The Cup Series will travel back to Bristol Motor Speedway for the last race in the first round of the playoffs. This race could turn into a mess. There is a lot on the line for many drivers and if they get too aggressive it could cause a huge wreck. The problem is that there is nowhere to hide at Bristol. It is very easy to get caught up in another driver’s wreck. So does that mean we are likely to get a long-shot in Victory Lane? I doubt it, but it is possible.
The drivers who win at Bristol are the top drivers in the sport. The list of drivers who went to Victory Lane at Bristol over the last decade include: Kyle Busch (3 times), Kevin Harvick (Twice), Carl Edwards (Twice), Denny Hamlin (Once), Brad Keselowski (Once), Joey Logano (Once), Jimmie Johnson (Once), Kurt Busch (Once) and Matt Kenseth (Once). These drivers are not exactly long-shots. The last driver to win at Bristol with greater than 25-1 odds was Kasey Kahne in 2013 and he was the only driver in the last 20 years to do it. So it will be a good idea to either bet the favorites or save your money for next week’s race at Las Vegas.
DraftKings Odds for Bristol
* The odds could change between the time of this article and the time you place your bet
** The first number is the amount of money based on the second number (the amount of the wager). So if you bet $1 on Kyle Busch you will win $4.
Here are my “Best Bets” for the Federated Auto Parts 400…
Kyle Larson (5-1): I thought for sure Kyle Larson would be the favorite Saturday night but his odds are right behind Kyle Busch. I can understand that since Rowdy has 22 wins at Bristol across the three top series. I trust Larson a lot more than Busch right now. Larson has never won at Bristol but he finished second in both races at Bristol in 2018. The No. 5 car has been a threat to win in almost every race this season and he will have a great chance to win Saturday night.
Chase Elliott (8-1): The only track we can use data from for this race is Dover. The last race at Bristol was a dirt race so the stats from that race will not apply to Saturday night’s race. Dover is a high-banked, high-speed, concrete track using the 750 HP aero package. The Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished No.1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 in the race at Dover in the spring. They should be fast again Saturday night. Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott are the top-two drivers for HMS right now so I will have both drivers in my betting portfolio this week.
Joey Logano (10-1): Joey Logano shocked everyone when he won the Dirt Track Race at Bristol in the spring. He has not been very good at Bristol over the last two seasons, but he has been the second-best driver in the races on oval tracks where the 750 HP aero package has been used this season. Logano won at Bristol in 2015. I will bet that he can do it again Saturday night.
Kurt Busch (15-1): My favorite bet this week is Kurt Busch. The No. 1 car sits right on the cut line for advancing to the next round of the playoffs. He needs a good race in order to advance and I would not be surprised if Busch won Saturday night. He has six wins at Bristol on his resume and the track reminds him of the Bull Ring that he grew up racing on in Las Vegas. If you only want to bet on one driver this week; make sure it is Kurt Busch.
Long-Shot Special: My Long-Shot Special this week is Alex Bowman (25-1). Bowman has had a horrible start to the 2021 playoffs and now he is almost in a “win or go home” situation. Bowman has a history of running poorly and then showing up and winning a race. He has two wins on short tracks this year using the 750 HP aero package, including the race at Dover. He told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Speedway Show, “We dug ourselves a hole. My team is building me a new car and we are going to very aggressive Saturday night. We will just throw everything at this race and see what happens.” Bowman is a good bet at 25-1 odds.
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