 second-favorite to win this Sunday. Logano has been in the thick of things all season long after winning this year’s Daytona 500 and through the first seven point races of the season he has the No. 22 car sitting in second place in the current Sprint Cup standings with 280 total points. Logano has already shown a high level of success on the short track at Bristol and last season he claimed his first checkered flag in a Sprint Cup event in the second race of the season here. He has now placed eighth or better in three of his last five runs at Bristol.
Top Valued Contender
It has been a very disappointing start for veteran driver Jeff Gordon in his final full season of racing in the Sprint Cup series, but this could be a break-through race as my +1200 top valued contender to win this Sunday. The No. 24 car has yet to crack the top five this season, but this team is moving in the right direction with four-straight finishes in the top 10 including a seventh-place finish last week at Texas. Gordon has posted five Sprint Cup victories at Bristol throughout his storied career and he is coming off a seventh-place finish in last year’s event. This was his fourth top-10 finish at this track in his last seven races in a Sprint Cup event.
Top Valued Longshot
It is tough betting on longshots on a short track venue like Bristol as the favorites really tend to dominate races such as these. That is why I am going with the best driver on the list as my top valued longshot in Kasey Kahne at +2000. He has slowly been working himself back into form after finishing a distant 15th last season in the final Sprint Cup standings. The No. 5 race team is currently fifth in this season’s standings with 230 total points on the strength of fourth-place finish at Phoenix and an eighth-place finish last Saturday night at Fort Worth. Kayne won this race in 2013 and he is coming off an eighth-place finish in last season’s event.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Harvick has been opened as a +500 favorite to win on Sunday and for good reason. Last week’s second-place finish was the ninth time in his last 10 Sprint Cup point races where he finished in the top two spots. Brad Keselowski is also listed as a +600 second-favorite along with Logano and Jimmie Johnson joins Kurt Busch at +700 betting odds to win this race.