Beaver’s Best Bets for the Ally 400
Nashville Superspeedway was a routine part of the Truck and Xfinity calendar for several years, however Sunday marks the very first time the Cup series has actually seen this track. Even the handful of chauffeurs in the field who made starts in the 2nd and 3rd rungs of NASCAR’s ladder will require to relearn the groove and the peculiarities of this 1.3-mile course.
However, we are likewise not totally in the dark. Nashville is a rough-surfaced track that is comparable in length to Darlington Raceway. One can likewise take a look at chauffeurs’ records at Dover International Speedway, since despite the fact that it is much shorter in length, it likewise takes a toll on tires and forces motorist to handle them throughout a 400-mile race.
An inaugural race brings great news, nevertheless; NASCAR will loosen their COVID-19 treatments today to enable one session of practice on Saturday followed by credentials Sunday early morning prior to the cars and trucks lineup to race at 3:30 ET on NBCSN for the very first time this season. By the time the cars and trucks struck the track, we will have a strong relative and can make some better-informed choices.
If the presumption is appropriate that Nashville will act like the other rough-surfaced tracks, that is merely another factor to make Kyle Larson (+275) the preferred today. Larson ended up second at both Darlington and Dover and because both of those races are current, it adds to his present momentum.
His chances of +350 were anemic at Charlotte Motor Speedway and just much better at Sonoma Raceway (+800) since everybody anticipated Chase Elliott to win. Larson’s All-Star chances likewise had a very little Roi (ROI). However it’s much better to win a little than lose and Larson is the best bet.
Larson’s odds are more than half that of the closest competitor as traders keep shaving points from his line to minimize their losses. Streaks don’t last forever, but it’s also difficult to predict exactly when they will end. On the other hand, it has been a while since a driver won three consecutive races. Brad Keselowski was the latest to do so with a streak at Darlington, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway in fall 2018.
Best Bets for a top five
The Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway was the first time in history that an owner fielding four cars swept the top four positions. William Byron (+1300) finished fourth in the race won by teammate Alex Bowman, but he has been much more consistent on rough-surfaced tracks overall. Better still, at 13/1 his odds are attractive enough to warrant taking a risk. Depending on how deeply your strategy allows you to bet, Byron is probably in your range because he was the sixth-ranked driver as of Wednesday.
Martin Truex Jr. (+650) continues to confound us. It seems that every time we are willing to roll the dice and handicap him with the leaders, the team experiments and misses. When they hit, they have been incredibly strong, however, and it is his Darlington victory that elevates him this week. Of course, we also thought he would run strong at Dover because of his great record there and he disappointed us, so caveat emptor.
Elliott (+725) is probably getting tired of running second to Larson. That is undoubtedly true of the entire field, but it is more impactful when it’s your teammate that outruns you because he has the same access to equipment and notes. At some point, you have to wonder if he is simply much better. No driver wants to think that. Larson’s strength makes Elliott a better driver, (and vice versa), and it enhances his value each week.
Kyle Busch (+900) has made no secret of the fact that he is much better when he has a chance to practice and qualify. He proved as much at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and Charlotte and carried that momentum to Sonoma. If Mother Nature cooperates, the hour that Busch spends on course this Saturday – as well as his participation in the Xfinity race – is going to be extremely important. Until the Charlotte Roval and other new venues popped up, Busch was well on his way to winning on every Cup track and he will be highly motivated to collect another.
Best Bets for a top 10
Bowman (+1500) has also been full of surprises. We were not at all ready to jump on his bandwagon following the Dover win because after his first victory of the season at Richmond Raceway, he spent the next three weekends outside the top 15 – including a 17th at Darlington. While he hasn’t been as strong as Larson, Elliott, or Byron in the past month, he does have a four-race streak of top-10s. Like Truex, he is uneven – however likewise like the No. 19, this is a team that can dominate when they hit on the right setup.
Is this the week Kevin Harvick (+1300) turns things around? He is certainly not the same driver who won twice at Darlington last year, and once each at Dover and Bristol Motor Speedway – all rough-surfaced tracks. In two races this year, he has actually not yet cracked the top five on this course type, but he narrowly missed in both races with sixth-place finishes. The traders have lost confidence in Harvick, but not enough to make him a wild dark horse. As of Wednesday he shared a +1300 line with Byron and Keselowski. While we like the No. 24 a little better, Harvick should not be ignored.
Denny Hamlin (+800) is one of five drivers with top-10s at both Darlington and Dover. His fifth-place finish in the Goodyear 400 places him on the cusp of making the top five, but some inconsistency and a seventh in the Drydene 400 make us want to hedge our bets. Hamlin dominated last year along with Harvick and two of his wins came on this track type. On the other hand, while Harvick was nearly perfect in regard to top-fives on rough-surfaced tracks last year, Hamlin missed the top 10 in five of seven races.
There have been a lot of dark horses on rough tracks this year and one of our favorites has been Tyler Reddick (+4000). One of his best results last year came on the bullring of Bristol. It is certainly rough, but because that is a short track, we would be tempted to disregard it if not for his 12th at Darlington and eighth at Dover. Reddick snapped a six-race streak of top-12 finishes at Sonoma, but that is only the second time in the last 10 races that he was outside that mark.
If Joey Logano (+1400) shows up with his “A” game this week, he could easily contend for a leading-5. It’s just so hard to know what Team Penske has planned on a given week, however, and that makes us cautious. Logano has a current, six-race streak of top-15s on rough tracks. Two of these were top-fives, including a fifth in the Drydene 400 at Dover.
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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.