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2017 Toyota Save Mart 350 Race Predictions

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Toyota Save Mart 350 Race Predictions

2017 Toyota Save Mart 350 Race Predictions
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Betting Preview
Sunday June 25th, 3:20PM (EST) at Sonoma Raceway
by Jay Horne of, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The Monster Energy Cup Series will get their first taste of road course racing this season when the green flag waves for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. In recent years, road course racing has gained some popularity amongst NASCAR fans. So much so that even Charlotte Motor Speedway will attempt to add some road course excitement next year when they introduce the “ROVAL” which is a combination of their 1.5 mile oval and infield road course. While Charlotte’s experiment to combine both oval and road course racing remains to be seen, today all eyes will be on Sonoma Raceway for true road course racing action. As we get ready for a fun afternoon, we take this time to provide our 2017 Toyota Save Mart 350 race predictions!

Any time a road course race shows up on the NASCAR schedule, fans will hear the words “road course driver” or “road course ringer.” The term simply implies to certain drivers strengths on the road course races which may be a result of some type of open wheel background. The term “ringer” implies to drivers that are not normal NASCAR drivers but participate in road course races. There will be a few of those guys participating today in the likes of Tommy Regan, Kevin O’Connell, Boris Said, Alon Day, Josh Bilicki, and Billy Johnson. However in reality, none of these guys have a true shot to win today’s race despite their talent on these types of road course layouts. The last true road course ringer to win a race at the Cup Series level was Mark Donohue back in 1973 at Riverside.

There have been some full-time NASCAR drivers, with strong open wheel backgrounds, that have scored surprise wins on the road course races in recent years. The names Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, and most recently AJ Allmendinger are the most notable winners that fall within that group. Still for the most part, these races are often won by the drivers that are performing well and the drivers who have embraced the challenge of road course racing. So it may not be too surprising to learn that many of the drivers that have excelled throughout the season have continued to shine thus far this weekend. I am specifically speaking towards Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr.

Busch does not have any wins this season but there have been few drivers that have shown as much speed as the #18 in the last several weeks. More importantly Busch is one of the better drivers in the series at the road course races due to his pure raw talent behind the wheel. Rowdy owns 2 Sonoma victories and has shown great speed off the truck yet again this week. Larson and Truex have been the two best cars throughout the entire season. Both drivers have two victories and have consistently been frontrunners on a weekly basis.

Larson scored his 2nd victory last week at Michigan and has rolled into Sonoma with a lot of momentum. On Friday Larson laid down the fastest lap in Happy Hour and then put the #42 on the pole on Saturday. Therefore, he has to be considered one of the overall favorites yet again which is likely not going to change any time soon. Larson is starting to appear to be the best driving talent in the series and it is very evident this aero package suits him perfectly. Truex has a 2013 Sonoma win to his resume which proves that he can get around these road course races. If his speed this season and Sonoma history does not impress you alone, the #78 was in the top 3 in both of Friday’s practices and qualified P3. Considering the history factor, I would actually put the #78 over the #42 if I had to rank them going into this afternoon’s race. Either way, both will likely be contenders for the victory.

The unique thing about road course racing is that you have history and then you have the present. There are several drivers that have very strong historical resumes at the road course races. For Sonoma, you would have a hard time finding better candidates than Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Jimmie Johnson over the last 10 races. Johnson owns the best average finishing position over the last 10 races at Sonoma with an 8.4 average showing which includes a 2010 victory.

I personally believe that Bowyer’s stats during that same stretch are even more impressive as he has finished in the top 10 in 8 of the last 10 races which includes years that he was in pretty bad equipment. It is going to be very interesting to see what Bowyer can do behind the wheel of the #14 car because this is the first time in several years that he has been in a car that is capable of winning. For that reason, I jumped on Bowyer early in the week at openers at +1150 which is an excellent price considering the speed the #14 has shown this week. I always stress the importance of getting the best number and Bowyer is currently listed at 8-1. If you are unable to get early odds, then I encourage you to visit 5Dimes.

In the topic of pure history, I would also list guys like Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr into that category for potential plays in H2H situations. Kahne has racked up 4 straight top 10 finishes at Sonoma Raceway. Possibly even more surprising is that Dale Earnhardt Jr has also been solid in recent trips to Sonoma with finishes of 3rd, 7th, and 11th in his last 3 starts. Earnhardt has actually looked great throughout practices this weekend finishing in the top 5 in both sessions. Junior also qualified in the 10th position which is a lot better than he normally qualifies.

In fact outside of the restrictor plate races, it is just the 2nd time this season that Earnhardt will start inside the top 10. As much bad luck and in some cases bad effort that we have seen out of Earnhardt this season, I still find myself thinking he is in position for a quality run. If you remember, I picked Earnhardt to come out of his slump and contend for a top 10 last week. The #88 delivered with a 9th place finish at Michigan. I think he could better that performance later today. Either way both Dale Jr and Kahne are excellent matchup picks because neither driver is notorious for the road course skills. Therefore, they will be under valued.

If you are looking for an even bigger sleeper in H2H situations or perhaps fantasy purposes, then I would also consider Michael McDowell. The #95 team needs to be given some kudos for their performance this season as they have improved greatly from their 2016 campaign. McDowell is one of those excellent road course talents and with the speed we have seen from this team in recent weeks; I believe McDowell could showcase his talent a lot more later today now that he has a car that is equal to his talent.

Lastly before I can conclude my thoughts, it would be negligent of me to leave off the names of AJ Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick in the folds of consideration. Obviously Allmendinger is one of the best drivers in the series at the road course races and he finally broke through with his 1st victory at Watkins Glen in 2014. With that being said, I believe Allmendinger gets a little too much attention at the road course events. His talent is undeniable but he often falls to expectations. In fact, Allmendinger’s 20.9 average finishing position at Sonoma in the last 10 races is pretty pathetic.

I personally would rather dodge Allmendinger at every road course race just because his odds are always overvalued. If he beats you, then you just have to accept the loss because there is never any value in taking him. Meanwhile, guys like Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have just as much of a chance to win with better odds. I mentioned earlier that you have history and then you have the present when it comes to road course racing. When we consider the “present”, Denny Hamlin should be the guy that comes to mind. Hamlin had a breakout year on the road courses in 2016 winning at Watkins Glen and finishing 2nd at Sonoma. In actuality, Hamlin should have won at Sonoma but he let Tony Stewart get to his bumper on the final turn and Smokes move him to get the victory.

Still, Hamlin figured something out at these tracks last year and I would be hesitant to completely forget about him going into today’s race especially at pretty decent odds. I actually still believe the #11 is a pretty solid dark horse pick along with the #4 of Kevin Harvick. Harvick does not have any wins at Sonoma to boost his stock but he has been close several times. Happy has finished 4th and 6th in his last 2 Sonoma starts and he is another guy that has been showing good speed on a weekly basis. Unfortunately for me, Harvick’s odds are not as enticing as some of the others when I calculate the risk/reward possibilities despite the fact I like what I have seen from the #4 team heading into today’s race.

2017 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Race Predictions

Start betting on today’s race and take advantage of numerous props, H2H matchups, and more with Bovada!

Clint Bowyer +1150 (1.25 units): 2012 winner, finished top 5 in 6 of 11 career starts at Sonoma, starting 13th
Denny Hamlin +1250 (1 unit): 2016 Watkins Glen winner and 2nd at Sonoma, 2nd in practice 1
Kurt Busch +1500 (1 unit): 2011 winner, finishes top 5 in 4 of last 6 starts at Sonoma, starting 17th

Two Team Parlay

Martin Truex Jr +375 wins Toyota/Save Mart 350
Kasey Kahne -130 over Ryan Newman
Risking 1.5 units to win: +1110

H2H Matchups and Props

Daniel Suarez -135 over Erik Jones (2 units)
Kasey Kahne -130 over Ryan Newman (2 units)
Dale Earnhardt Jr +380 wins Group C (Logano, Elliott, Keselowski, Blaney)

2017 American Ethanol E15 250 Race Predictions

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 American Ethanol E15 250 Race Predictions

2017 American Ethanol E15 250 Race Predictions
NASCAR Xfinity Series Betting Preview
Saturday June 24th, 8:46PM (EST) at Iowa Speedway
by Jay Horne of, NASCAR Handicapping Service

NASCAR’s Xfinity Series will go racing tonight at Iowa Speedway when the green flag waves for the American Ethanol E15 250. For the first time this season, tonight’s field will not have any drivers from the Monster Energy Cup Series. Obviously this is the first time all season that the Xfinity and Cup Series schedules have forked on the same weekend and the Cup Series drivers are preparing for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. However the good news is that we should see several drivers have an opportunity to score their first victory of the season when the green flag waves later tonight. Therefore, we take this time to discuss the drivers that could possibly capitalize on this opportunity and end up in victory lane as we provide our 2017 American Ethanol E15 250 race predictions!

Last night the Camping World Truck Series put on an exciting race at Iowa Speedway highlighted by John Hunter Nemechek’s late race 4 tire call that propelled him to his 2nd straight victory. Even though a few teams tried to gamble with 2 tires and even no tires calls last night, I would expect that tires will be even more important to the Xfinity Series cars for tonight’s American Ethanol E15 250. There have not been any true tire “wear” issues this week but fall off in laps times have been significant over the course of a green flag runs giving fresh tires a big advantage in terms of speed. Therefore, expect teams to elect 4 tires with every opportunity and there to be less strategy calls than what we saw Friday night which had big impacts on the outcome of that event.

The big question heading into tonight’s race is who will step up in the absence of the Cup Series drivers? Justin Allgaier and Sam Hornish Jr are the two drivers that have emerged as the popular favorites. Despite this being Hornish’s first and only scheduled race of the year, he has shown tremendous speed thus far this weekend behind the #22 machine. Normally it would be unfathomable to pick a driver to win that has not had any races under his belt all season throughout any of NASCAR’s top series. However if you remember Hornish did the same thing last year in this race when he drove the #22 to victory lane. Therefore, Hornish has proven himself in this situation before. More importantly Hornish has looked really strong in terms of lap times throughout practices and I would also point out that the #22 team has been great in recent weeks in terms of speed perhaps even better than the JGR cars. Therefore, I really like Hornish’s chances for the repeat.

Outside of Hornish, Justin Allgaier is another driver that has emerged as a popular favorite. Outside of Ryan Reed’s victory at Daytona, Allgaier is the only other Xfinity Series regular to score a victory this season. Allgaier’s victory came at Phoenix in dominating fashion and he was also very strong at Richmond. Both of those tracks hold strong similarities to Iowa which we would expect to set up nicely for the #7 team. With that being said, Allgaier was not overly impressive in practices on Friday. He was outside of the top 10 in fast laps and all the way down to 7th on the board in 10 lap averages. The good news is that the track conditions will be much different when the green flag waves under the lights this evening and the even better news to consider is that Allgaier always races better than his practice speeds indicates. Therefore, I am still fairly optimistic about the #7 team’s chances tonight despite what some may consider a pair of sub-par sessions on Friday.

If you look throughout the rest of the field, there are a wide array of options to consider. Both Christopher Bell and Kyle Benjamin are in action this weekend in JGR machines which are always fast. Both Bell and Benjamin have been impressive in their few starts despite limited experience in the Xfinity Series. Bell rallied from a lap 1 wreck to a 4th place finish in his first start of the year at Charlotte. Benjamin has started from the front row in both of his starts this year and led 28 laps in his last start at Pocono. Both drivers have been very fast throughout practices this weekend and while I think it would considered a mile “upset” for either driver to win; I still like Bell to a degree based off his experience and success at Iowa in the Truck Series. I would not rule out either driver’s chances because they both have the speed to contend for the victory. I just personally give the edge to Bell considering his history.

A few more drivers that likely be popular choices surround Elliott Sadler and William Byron as the final legs of the JR Motorsports brigade. Despite practice speeds, poor qualifying efforts, and other struggles; Sadler continues to produce quality finishes each week. In fact, Sadler has finished in the top 10 in 11 of the last 12 races and in the top 7 in 6 of the last 7 races. Sadler also has 4 top 5 finishes in the last 7 races and he continues to find ways to be upfront at the end of these races just like we saw last week at Michigan. Teammate William Byron has also been running well in recent weeks and literally came just inches short of his first victory at Michigan last week. Like Sadler, Byron has done a good job of putting himself in position for wins and strong finishes lately. If that continues, one of those drivers are going to pull out a win in the near future.

While I believe Sadler and Byron will likely get a victory before the season ends, I do not personally like their chances tonight. Surely both drivers are among the top echelon in terms of raw talent in this field that lacks Cup Series skill. However, neither Sadler nor Byron has appeared close enough in terms of speed to contend for the victory in my humble opinion. Instead, if you want to consider a dark horse for tonight’s race then take notice of Cole Custer in the #00 machine. Custer has been running well in recent weeks with 4 straight top 10 finishes and I really liked the way that car looked in both practices on Friday. For those that do not know, Custer has always excelled on these relatively flat short tracks and Iowa suits his driving style. So if you are looking for a dark horse or sleeper in H2H match-ups, I think Custer will be your best option.

2017 American Ethanol E15 250 Race Predictions

Sam Hornish Jr +450 (1.5 units)
Cole Custer +1000 (1 unit)
Christopher Bell +1050 (1.25 units): early forums play courtesy of 5Dimes

H2H Matchups

Justin Allgaier +105 over Elliott Sadler (3 units)
Ben Kennedy -145 over Scott Lagasse Jr (2 units)

2017 M&Ms 200 Race Predictions

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 M&Ms 200 Race Predictions
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Betting Preview
Friday June 23rd, 8:30PM (EST) at Iowa Speedway
by Jay Horne of, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The Camping World Truck Series will kick start this weekend’s racing activities later tonight with the running of the M&Ms 200 at Iowa Speedway. The Xfinity Series will also race at Iowa Speedway tomorrow night while the Monster Energy Cup Series will cap off the weekend at Sonoma on Sunday for 3 straight days of racing. However, tonight the spotlight will shine solely on the Truck Series as they battle for 200 laps at Iowa Speedway in what promises to be an exciting race. With numerous drivers contending for victories in recent weeks, parity is at an all-time high in the Truck Series which was evident last week with John Hunter Nemechek ended his struggles to score his 1st win of the season. Luckily I was on the winning side of Nemechek’s win last week and we hope to keep the momentum going in the Truck Series later this evening. So take a look as I provide my 2017 M&Ms 200 race predictions for Iowa Speedway!

A lot of people are not very familiar with Iowa Speedway possibly because it does not reside on the Cup Series schedule. For anyone unfamiliar with Iowa, it is a 0.875 mile track located in Newton, Iowa. Iowa Speedway opened in 2006 making it one of the newest tracks that is used by any of NASCAR’s top 3 series. It was also aided in design by Hall of Fame driver Rusty Willace to mirror many characteristics to Richmond International Raceway. Therefore, Richmond and even Phoenix are good tracks to compare driving styles and past history to aid in handicapping scenarios. Obviously the Truck Series has not visited Richmond or Phoenix this season but keep those things in mind for tomorrow’s American Ethanol E15 250 because the Xfinity Series has visited both tracks already this season.

As for the Truck Series tonight, I believe you have about 4-5 drivers with legitimate chances to win. Obviously Christopher Bell is the weekly favorite as the best overall talent in the Truck Series and driver to one of the fastest trucks in series thanks to Kyle Busch Motorsports. Chase Briscoe is probably the hottest driver in the series in recent weeks with two straight runner-up finishes. Briscoe has not just had a fast truck in recent weeks but he has purely out driven several of his competitors as well. I was really big on Briscoe before the season began but admittingly backed off those thoughts after the #29 team suffered a slow start. However, Briscoe has had somewhat of a “coming out” party in the last few weeks and I think this team is very close to a victory. I also like Briscoe’s driving style for Iowa as well so he is right at the top of my list for tonight’s 200 lap event.

The other guys that I believe everyone would agree should be in the conversation include Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek, Matt Crafton, and Johnny Sauter. Obviously it is hard to ever count out Sauter and Crafton due to their veteran status and crafty ability to steal victories. Sauter has been the most consistent driver this season with finishes of 3rd or better in all but two races. Crafton on the other hand has not had the same speed and I am inclined to avoid the #88 until he shows me something better. I would not rule out the #88’s chances tonight because he is one of those drivers that can come out of nowhere to win races but I just think with the #88 team’s current struggles that it is highly improbable.

Ben Rhodes and John Hunter Nemechek are two drivers that I do not think anyone should overlook. Even with a disastrous start to the season, I still backed John Hunter Nemechek in last week’s victory at Gateway. One thing about Nemechek is that he has always been strong on the shorter tracks and he is very aggressive which sometimes works to his favor. I believe Nemechek’s driving style is very good for Iowa and I would not be surprised if he contends again this evening. Lastly, Ben Rhodes has shown speed throughout practices which may indicate he is ready to contend again. Despite some mediocre runs in the last 2 weeks, Rhodes has still posted 4 straight finishes of 8th or better. I personally consider Rhodes a 1.5 mile driver that excels with steep banking. However, he paced the field with the best 10 lap average in final practice. Typically in the past when Rhodes has practiced well he has backed it up with strong performances so keep that in mind.

Obviously practice speeds do not mean everything. After all, this morning’s practices will be considerably different than the track conditions we will witness under the lights later this evening. Practice speeds simply indicate speed which is never a bad thing. If you are looking for a couple of true longshots for big odds or H2H reasons, then consider both Brandon Jones and Ryan Truex. Truex has been running extremely well with 6 straight top 10s and he was one of the fastest trucks at Gateway during the 2nd half of last week’s race at Gateway. Gateway also has some similarities to Iowa so drivers that performed well last week should continue to do so tonight in theory.

One driver that did not participate last week is Brandon Jones who will be behind the wheel of the #99 truck later this evening. Jones will be making just his 2nd start in the Truck Series this year but he is a regular in the Xfinity Series. Jones stated in interviews earlier today that he really likes Iowa and he has chosen to race here in each of the last 4 years which includes a runner-up finish in 2015. Jones was even fast in the Xfinity Series car in the 1st practice this afternoon so it is evident that he likes this racetrack. After posting the fastest lap in final practice in the Truck Series, I would have to say he knows how to get around Iowa Speedway. Hopefully you can find a matchup with Jones who will likely be under values going into tonight’s race!

2017 M&Ms 200 Race Predictions

Chase Briscoe +475 (1.5 units)
Ben Rhodes +700 (1.25 units)
Ryan Truex +2000 (.5 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Christopher Bell +175 wins M&Ms 200
Team 2 Open
Risking 1 unit to win: TBD

2017 FireKeepers Casino 400 Race Predictions

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 FireKeepers Casino 400 Race Predictions

2017 FireKeepers Casino 400 Race Predictions
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Betting Preview
Sunday June 18th, 3:16PM (EST) at Michigan International Speedway
by Jay Horne of, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The Monster Energy Cup Series will be unleashed onto Michigan International Speedway on Sunday for the running of the FireKeepers Casino 400. As a NASCAR fan and sports bettor, I am always excited for racing each week as I get to bet on my favorite sport. The pure betting action alone can make NASCAR racing intense from lap to lap. However, the overwhelming excitement I have entering Sunday’s 400 mile race surrounds one word “speed.” Michigan is home to one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR and drivers will sail off into the turns at over 210 mph when the green flag is waved for some high speed racing. So as we get ready for some intense racing at unprecedented speeds for stock cars, I wanted to also take this time to provide my handicapping thoughts with our 2017 FireKeepers Casino 400 race predictions!

Obviously speed will be a big factor in tomorrow’s FireKeepers Casino 400 but there will be other important factors that will likely come into play surrounding “strategy.” Michigan International Speedway has historically been a fuel mileage race track. Any time you have a big racetrack that produces very fast speeds, strategy can come into play. Additionally, track position will be very important because it is tough to make up ground with so many cars running similar lap times at high speeds. Therefore, you can expect tomorrow’s race to be filled with strategy calls on pit road whether it is to gamble on tires or to gamble with fuel mileage in order to optimize track position. Nobody currently knows what the winning call will be but rest assured there will be several different teams trying different strategies over the course of 400 miles on Sunday.

Outside of the unpredictable influence of strategy, we can only do our best to pick the fastest cars, most valuable odds, and perhaps consider some of the best teams that can put everything together to earn a trip to victory lane. With that being said, good luck guessing who is going to be the best when the green flag waves. After 3 practices this weekend, I am here to tell everyone that 8-10 drivers have the raw speed to win tomorrow’s race. Hell I would say 15-20 can possibly win if strategy comes into play like we have seen on several occasions this year like we saw at Phoenix and Charlotte. So from a handicapping and smart betting perspective, I would approach Sunday’s event with a low risk strategy in hopes we nail our picks and get a little lucky that things unfold our way.

Obviously guys like Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch should be at the top of everyone’s list. Those 4 drivers have been the class of the field throughout the 2017 season and they have all looked very strong throughout sessions this week. Larson won the pole for tomorrow’s race, was fastest in practice 1, and posted the best 10 lap average in Happy Hour. Keselowski has the best average finish among all drivers with more than 2 starts at Michigan with a 7.4 average finish over his last 10 starts. Not to mention, Keselowski has 2 victories this season under this package and the most victories overall since this new package unveiled in 2016.

Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr has been the best at the 1.5 mile tracks this season and has arguably had the most raw “speed” on all of the ovals this season. Like Keselowski, Truex also has 2 victories for the season. Lastly, Kyle Busch has been knocking on the door for several weeks now in search of his first victory on the year. Busch has been bringing fast cars to the track for the last 5 races but has just not been able to put everything together in a complete performance from both driver and team. However, the #18 is very close and they have only been getting better from week to week. Also if you consider the fact that all 4 drivers that I mentioned above have dominated the speed charts throughout practices this weekend, then we have a strong indication they are all capable of taking down the checkered flag on Sunday.

Behind the top 4, there are still several other drivers that could potentially get the victory. I think we have learned by now that you can never count out the #48. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with 3 victories this year. Despite the fact they will be starting from the back in a backup car and did not show a great amount of speed, I still would not rule him completely out. On the other hand, I believe guys like Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano fall into the next group of “threats” to consider for Sunday. Harvick has posted 5 runner-up finishes in his last 8 starts at Michigan and always runs very well at this fast 2 mile track. The #4 team has been showing great speed in recent weeks and I am very surprised they have yet to score a victory. Tomorrow will be a great chance for that team to finally get the job done.

Unlike Harvick, Joey Logano has not shown much speed at all in recent weeks and has struggled rather significantly. At one point this season, Logano had rattled off 5 straight top 5 finishes that was capped off with a victory at Richmond. Since then, he has not posted a top 20 finish in his last 5 races. The good news for Logano fans is that they have unloaded very fast this weekend. In fact, both Team Penske cars have looked very fast since unloading off the truck on Friday. I know most people will be giving Keselowski the most attention for tomorrow’s race but I really feel like Logano is the dark horse that is under valued which is a direct result towards his recent finishes. However, I think the #22 has a lot of value and the speed looks to be back in the car.

There are a number of other drivers that possibly deserve some consideration for Sunday. Ryan Blaney has run very well this season and scored his first victory of the season last week at Pocono. Blaney definitely has the potential to post another quality showing and the #21 team has never lacked speed this season. Chase Elliott finished runner-up in both Michigan races in 2016 and crew chief Alan Gustafson has a great resume at Michigan. Additionally Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch are both 3 time winners at Michigan. However, I never saw the speed or consistency from any of those drivers to speculate they will drive their way to a victory on Sunday. Now I am not saying that those drivers cannot win on Sunday. I just do not like what I have seen thus far to considerable them “probable” threats.

However, I will not leave everyone without a few dark horse predictions whether it is for fantasy or betting purposes. One driver that I believe will completely fly under most people’s radar entering Sunday’s event is Denny Hamlin. With all due respect, Hamlin has had somewhat of a forgettable season throughout 2017 to this point. Still, the JGR cars have found speed in recent weeks. While Kyle Busch has displayed the group’s newfound speed more than any others, the entire JGR brigade has been strong including Hamlin who has posted finishes of 5th, 8th, and 12th in his last 3 starts. Hamlin has not shown the single lap speed that some of the top drivers have shown this week but he has shown long run speed that has been as good as anyone. Therefore, I feel like the #11 is on the verge of a sneaky promising performance.

Another driver that I feel like has the chance to break through for a strong performance is Dale Earnhardt Jr. I know it nearly pains me to write Dale Jr’s name considering how awful his season has been. Just look back to last week, the #88 had one of his best cars of the season and Earnhardt blew his transmission from putting the car into the wrong gear while shifting in a situation that was completely “driver error.” I mean this is a team that has not been close throughout the majority of 2017 with just 2 top 10 finishes and yet I think they can turn things around on Sunday. For whatever reason, I just have the feeling that Sunday will be the day this team finally gets the finish they need. Earnhardt has been really solid throughout practices and obviously that is important. The car is handling well and has some serious speed. Now I am not saying that I expect Dale Jr to win tomorrow’s race in an event that would reignite JR Nation for another Michigan miracle. However, I do think Earnhardt can get a top 10 finish which likely means he would win most match-up situations and possibly bring some value to most fantasy lineups.

2017 FireKeepers Casino 400 Race Predictions

Looking for the best odds? Get signed up with 5 Dimes

Bet at 5dimes

Brad Keselowski +700 (1.25 units): top 5 finishes in last 2 Michigan starts, 6 straight top 10 finishes, and had great speed in practices
Joey Logano +1300 (1 unit): 2 Michigan wins including 8 straight top 10 finishes at MIS, #22 has been fast throughout every session this weekend and the driver really likes this track!
Denny Hamlin +2000 (1 unit): 2 Michigan wins, dark horse play that is starting to emerge with speed, winner of Saturday’s Irish Hills 250

Two Team Parlay

Kyle Busch/Kevin Harvick +323 FireKeepers Casino 400
Erik Jones +135 over Ryan Blaney
Risking 1.25 units to win: +1117

H2H Matchups

Joey Logano -110 over Chase Elliott (2 units)
Denny Hamlin -130 over Matt Kenseth (2 units)
Paul Menard -125 over Ty Dillon (2 units)
Erik Jones +475 finishes Top 5
Dale Earnhardt Jr +830 finishes Top 5

2017 Drivin for Linemen 200 Race Predictions

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 in NASCAR Betting, Nascar Betting Blog, NASCAR Handicapping | 0 comments

2017 Drivin for Linemen 200 Race Predictions

2017 Drivin for Linemen 200 Race Predictions
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Betting Preview
Saturday June 17th, 8:48PM (EST) at Gateway Motorsports Park
by Jay Horne of, NASCAR Handicapping Service

While Xfinity Series racing is currently underway at Michigan, the Camping World Truck Series will take over the spotlight later tonight when the green flag is waved for the Drivin for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. The Truck Series is the only top series in NASCAR that currently has Gateway on the schedule. Therefore this track may be unfamiliar for most fans but it has provided some great racing in recent years in the Truck Series. Tonight we anticipate another promising race highlighted by a strong crop of upcoming young talent. Take a look as we preview tonight’s racing and provide our 2017 Drivin for LInemen 200 race predictions at Gateway!

Last week points leader Christopher Bell scored his 2nd victory of the season at Texas Motor Speedway in somewhat dominating fashion by leading 92 of the 167 scheduled laps. Bell has been the most consistent frontrunner in the Truck Series this season and tonight’s race should be another great opportunity for the #4 team. Bell is the defending winner of the Drivin for Linemen 200 as he scored his only win in 2016 at Gateway. After a pair of relatively strong practices earlier this morning, Bell appears to be the guy to beat heading into tonight’s 160 lap race.

While I am sure that most people could identify Bell as the favorite giving last year’s win and his momentum this season in the Truck Series, I would like to warn everyone that the gap between the #4 truck and the rest of the competition is not very big. In fact, I think we could have several different drivers that could have a chance to compete for the win later this evening. Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, and John Hunter Nemechek are a few guys that I think deserve some attention tonight after going 1-3 in final practice. I am a fan of Rhodes and took him early in the week at +1150. I think everyone is aware that Rhodes has posted a few quality runs this year most noticeably the near win at Kansas before a late race engine failure. Even with Kansas in the rearview, Rhodes has still been running well in recent weeks with top 5 finishes in his last two starts. He was also 2nd to Bell in this race a year ago in a #41 truck that was underfunded. The #27 team has been pretty strong in recent weeks and I think that bodes well for Rhodes’ chances later this evening.

Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek also deserve some consideration for tonight’s race. Crafton has been solid this year but they just have not had race winning speed. In fact, Crafton has just 1 top 5 finishes on the season back in week 2 at Atlanta. However, I still list Crafton as a guy to watch tonight considering he looked strong in both practices this morning. I still would recommend avoiding the #88 until the team can show some more speed but they are worth keeping on your radar. John Hunter Nemechek is a guy that I think could be a dark horse this evening. JHN has had horrific luck in recent weeks with several bad finishes to show for it. However, the team has speed and Gateway is a place where Nemechek has run well with finishes of 4th and 6th over the last two years. Therefore if they can avoid the misfortunate and stay out of trouble, they should be able to run towards the front of the field later this evening.

If dark horses is something that you want to look for, I would also consider Chase Briscoe and Todd Gilliland. I warned everyone that Gilliland would be the next superstar in the Truck Series several weeks ago when he made his first career start at Dover. Unfortunately, Gilliland suffered mechanical failure in that race and never really was able to showcase his talent. I think that will change tonight because Gateway is not necessarily a difficult track to learn and we have seen young guys excel at this racetrack in the past (Cole Custer and Christopher Bell). Therefore, I think Gilliland could have a somewhat breakout performance tonight behind the wheel of a fast #51 truck. Briscoe is in a similar situation in the #29 truck. To be honest, Briscoe was robbed of a victory last week as controversy surrounding the timing of the caution lights. Either way Briscoe proved that he has the talent to get the job done. I do not think Briscoe looked quite as strong as some of the others from a practice standpoint but he is still a developing talent that could be a weekly threat in the near future.

2017 Drivin for Linemen 200 Race Predictions

Get in on today’s betting action with Bovada!

John Hunter Nemechek +850 (1.25 units)
Chase Briscoe +950 (1.25 units)
Ben Rhodes +1150 (1.25 units)
Todd Gilliland +4000 (.5 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Christopher Bell +200 wins Drivin for Linemen 200
Team 2 – Open
Risking .75 units to win: TBD

H2H Matchups