NRA 500 Betting News and Notes
NRA 500 Betting News and Notes
Driver's Tale of the Tape at Texas
Greg Biffle (No. 16 Filtrete Ford)
· Two wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.9
· Average Running Position of 12.2, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 103.4, third-best
· Series-high 455 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 173.056 mph
· 3,976 Laps in the Top 15 (74.2%), sixth-most
· 655 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), second-most
Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Gander Mountain Toyota)
· Three top fives, eight top 10s
· Average finish of 12.8
· Average Running Position of 12.8, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.5, ninth-best
· 118 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.688 mph, seventh-fastest
Kurt Busch (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/ Serta Chevrolet)
· One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 14.1
· Average Running Position of 14.2, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 89.0, 11th-best
· 182 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 1,225 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· 3,206 Laps in the Top 15 (59.9%), 11th-most
· 546 Quality Passes, 11th-most
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota)
· Five top fives, six top 10s
· Average finish of 14.9
· Average Running Position of 11.8, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.7, fifth-best
· 242 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.930 mph, third-fastest
· 3,529 Laps in the Top 15 (70.3%), seventh-most
· 557 Quality Passes, 10th-most
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet)
· One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 13.6
· Average Running Position of 11.5, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.7, eighth-best
· 172 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 1,192 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.669 mph, eighth-fastest
· 4,106 Laps in the Top 15 (76.7%), second-most
· Series-high 677 Quality Passes
Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)
· Three wins, five top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 15.1
· Average Running Position of 11.8, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.3, sixth-best
· 342 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 1,043 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.919 mph, fourth-fastest
· 4,043 Laps in the Top 15 (75.5%), third-most
· 652 Quality Passes, third-most
Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Cromax Pro Chevrolet)
· One win, eight top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 16.1
· Average Running Position of 13.7, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 91.9, 10th-best
· 273 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 1,056 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.542 mph, 10th-fastest
· 3,362 Laps in the Top 15 (62.8%), eighth-most
· 585 Quality Passes, eighth-most
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet)
· Two wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 9.3
· Average Running Position of 11.1, third-best
· Driver Rating of 103.5, second-best
· 370 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.787 mph, sixth-fastest
· 3,997 Laps in the Top 15 (74.6%), fourth-most
· 608 Quality Passes, sixth-most
Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
· Two wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 8.3
· Series-best Average Running Position of 9.4
· Series-best Driver Rating of 106.6
· 301 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,183 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.019 mph, second-fastest
· Series-high 4,174 Laps in the Top 15 (77.9%)
· 634 Quality Passes, fifth-most
Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota)
· One win, eight top fives, 13 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.9
· Average Running Position of 14.0, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 88.6, 12th-best
· 133 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· 1,124 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.480 mph, 12th-fastest
· 3,253 Laps in the Top 15 (60.7%), 10th-most
· 521 Quality Passes, 13th-most
Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)
· Two wins, six top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.7
· Average Running Position of 10.0, second-best
· Driver Rating of 101.4, fourth-best
· 344 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.917 mph, fifth-fastest
· 3,990 Laps in the Top 15 (74.5%), fifth-most
· 590 Quality Passes, seventh-most
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
· One top five, seven top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.9
· Driver Rating of 86.1, 13th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.507 mph, 11th-fastest
Re: NRA 500 Betting News and Notes
NRA 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series has run six races thus far as we head into Texas for some Saturday night racing on a fast high banked 1 1/2-mile track. Following Jimmie Johnson’s win last week at Martinsville, coupled with a poor run by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Johnson finds himself perched at the top of the standings heading to a track where he’s won twice over his career, including last fall.
Johnson is still the 3/1 favorite (Bet $100 to win $300) over the LVH Super Book (Las Vegas Hotel and Casino) to win the Sprint Cup championship, but for the first time since his rookie season, we might not be considering him one of the drivers to beat on these type of tracks. The 1 1/2-mile tracks have been Johnson’s bread and butter over his career, but the change to the Gen-6 car may have given away some of Johnson’s edge over his competitors.
We’ve seen two races on high speed down force tracks -- Las Vegas and California -- with Johnson coming in with his best effort at Las Vegas in sixth-place. At Las Vegas he led three times for 66 laps, but at California -- a place he typically dominates, he didn’t lead a lap and finished a very un-Johnson-like 12th.
The drivers that have perhaps passed Johnson as those to look out for on these type of tracks come from the Joe Gibbs Racing stable. Matt Kenseth won at Las Vegas and Kyle Busch at California. And although Denny Hamlin won’t be racing this week, we should still take note of the two-time Texas winning No. 11 car driven by Brian Vickers.
Although Las Vegas isn’t banked as steep as Texas, because the race was run so recently, and because of history, we can look at a small group of drivers that should be expected to do well. The same group of drivers seem to continually pop up winning throughout the history of the two tracks.
We’ve seen Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Kenseth win at the early stages of both tracks’ history, then we have Tony Stewart winning at Las Vegas last season after winning the fall 2011 race at Texas. In 2007, Johnson won at Vegas and Texas in the same season. The ultimate sweep was in 2008 when Carl Edwards won both Texas races along with Vegas.
Now we have races a little more than a month apart with Vegas knowledge that Kenseth and Busch look to be the drivers to beat this week based on their runs there. Busch finished fourth at Vegas before winning two weeks later at California.
Kenseth was already considered a candidate to win at Texas even without his Vegas win. He’s the all-time track leader with a 7.2 average finish that includes two wins, and he’s finished in the top-5 there in his last five starts.
At Las Vegas last month, Kenseth kind of stole the win away from what looked to be the most dominant car of the day driven by Kasey Kahne. Kahne led six times for a race leading 114 laps before eventually settling for runner-up. Kenseth opted to take no tires on the final pit stop, got out front and stayed there for the final 42 laps.
Because of his dominating Vegas run, we have to consider Kahne the strongest candidate to slay Kenseth and Busch this week. Kahne also has a 2006 Texas win to his credit.
We’ve seen Carl Edwards end his long winless streak by taking the checkers at Phoenix this season, but he’s quietly come back to a contender on the type of tracks that made a name for himself over his career. The down force tracks have been Edwards’ best friend over the years, and after a couple lean seasons in the win column, it appears the Gen-6 car has helped him get back to a level close to 2008 when he won nine races.
Only Busch and Edwards finished in the top-5 at both Las Vegas and California. Edwards was fifth at Las Vegas and fourth at California. Over his career at Texas, Edwards has three wins and has finished eighth or better in three of his last four starts there.
Edwards’ teammate, Greg Biffle, has also been strong at Texas over his career. He doesn’t have a top-5 finish yet this season, but has been consistent which has been good enough to place him sixth in points. He won this race last spring, and also in 2005, and is currently on a run of nine straight top-10 finishes there.
A long shot to take a look at this week might be Paul Menard who finished 10th at Las Vegas and eighth at California. My initial thought on Menard coming into the season is that we might see some better things out of him because of teammate Kevin Harvick being in a lame duck situation as he’s schedule to drive a Stewart-Haas car next season. Harvick generally has the top equipment of the Childress drivers, but why not build Menard something better if he’s the one that’s going to be sticking around. It would take something crazy to happen to win, but it’s just food for thought for those looking for a driver capable of winning at long odds of 50/1 (Bet $100 to win $5,000).
Top-5 Finish Prediction:
1) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
2) #20 Matt Kenseth (6/1)
3) #5 Kasey Kahne (8/1)
4) #99 Carl Edwards (12/1)
5) #16 Greg Biffle (14/1)
Re: NRA 500 Betting News and Notes
NASCAR Odds — Kenseth, Johnson, Kyle Busch Co-Favorites in Texas
By: Micah Roberts
LAS VEGAS -- Throughout the history of the sister tracks at Texas and Las Vegas, we’ve routinely seen drivers who excel at one do the same at the other, even when Las Vegas had a much flatter banking. Roush drivers Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth were early winners at both tracks when the facilities were relatively new.
When Las Vegas changed its layout to a progressive banking prior to the 2007 season, the tracks became very similar to each other. Jimmie Johnson won at both tracks immediately after the changes in 2007, then Carl Edwards hit the triple jackpot in 2008 by winning at Las Vegas and both Texas races. Tony Stewart won the fall Texas race in 2011 and came right back early in the 2012 season to win at Vegas.
So since Matt Kenseth won at Las Vegas in early March, and Kyle Busch finished fourth, it’s easy to see why the LVH SuperBook has placed those two along with Johnson as co-favorites to win Saturday night’s NRA 500 at 6-to-1 odds
The odds reflect a change in how the books feel about Johnson in his new Gen-6 car on the downforce tracks. Johnson is generally the lone favorite at most downforce tracks, but after finishing sixth at Las Vegas and 12th at California — those races were won by Gibbs drivers Kenseth and Busch, respectively — the perception of Johnson having an edge over everyone else isn’t as prevalent as it used to be.
Kenseth’s overall record at Texas might have been good enough for his odds to be close to Johnson’s, even without his win in Las Vegas. He has a track-best 8.3 average finish with two wins, and he’s currently on a run of five straight top-five finishes on the 1.5-mile, high-banked track.
As for Kyle Busch, only he and Carl Edwards finished in the top five at both Fontana and Las Vegas. Busch has never won at Texas, but he did finish third in the fall last season.
Edwards finds himself placed with 10-to-1 odds, lower than he was at Las Vegas and Fontana. There is definitely a resurgence with the No. 99 team in the Gen-6 car, and the three-time Texas winner should run very well this week.
Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle come in at 7-to-1 odds. Biffle is a two-time winner at Texas, including this race last season, and is currently on a run of nine straight top-10 finishes there.
Kahne won at Texas in 2006, but his low odds are more reflective of what he did in Las Vegas, where he led the most laps. If it weren’t for a no-tire, fuel-only final pit stop by Kenseth, Kahne likely would have won the race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell out of the points lead last week at Martinsville and is listed this week at attractive odds of 15-to-1. This is the track where Junior won his first career race in 2000, a memorable race for all NASCAR fans because of the emotion his proud father showed in the winner circle. He hasn’t won at Texas since then, but we can make a case for him simply because of a runner-up finish at Fontana and seventh-place at Las Vegas, the best average among Hendrick drivers in the two races.
Brian Vickers doesn’t have a top-10 finish in 14 Texas starts, but he also may have never had a car as good as the one he’ll be driving Saturday night. He’ll be behind the wheel of the No. 11 this week for the injured Denny Hamlin. While Hamlin didn’t have the same type of final results as his Gibbs teammates on the two downforce tracks, the car is still part of the Gibbs stable that looks to have best figured out the Gen-6 car on these type of tracks.
Hamlin was battling Joey Logano (25/1) for the win on the final lap at Fontana, which eventually put Hamlin on the DL. Hamlin swept the Texas races during the 2010 season, and if you think Vickers has a shot, the LVH will give you 25-to-1 odds.
Here’s a look at the complete list of odds offered by the LVH Super Book:
JIMMIE JOHNSON 6-1
MATT KENSETH 6-1
KYLE BUSCH 6-1
GREG BIFFLE 7-1
KASEY KAHNE 7-1
CARL EDWARDS 10-1
BRAD KESELOWSKI 10-1
JEFF GORDON 15-1
DALE EARNHARDT JR 15-1
CLINT BOWYER 15-1
KEVIN HARVICK 18-1
TONY STEWART 20-1
MARTIN TRUEX JR 25-1
JOEY LOGANO 25-1
BRIAN VICKERS 25-1
MARK MARTIN 30-1
RICKY STENHOUSE JR 35 -1
RYAN NEWMAN 60-1
KURT BUSCH 50-1
PAUL MENARD 75-1
JAMIE McMURRAY 75-1
MARCOS AMBROSE 100-1
JUAN MONTOYA 100-1
ARIC ALMIROLA 100-1
JEFF BURTON 100-1
TREVOR BAYNE 200-1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 300-1
DANICA PATRICK 500-1
CASEY MEARS 500-1
Re: NRA 500 Betting News and Notes
Driver Handicaps: Texas
By: Jeff Wackerlin
To assist with your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com brings you our weekly analysis to help steer you toward Saturday night's NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Who's HOT at Texas
• Defending race winner Greg Biffle is the only driver to record top 10s in the last nine races.
• Matt Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in nine of his last 10 starts, including a win in this event in 2011.
• Three-time winner Carl Edwards has posted an average finish of 7.3 in his last four starts.
• Jimmie Johnson has an average finish of 9.3 in the last 10 races, including a win last fall.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six starts.
• Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch each have a top-five driver rating in the last 16 races at Texas.
• Kevin Harvick, who finished ninth in both races last season, has posted five top 10s in his last seven starts.
Who to Keep an Eye On at Texas
• Kasey Kahne led 116 laps and finished second in this year's first race (Las Vegas) with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track. Brad Keselowski, who finished second last fall at Texas, finished third in Vegas.
• Jeff Gordon, winner of this race in 2009, has posted an 8.0 average finish in his last three starts at Texas.
• Kurt Busch, Marcos Ambrose and Paul Menard were among the 10 fastest drivers in the first test session at Texas.
MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks
Jeff Wackerlin: Matt Kenseth
Pete Pistone: Kasey Kahne
Tony Rizzuti: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Greg Biffle
Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings
(All stats/notes are in regards to Texas unless noted)
Jimmie Johnson: Coming off second win in 19 starts; Third-best average finish (9.3) in the last 10 races; Combined to lead 324 laps in last two races; Led 66 laps and finished sixth in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will return in the same chassis (No. 728) that he's raced in six races dating back to 2011; Notable performances for this chassis came at Dover International Speedway (1st, 2011), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1st, 2012) and Chicagoland Speedway (2nd - led 172 laps, 2012).
Brad Keselowski: Coming off first top 10 (second place) in nine starts; Led 12 laps and finished third in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will debut a new chassis (No. 849) in the NRA 500.
Dale Earnhardt Jr: Won first Sprint Cup race at TMS back in 2000; Has posted one pole and five top 10s in 10 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Has finished in the top 10 in last four starts; Finished seventh in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will return in the same chassis he finished seventh with at Texas last fall.
Kyle Busch: Equaled best finish last fall in third after leading 80 laps; 14.9 average finish in 15 starts; Tied for the Fourth-best average finish (11.4) in the last 10 races among drivers entered in the race; Participated in the Goodyear tire test last October; Led 27 laps and finished fourth in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas).
Kasey Kahne: 16.0 average finish in two starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Last of five top 10s came in this event last year, seventh place; Won this event on 2006 with Evernham Motorsports; Led 114 laps and finished second in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will return in the same chassis that he raced at Las Vegas last month.
Greg Biffle: Last of two wins came in this event last year; Has finished in the top 10 in the last nine races; Second in laps led (732); Second-best average finish (9.0) in the last 10 races; Finished 17th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Participated in the Goodyear tire test last October; Will debut a new chassis in the NRA 500.
Carl Edwards: Leads all drivers with three wins; Swept both races in 2008; Has finished eighth or better in three of the last four races; Finished fifth in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas).
Clint Bowyer: 11.5 average finish in two starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Coming off eighth top 10 in 14 starts; Finished 27th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will debut a new chassis in the NRA 500.
Paul Menard: 16.3 average finish in four starts with Richard Childress Racing; Last of two top 10s came in this event in 2011 in fifth; Participated in the Goodyear tire test last October; Finished 10th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will debut a new chassis in the NRA 500.
Matt Kenseth: Best average finish (6.2) in the last 10 races; Last of two wins came in this event in 2011; Has finished in the top five in his last five starts; Led 42 laps and won the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Joey Logano: Only top 10 in nine starts came in the 2010 fall race in fourth; Finished 12th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will also debut a new chassis in his first track start with Penske Racing.
Jeff Gordon: Winner of this event in 2009; Has posted an 8.0 average finish in his last three starts; Finished 25th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas).
Jamie McMurray: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in six starts with six starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Last of six top 10s came in the 2008 fall race while driving for Roush Racing; Led two laps and finished 13th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas).
Kevin Harvick: Finished ninth in both races last season; Tied for the Fourth-best average finish (11.4) in the last 10 races among drivers entered in the race; Finished ninth in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will return in the same chassis he raced at Texas last fall.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Making first track start; Led one laps and finished 18th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will pilot the same chassis Carl Edwards drove to a 12th-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season.
Aric Almirola: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in four starts; 22.8 average finish; Finished 16th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will debut a new chassis in the NRA 500.
Casey Mears: 24.6 average finish in five starts with Germain Racing; Last of four top 10s (seventh) came in the 2006 fall race while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing; Finished 29th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas);
Denny Hamlin: Not racing this weekend; Brian Vickers will drive the No. 11 Toyota; Vickers will be making his first track Cup start since 2011; Vickers has yet to finish in the top 10 in 14 starts.
Kurt Busch: Finished eighth last fall in first track start with Furniture Row Racing; Won the 2009 fall race with Penske Racing; 14.1 average finish in 20 starts; Finished 20th in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas).
Marcos Ambrose: 19.4 average finish in nine starts; Only top 10 (sixth) came in this event in 2011; 17.3 average finish in four starts with Richard Petty Motorsports; Finished 22nd in the first race with the Gen-6 car on a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas); Will debut a new chassis in the NRA 500.
Re: NRA 500 Betting News and Notes
NRA 500 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts
Martin Truex Jr. and Marcos Ambrose were the fastest during Friday's two 90-minute practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for Saturday's NRA 500. However, Friday's practices might not tell the entire story of what we'll see Saturday night under the lights, when the temperature is much cooler. Both of Friday's sessions were run under the sun in conditions that won't be relative to Saturday's 7:46 p.m. (ET) start time.
In each of the sessions, there were some strange occurrences that kind of let everyone know that the irregular practice schedule in relation to being a night race run on Saturday had teams trying several different things other than simply trying to maximize speed under the sun.
For instance, in the final session, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all finished with single lap speeds 32nd or worse, which is almost unheard of collectively. On normal race weekends, the final session is about maximizing speed and getting a last chance to be fast on race day. However, when looking at the 10-consecutive lap averages from the same session, all five of those drivers placed in the top 10, which shows they were placing a premium on being good in long runs.
Brad Keselowski ended up with the best 10-consecutive lap average during happy hour, and Paul Menard was tops in the early session.
Coming into this race before Thursday's testing and Friday's practices the top candidates considered to win were mostly based on what happened at the two down-force tracks the new Gen-6 car had already seen this season at Las Vegas and Fontana. The drivers who did well on those tracks didn't necessarily have fast single-lap times Friday, but they were at the top of the 10-consecutive lap averages, which looks to be the best angle to play when trying to identify Saturday's winner.
Kenseth won at Las Vegas and Kyle Busch won at Fontana with an assist going to Joey Logano for knocking Denny Hamlin out. You'll notice that three of the four names are all from Joe Gibbs Racing, which is kind of why we elevated Kenseth to the top of our charts this week. The Gibbs cars seem to have an edge on these tracks early on.
Kenseth's past history also helps get him to the top of the list. A track-best 8.3 average finish with two wins is pretty strong. He's also currently on a run of five straight top-5 Texas finishes. During the final practice session, he had the third-fastest 10-consecutive lap average.
Five drivers Kahne, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Busch and Menard had top-10 finishes at both Las Vegas and Fontana. Two of them Busch and Edwards had top-5 finishes at each. Menard, with odds this week at 75-to-1, looks to be a driver that is going to break through in one of these type of races soon. We waited all last season for Truex Jr., who was in a similar situation, but it never happened.
While we like Menard to do well maybe we're more hopeful because of the odds the best value on the board may be Earnhardt Jr. at 15-to-1. However, the top three cars look to be driven by Kenseth, Johnson and Keselowski. It should also be noted that Kahne is using the same chassis this week that he led six times for 114 laps at Las Vegas.