The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Darlington Raceway for the Goodyear 400 on Mother’s Day. That is a perfect name for the race since “The Track Too Tough to Tame” typically eats up tires. The “Lady in Black” also has its way with the drivers throughout the 293 laps. This should be a good week to win some money at the Casino but we will need a little luck because it is easy to find trouble at this track.
NASCAR has been racing at Darlington Speedway since 1950. The names of the drivers who have visited Victory Lane at Darlington consist of the best drivers in the sport. There have been five races at the track in the current aero package and the list of winners includes Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. We did have a long-shot winner in 2019 when Erik Jones won the Southern 500. The Cup Series will be switching to the 750 HP aero package so maybe that will allow a long-shot to win the race.
DraftKings Odds for Goodyear 400
* 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 Larson, you will win $5.
Here are my “Best Bets” for the race at Darlington…
Denny Hamlin (6-1): It is tough to pick against Denny Hamlin, although he has not won a race this year. The switch from the 550 HP aero package used last year at Darlington, to the 750 HP aero package used this week is right in Hamlin’s wheelhouse. Not only did he win at Darlington last year, he also finished 2nd, 3rd and 3rd in the 3 races using the 750 HP aero package this year. He is also averaging 162 laps led in those races. Hamlin’s winless streak should end this week.
Kevin Harvick (7-1): Could this be the race where Kevin Harvick finds Victory Lane? Harvick won 2 of the 3 races at Darlington last year and he finished 3rd in the other race. Harvick has not finished outside the top-10 at Darlington since 2012 (10 races). The change to the 750 aero package should not affect the No. 4 much. He finished 2nd last week so the No. 4 team is starting to figure out their 2021 setups. Harvick would be the favorite if he did not get off to a slow start, so I will take the No. 4 car at a bit of a discount Sunday.
Joey Logano (12-1): The driver that benefits the most from the switch from the 550 HP aero package to the 750 HP aero package is Joey Logano. His average finishing position in the races where the 550 HP aero package was used is 16.5. His average finishing position in the 750 HP aero package is 3rd. Logano has never won at Darlington but he finished 2nd in the last race where the high HP aero package was used. I will take a chance with Logano at 12-1 odds.
Matt DiBenedetto (40-1): Matt DiBenedetto is going to win before the end of the season. I am not sure when it will happen or how it will happen, but I have a good feeling he will win before his contract with the Wood Brothers expires. DiBenedetto has been running well lately. He finished the last two races in the top-five. I will put a couple of bucks on DiBenedetto Sunday and hopefully this is FINALLY his lucky race.
Long-Shot Special: My Long-Shot Special this week is Erik Jones (80-1). Yes it is true that the No. 43 team is showing no signs of going to Victory Lane this year but it is hard to ignore what Jones has done at Darlington. He has six races at the track on his resume. He finished 4th, 5th, 8th, 1st, 8th and 5th. Jones won the race in 2019. Maybe he can do it again. I like betting him more for a top-10 finish, but I do not need to bet too much money to have a great return on Jones winning the race Sunday
Good luck this week!
Follow me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR