The NASCAR Cup Series will replace the race at Watkins Glen with a race at the Daytona Roval. It will be interesting to see how these drivers handle this track without any practice or qualifying. AJ Allmendinger told Bob Packrass from Fox Sports that this is the easiest road course to drive. I still expect some chaos so some long shots should have a chance to find Victory Lane Sunday.
Kevin Harvick (6-1): I would not be surprised if the No. 4 car dominates this race the same way Kevin Harvick has dominated the oval-track races. Harvick has been to Victory Lane on the road course before and he has finished six consecutive races in the top 10. Harvick starts on the pole Sunday. He will also have the No. 1 pit stall. Harvick will have a fast car, a fast pit crew and the track position he needs to win the Go Bowling 235.
Kyle Busch (9-1): Kyle Busch has the most recent experience on the Daytona Roval track. Rowdy drove a car in the 24 Hours of Daytona race earlier this season. That experience should help him Sunday. Busch is no stranger to Victory Lane on the road courses. He has a series-high four wins on the road courses. The No. 18 team desperately needs a win to give them momentum going into the playoffs. I expect crew chief Adam Stevens to use pit strategy to give Busch a good chance to win Sunday.
Matt DiBenedetto (25-1): Matt DiBenedetto had a good chance to win the road course races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen last year. DiBenedetto finished 3rd at Sonoma and 6th at Watkins Glen. He said his team has been working hard to prepare for this race. DiBenedetto could win this race if the Wood Brothers can give him a car with a little more speed than what he had with Leavine Family Racing last year;
Jimmie Johnson (40-1): Wow, Jimmie Johnson is 40-1 odds? He has more experience on the Daytona Roval then any driver in the field. Johnson has competed in seven Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona races and he finished 2nd in two of them. Johnson had a good chance to win the inaugural Roval race at Charlotte. He will have a good chance to win this race too.
Michael McDowell (250-1): I like Michael McDowell more for a top-10 finish bet, but at 250-1 I will put a few bucks on him to win outright. Crew chief Drew Blinkensderfer said on NASCAR Race Hub this week, ““We know the Daytona Roval is our best chance to win a race. We have been working on this car for over a month. We think we have a good chance to compete for a win.” This race could easily be stolen by a team using a risky strategy. I hope it is McDowell who is in Victory Lane.
Brendan Gaughan (300-1): Brendan Gaughan starts dead last and he will have a chance to win Sunday. Gaughan has a lot of experience running the Daytona Road Course and he is the only driver in the field to win on the Daytona Roval. Gaughan is in this race because he thinks he can win. He also talked Richard Childress Racing into making him a brand new car for this race. At 300-1 odds, I will take a shot with the driver starting in the caboose Sunday.
Good luck this week!
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