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2017 Alabama 500 Race Predictions

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Alabama 500 Race Predictions

2017 Alabama 500 Race Predictions
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Betting Preview
Sunday October 15th, 2:20PM (EST) at Talladega Superspeedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

In his final start at Talladega, Dale Earnhardt Jr will lead the field to the green flag Sunday at the start of the Alabama 500. Earnhardt and Talladega have been synonymous over the years when it comes to restrictor plate racing. Junior owns 6 victories at Talladega which is the most among active drivers and 2nd to only one driver in NASCAR history, his father and 7-time champion Dale Earnhardt. Tomorrow a legacy will end at Talladega when Dale Jr crosses the finish line for the final time. We take this time to discuss if Junior can put together one last magical ride and discuss other potential winners as we present our 2017 Alabama 500 race predictions!

I think everyone realizes that Earnhardt has had a pretty awful farewell season. He has posted just 1 top 5 finish all season and has failed to be competitive on most weekends. However if there is one track where Junior could turn back the hands in time, Talladega is the place. Before the concussion shortened season in 2016, Earnhardt won at Talladega in the spring of 2015 and was just inches away from taking the lead in the fall race before the caution flag curtailed his chances for the sweep. Since then, Earnhardt has had just two starts at Talladega which has not lived up to expectations. However, the #88 car has looked really strong and the Hendrick cars in general believe that have fixed some of the problems that have troubled their cars (Snapping loose on corner exit) in recent years at the plate tracks giving Earnhardt one final opportunity.

I am probably in the minority, considering Earnhardt’s 2017 performance results, but I believe he can get the job done on Sunday. Now at 10-1 odds and one of the overall favorites, I am not sure if the reward outweighs the risk. All I am saying is I am not in the group of people that believes Earnhardt does not have a chance. I believe he will run up front but I just wish his odds were more advantageous to his 2017 performances rather than his historical Talladega resume which is the reason he is less than 10-1 currently. So for anyone wanting to back the #88 team for Sunday in hopes to cash a winning ticket while watching a tale of poetic justice unfold before our eyes, be my guest. I believe the #88 will give one last hellacious effort and be a factor throughout the afternoon.

As always with plate racing, we must talk about risk and reward. The reason I will not back Earnhardt is because the risk far outweighs the reward. Every time these plate races roll around, I preach the importance of ROI and value with restrictor plate betting lineups. I will follow that same strategy going into Sunday’s 500 in the 2nd race of the Round of 12. So with that being said, let’s discuss the drivers that I believe have to be discussed regardless of odds and then the drivers that have significant “value” that could be potentially used on anyone’s lineup.

Among the drivers that I believe deserve everyone’s attention include the likes of Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Brad Keselowski. Outside of Earnhardt, those 3 drivers are the only drivers with multiple wins since 2015. Keselowski and Logano have been terrific at Talladega. Keselowski already has 4 wins in just 17 starts which is tied for 4th all-time in victories at Talladega. It could be easily argued that right now in the present day of the Cup Series that nobody is better than Keselowski at restrictor plate racing. I would also put Joey Logano into that discussion as well as the best at plate racing in the Cup Series. The only other notable mention I would possibly put in that conversation is Denny Hamlin.

For Logano, I really like the value he brings to lineups at his current odds. Logano has fell off of everyone’s radar since tanking the 2nd half of the season. However, he is still great at plate racing and I do not believe the troubles Team Penske has had this season has been noticeable with their plate racing program. For those reasons, I think Logano is one of those obvious choices most people will not think about until the green flag drops. After that, everyone will be shaking their heads to why that did not make such an obvious pick. Again, just my prediction but I can easily see that situation unfolding because I have not seen any evidence to question Team Penske’s plate racing program.

Lastly, we have to thrown Ricky Stenhouse’s name into the mix among the favorites tomorrow simply for the fact that he has had the best season of any driver at the plate races. Stenhouse scored his first Cup Series win at Talladega in the spring and then backed it up with a victory in the July race at Daytona. I hit Stenhouse with a half unit play at 45-1 back in the spring race at Talladega but failed to have him on my lineup in the Coke Zero 400. I remember heading into the Daytona race in July, I was like no way lightening can strike twice for Stenhouse and the #17 team. This time around I am not going to make any assumptions again. I have always thought that Stenhouse was a great restrictor plate driver and he has made that notion undeniable in 2017. With confidence beaming at the plate races followed by a 5th place qualifying effort earlier today, Stenhouse is once again a viable option.

Obviously everyone can be considered at the plate tracks which is part of the reason plate racing is so popular. The draft is the ultimate equalizer when it comes to racing at NASCAR’s top level. So in theory I understand that anyone can win given the right circumstances. Heck look at the way Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500 in February. Halfway through the race, the elder Busch thought his car was awful. A few big wrecks later, Busch found himself in the right position in the closing laps and capitalized on the opportunity. Who knows what type of situation will unfold on Sunday and what types of opportunities will open.

I don’t have time to discuss every driver’s chances for a plate race when in reality everyone has potential. However a few guys that I like who have “value” in terms of odds can be found with the likes of Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, and Paul Menard. I know what you are thinking, what Paul Menard? Well in reality, Menard has the 4th best average finish at the plate races since 2015 behind only Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski. So at 66-1 odds, the better question is why not? As for long shots, throw Aric Almirola into the mix at 88-1 odds on the heels of finishes of 8th, 4th, and 4th in his last 3 plate races. For Elliott and Harvick, I like their plate racing skills and their odds are pretty decent as well. Harvick seems to always put his #4 machine in position for at least a chance at the end of these races.

Elliott on the other hand does not have the history to prove he is worth the gamble based on finishes but sometimes finishes do not tell the entire story. Elliott has done a really good job at the plate races especially this year but the finishes just have not followed. More importantly, he has shown the ability to be very aggressive when out front which is the key to fighting off challenges in the closing laps. Dale Earnhardt Jr has proven to be one of the best out in front of the pack but Elliott has shown some similar tendencies in his limited opportunities. Therefore at 16-1 odds, Elliott has very good value for a driver that in my opinion could easily be listed as a top 5 favorite.

2017 Alabama 500 Race Predictions

Take advantage of the best restrictor plate odds with 5Dimes


Bet at 5dimes

Joey Logano +1350 (.75 unit)
Kevin Harvick +1350 (.75 unit)
Chase Elliott +1650 (.75 unit)
Kurt Busch +2000 (.75 unit)
Paul Menard +6600 (.5 unit)
Aric Almirola +8800 (.5 unit)
David Ragan +25000 (.25 unit)

2017 Fred’s 250 Race Predictions

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Fred’s 250 Race Predictions

2017 Fred’s 250 Race Predictions
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Betting Preview
Saturday October 14th, 1:22PM (EST) at Talladega Superspeedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

On Saturday, the Camping World Truck Series will hit the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the annual Fred’s 250. Tomorrow’s race marks the final event in the Round of 8 for the Truck Series Chase meaning two drivers will be eliminated before the Chase continues in two weeks at Martinsville. Talladega has always been the ultimate wild card especially with championship implications on the line. As we prepare for tomorrow’s race and Sunday’s Alabama 500, we take this time to discuss the best betting opportunities as we provide our 2017 Fred’s 250 race predictions!

The main word that everyone should be focused on this weekend is “opportunity.” As handicapping experts, we expect to win from week to week with our predictions. However when restrictor places roll around, we no longer can “expect” to be victories. There are simply too many variables and disparity among the competition at these races for situations to unfold according to expectations. Still, we can be profitable at the restrictor plate tracks if we are capitalizing on the “opportunity” allowed by odds makers. Since restrictor plate racing typically offers some of the best odds of the season, the opportunity is within reach for a big pay day. With these races, we simply must construct lineups that find the best value and maximize our ROI.

For tomorrow’s Fred’s 250, we have the luxury of witnessing the 2nd and last restrictor plate race of the season for the Truck Series. Unlike the Cup and Xfinity Series that has 4 races on the plate tracks, the Camping World Truck Series has just two each year. Back in February, Kaz Grala scored the first win of the season by capturing the checkered flag at Daytona. Ironically, Kaz Grala and John Hunter Nemechek are the two Chase drivers that are currently outside of the top 6 meaning they need some luck to fall their way. Nemechek actually has two victories on the season joining Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter as the only drivers with multiple wins this year. Therefore if Nemechek is eliminated following tomorrow’s race, it would be highly disappointing considering the expectations that many had for the #8 team at the beginning of the Chase.

For John Hunter Nemechek fans, I don’t have high expectations for him on Saturday. The team has struggled and Nemechek has limited experience on the plate tracks despite being in the series for over 4 years now. Remember Nemechek could not race on the superspeedways his first few years in the series due to the age requirements by NASCAR and he has not been very strong in these races the last two years. I am sure someone wants to point out the fact that JHN finished 4th at Daytona but please remember that just 13 cars finished on the lead lap back in February and several trucks had significant damage. I am not stating Nemechek does not have a chance tomorrow. The beauty of plate racing is that anyone can win these races. I just do not like what I have seen from JHN in the past from his ability in the draft.

When it comes to choosing drivers for plate races, I like to choose drivers that can find their way to the front and can show the ability to stay out front. You can ignore practice speeds all together because lap speeds are influenced completely by the draft. In practices, that is extremely hard to gauge because you have so many factors to consider. Who was drafting together? How many trucks were together? Was it a 2-3 truck pack or a 7-8 truck pack? Therefore, if you are wondering how to select drivers then just focus on the teams that have the horsepower to get out front and make your bets on the actual “drivers”. Just make sure you are getting solid ROI because the risk is elevated at the superspeedways.

For my personal thoughts surrounding Saturday’s drivers that could visit victory lane, obviously I really like Johnny Sauter. I like his current form and he is the best in the field at restrictor plate racing. Sauter has wins at Daytona and Talladega. Not to mention, he has consistently been at the front of the pack in recent races. Aside from Sauter, the conversation becomes more of a guessing game. Grala and Grant Enfinger are the only previous restrictor plate winners in the field. Enfinger won this race last year in surprising yet dominating fashion. Both Grala and Enfinger can be considered at minimum. Some people may throw Matt Crafton’s name out as one of the most experienced drivers in the field. For me, Crafton is always a fade at the restrictor plate tracks considering he has just 2 top 5 finishes in 28 career starts. Sure he can breakthrough on Saturday, but history and probability do not favor the #88 team.

Of course if we are talking about drivers that could potentially win, Christopher Bell is obviously a great choice as potentially the best overall driver in the series combined with arguably the best equipment. Bell is actually getting pretty decent odds for tomorrow’s race at near 8-1 which I think is pretty generous. Chase Briscoe has fell off the radar in recent weeks but do not forget how strong the #29 was back in February. I am personally really high on Briscoe’s chances. I also like the odds on guys like Ben Rhodes, Ryan Truex, and Justin Haley. Rhodes and Truex have really come on strong during the 2nd half of the year. Both drivers are really aggressive and obviously have the horsepower. Meanwhile, I believe Haley is a dark horse pick that will fly under the radar. The #24 truck was fast in February with Scott Lagasse Jr behind the wheel and the truck looked fast by itself in single lap speed in Friday’s practices. Therefore, I think everyone should consider some of these young guys for your lineup considering the advantageous odds being offered.

2017 Fred’s 250 Race Predictions

Take advantage of the best restrictor plate odds with 5Dimes


Bet at 5dimes

Chase Briscoe +850 (1 unit)
Ryan Truex +1250 (1 unit)
Ben Rhodes +1450 (.5 unit)
Justin Haley +2500 (.5 unit)

H2H Matchups

Johnny Sauter -115 over Christopher Bell (2 units)

2017 Bank of America 500 Race Predictions

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Bank of America 500 Race Predictions

2017 Bank of America 500 Race Predictions
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Betting Preview
Sunday October 8th, 1:10PM (EST) at Charlotte Motor Speedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The first race in the Round of 12 is scheduled to kick off this afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the running of the Bank of America 500. When the race takes place? Well that answer is subject for debate. Rain has been all around the Charlotte region this weekend. Rain was responsible for cancelling both of Saturday’s practices for the Cup Series and it also delayed the Xfinity Series race by 6 hours. The good news is that the radar does not look overly intimidating so this race should take place at some point today. However with 2 practices cancelled and limited on-track activities, our biggest issue may be what to expect when the green flag waves. Take a look as we preview today’s race and provide our best 2017 Bank of America 500 race predictions!

I always say that practice speeds are often over rated and I typically refer to single lap speeds when making that argument. So I do not want to sound like a hypocrite for stating that not having practices has hurt our expectations. However without seeing any on-track activity in the sense of race trim that is the exact situation that has unfolded heading into today’s race. So what can we truly expect? Well with the return of the 1.5 mile tracks, we have to expect the Toyota speed will resurface. In fact, Joe Gibbs Racing drivers took 3 of the top 4 qualifying spots on Friday. Denny Hamlin won the pole, Matt Kenseth qualified 2nd, and Kyle Busch qualified 4th as he seeks his 3rd straight victory.

Last week, Jimmie Johnson verbally stated that the Hendrick Motorsports cars were gaining ground on the Toyotas in terms of overall speed. Johnson’s comments seemed to be validated from the fact that Johnson and teammate Chase Elliott were two of the best cars last week at Dover. However, I still want to see Hendrick Motorsports cars prove they have the same speed on the 1.5 mile tracks because these cookie cutter layouts have been where Toyota’s true dominance has shown throughout the season. Johnson won this race a year ago and owns the most wins all-time at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Therefore if you believe the Hendrick Motorsports cars have regained form, Johnson becomes an enticing option with great odds based on his lackluster qualifying effort on Friday. For me personally, I need to see more.

Without any practice time on Saturday, I am not going to believe that there has been a shift in power from what we have seen all year. On the 1.5 mile tracks specifically, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch have been incredible. Truex has scored 4 wins and has only finished outside the top 10 once on the 1.5 mile layouts. Meanwhile, Busch has posted two runner-up finishes but does have the All-Star win to his credit back in May at Charlotte. If you consider the #18 team’s current form coming on the heels of back to back wins, it would be extremely hard to count his chances out. Now I will admit that Busch’s overall history at Charlotte has not been nearly as strong as some of the other 1.5 mile tracks. Therefore it is a battle of current form vs. overall track history to consider.

Obviously if we are going to talk about Truex and Rowdy, then Kyle Larson’s name needs to be mentioned as a part of the “Big 3.” Larson has been the only driver that has proved that he can challenge Busch and Truex this season with 4 victories. The only problem is that none of Larson’s wins have come on the 1.5 mile surfaces. However, I would not discourage Larson’s chances today. I actually like Larson for two reasons. The first reason is despite being winless on the 1.5 mile surfaces, Larson has still been strong. In fact, the #42 has captured 4 runner-up finishes this year on the 1.5 mile surfaces. So do you think that team is due? Lastly, if teams are having to guess with setups today that could play right into the hand of the #42 team. Give me the best driver in the sport when everyone is worrying about setups and I will take my chances!

If you look outside the normal Toyota drivers that should impact today’s race, it is still a big guessing game considering the fact that we have not seen any practice speeds. One driver that I believe will sneak into contention is Kevin Harvick. The #4 team has been rock solid in recent weeks and I do believe the Fords are gaining speed as a group as well. You can also refer to Brad Keselowski’s recent emergence as a sign that the Fords have potentially turned the corner. For Harvick, he has been the best of the group in terms of consistency and he also has a great track record at Charlotte with 3 victories throughout his career. If you need more convincing, Harvick ranks 3rd behind Truex and Busch in terms of average finish on the 1.5 mile tracks this season. He has not finished outside the top 10 at a 1.5 mile layout since Las Vegas in March and has 3 top 5 finishes during that stretch as well.

For the rest of the field, I am going to withhold from making any bold predictions because honestly I am not that confident. I believe today’s will be very unpredictable due to the fact that both practices on Saturday were cancelled, teams will have to guess with setup combinations, and track conditions will be completely different than what we are accustomed to at Charlotte. Therefore, I would approach today’s race with a low risk strategy. Even if you want to ride the favorites like Truex and Busch, the odds are extremely low. Therefore even from an odds standpoint, we are forced into a low risk situation making the most sense.

2017 Bank of America 500 Race Predictions

Kevin Harvick +700 ( 1 unit)
Brad Keselowski +1200 (1 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Martin Truex Jr/Kyle Larson +230 wins Bank of America 500
Jamie McMurray +125 over Kurt Busch
Risking 1.5 units to win: +960

H2H Matchups

Kevin Harvick -140 over Jimmie Johnson (2 units)

2017 Drive for the Cure 300 Race Predictions

Posted by on Oct 7, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Drive for the Cure 300 Race Predictions

2017 Drive for the Cure 300 Race Predictions
NASCAR Xfinity Betting Preview
Saturday October 7th, 3:15PM (EST) at Charlotte Motor Speedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The Xfinity Series will take center stage tomorrow afternoon at the home of NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the running of the Drive for the Cure 300. As the Xfinity Series prepares to conclude the opening round of the Chase and set the stage for the Round of 8 in two weeks, we take this time to provide dialogue surrounding betting opportunities for tomorrow’s race. With limited Cup Series talent participating and a host of Xfinity Series regulars posting fast laps in practice, it appears that we may have some disparity among the “perceived” favorites. Take a look as we discuss that and more with our 2017 Drive for the Cure 300 race predictions!

Last week Ryan Blaney earned his 2nd Xfinity Series win of the season at the Monster Mile. Blaney dominated the race by leading 136 of the scheduled 200 laps in route to victory. With another similarly talented field, Blaney appears to at least be the perceived favorite once again heading into Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 300. Not only did Blaney win last week but he also won the last Xfinity Series race at Charlotte back in May in the Hisense 300. On that day, Blaney piloted the #12 machine to a victory over the likes of Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and others. Therefore Blaney will have the chance to win back to back races and accomplish the same feat in accordance to race at Charlotte.

From a competition standpoint, Blaney is probably the best overall talent in the field perhaps with Erik Jones. Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon, and Ty Dillon are the only other Cup Series talents in the field. At least for the Dillon brothers, they have not shown speed that can win races this season at the 1.5 mile tracks. Both Jones and Suarez looked pretty solid in practices. Suarez actually posted the best 10 lap average in Happy Hour. However if you have read my previous previews, I don’t think you can rely on Suarez’s chances of winning with confidence. He is 0 for 13 this year and has only finished in the top 10 in 1 of his 3 starts on the 1.5 mile tracks. So if you want to take Suarez based on the speed shown in practices, be my guest but it seems like a high risk situation.

Both Jones and Blaney were pretty strong in final practice. I expect both cars to be the favorites going into tomorrow’s race with the edge going to the #22 car. However, I will say that Blaney’s teammate also looked very strong in practice by the way of part time star Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish has proved to be resilient to limited seat time with 2 wins in the past two years despite just 8 overall starts. I believe Hornish has to be given consideration given his boom or bust potential. The problem is that he has “busted” more often than not. Outside of the win at Mid-Ohio, Hornish has finished worse than 30th in his 3 starts this year. More importantly, Hornish has never been “great” on the 1.5 mile tracks in particular Charlotte where he has just 1 top 5 finish in 7 starts. Therefore if you were thinking about Hornish as a potential dark horse, I would probably bet against it.

The drivers that I do expect to be dark horses on Saturday surround JR Motorsports teammates William Byron and Justin Allgaier. I am here to tell everyone that these two teams have found speed and are peaking at the right time. Allgaier has posted finishes of 2nd and 3rd thus far in the Chase. Meanwhile Byron led 63 laps in route to a 3rd place finish last week at Dover at a track where he somewhat struggled at back in June. Both cars looked really strong again in practices on Friday proving that their speed in recent weeks is legit. I am not sure who I would favor in terms of Allgaier vs. Byron. I would probably lean towards Allgaier but either driver is worthy of dark horse potential. In fact, I believe the championship will come down to these two drivers.

Lastly, I always like to leave everyone with a few extra thoughts in terms of potential H2H matchups or value in unforeseen places. I know I mentioned earlier that the Dillon brothers have not shown “winning” speed this year. However, I believe you can consider Austin Dillon in matchup situations due to his impressive Charlotte resume that includes a top 3 finish in 5 of his last 6 starts at Charlotte highlighted by sweeping both races in 2015. I am not sure the older Dillon has the horsepower to contend for the victory but he still knows how to get around Charlotte which adds H2H value. Additionally, another guy that should be given some consideration is Alex Bowman. I thought Bowman’s lap times were excellent. For those that do not know, Bowman is piloting the #42 car this week to get some seat time in a ride that is sponsored by Hendrick Motorsports. So far the ride has looked fast, it will be interesting to see if Bowman can keep that ride at the front of the field.

2017 Drive for the Cure 300 Race Predictions

Erik Jones +500 (1.25 units)
Justin Allgaier +2250 (1 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Ryan Blaney +195 wins Drive for the Cure 300
Team 2 – Open
Risking 1 unit to win: TBD

H2H Matchups and Props

Justin Allgaier -130 over Elliott Sadler (2 units)

2017 Apache Warrior 400 Race Predictions

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Apache Warrior 400 Race Predictions

2017 Apache Warrior 400 Race Predictions
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Betting Preview
Sunday October 1st, 2:15PM (EST) at Dover International Speedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The final race in the opening round of the Chase will take place tomorrow when the Monster Energy Cup Series unleashes 40 cars on the Monster Mile in the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway. With just one race remaining before the Round of 12, drivers like Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, and Ryan Newman need to race their way into the next round. Who will secure their spot into the Round of 12? Who will be able to tame the Monster Mile? Take a look as we provide our thoughts and provide our 2017 Apache Warrior 400 race predictions!

Back in June, we nailed a parlay winner courtesy of Jimmie Johnson scoring his record extending 11th victory at Dover. The victory was Johnson’s 3rd on the season through the halfway mark. However since that victory, Johnson and the #48 team has struggled immensely. So bad that Johnson has failed to crack the Top 5 in 11 straight races. Johnson’s best finish since that victory earlier this year was an 8th place finish marking one of the poorest performance streaks in his career in terms of Top 5 finishes. Even two races into the Chase, Johnson has still struggled and everyone knows that the #48 is usually the time this team shines. Instead, the team has failed to perform but there is hope that tomorrow’s return to the Monster Mile will get the 7 time champion back on track.

Luckily for Johnson, this is the perfect place to end their subpar streak. Before the win back in June, the #48 team was in a similar skid where they had not cracked the Top 5 in several races. Not only does the trends fall in line with where the #48 team was back in June but all of Hendrick Motorsports cars in the Chase showed speed in practices earlier today. Johnson, Elliott, and Kahne all finished in the top 8 on the speed charts in final practice. Not to mention, Dale Jr had one of his better practices of the season on Saturday as well. Elliott posted the fastest lap in Happy Hour and Johnson was close behind in 2nd. Elliott was even the 2nd fastest car in terms of 10 lap averages in the final session as well. Therefore it appears that the Hendrick Motorsports cars have some speed and that is noteworthy because they have not shown much speed in recent weeks.

Of course I know more than anyone that Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch have dominated the 2nd half of the season. The #18 and #78 teams have produced the fastest cars at the track on a weekly basis for months now. The speed or so called advantage from the Toyota teams has been undeniable. One of the myths that I have seen talked about is the fact that the Toyota “speed” has been most potent at the 1.5 mile tracks. I do not think that is necessarily the case. Toyota drivers have been extremely strong everywhere dominating the last several weeks at a variety of tracks including Bristol, Darlington, Richmond, Chicagoland, and against last week at New Hampshire. Therefore, Toyotas and their drivers have proven to be best everywhere and not just the 1.5 mile tracks.

I think some people will believe that Toyotas may not be as strong when they notice that Hendrick Motorsports and some of the Fords finished towards the top of the speed charts in practices. I just do not want to steer anyone into believing that myth. Back at Bristol, Toyota teams dominated by taking the top 4 spots. As many know, Bristol has a lot of similarities to Dover in the fact both tracks are concrete and have similar banking which creates similarities in setups. Therefore based on current form, I believe you have to consider Martin Truex, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin legitimate threats again tomorrow just as we have seen nearly every week. If you are looking for my thoughts on those 3 drivers in particular, I would go Busch, Hamlin, and then Truex in that order.

The reason I believe that we saw speed out of the Hendrick Motorsports car is because they simply race well at Dover. Johnson is the best to ever drive on the Monster Mile and Elliott has finished in the Top 5 in each of his 3 career races. So do not get caught up believing the speed factor has changed. Those guys just know how to get around the Monster Mile and I believe both have to be given serious consideration tomorrow. I am personally excited for Chase’s chances to score his first win in the Chase, no pun intended. I thought the #24 looked really stout in final practice and if they are that strong when the green flag waves tomorrow then Elliott will be a factor.

Back through the rest of the field, I am not going to spend a ton of time talking about other drivers. I think the aforementioned drivers are the cream of the crop. However, Chip Ganassi cars looked pretty solid meaning Kyle Larson’s value is raised. Larson is the only driver that has been able to challenge Busch and Truex during the 2nd half of the season. I believe Larson is one of the overall best drivers in NASCAR and quite possibly the best driver on pure talent. With two prior runner-up finishes on the Monster Mile, Larson is a tough driver to ignore.

I was not necessarily impressed with the Team Penske drivers nor the affiliated team of Ryan Blaney. I thought those cars were pretty average in terms of speed. Kevin Harvick showed a pulse in the final session by posting the 3rd fastest time in the session. Still, Dover has not been exactly a safe haven for “Happy.” Despite a win in that dominate 2015 season, Harvick holds a measly 15th place average finish in 33 career starts. Therefore, I am not sold on Harvick’s chances to win but he may hold some H2H value given the right situations. Another driver that I feel like holds some serious H2H value is rookie Daniel Suarez. Suarez scored a win on the Monster Mile in the Xfinity Series last year and he finished 6th in his first start back in June. After a solid pair of sessions on Saturday, I would fire up Suarez in most fantasy or H2H situations.

2017 Apache Warrior 400 Race Predictions

Take advantage of the best odds and unlimited betting options with 5Dimes


Bet at 5dimes

Matt Kenseth +1050 (1 unit)
Jimmie Johnson +1150 (1 unit)
Chase Elliott +1200 (1 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Ryan Blaney +125 wins Drive Sober 200
Kyle Busch +345 wins Apache Warrior 400
Risking 1.25 units to win: +1125

H2H Matchups and Props

Chase Elliott +110 over Kevin Harvick (2 units)
Ryan Newman +125 over Dale Earnhardt Jr (2 units)
Daniel Suarez -140 over Clint Bowyer (2 units)