One more race is on the NASCAR docket before the Monster Energy Cup Series has some fun and celebrates the sport with next weekend’s All-Star festivities in Charlotte. The drivers are in Kansas for this week’s Digital Ally 400 at the appropriately-named Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. All Kansas, all the time this week, as the drivers have a quick turnaround from last week’s Monday race in Dover and the haulers have an even quicker turnaround to get from Delaware to the Sunflower State.
We’ll take a look at the odds for this race, which is the 12th of 26 set for the regular season. Those odds will be on the right-hand side for desktop viewers and down below the comment box for mobile viewers.
BBQ & Racing, Too
Kansas City is known for some quality barbecue and Kansas Speedway is actually a really popular stop. The Hollywood Casino 400 is the final race in the Round of 12 and you can’t beat a one-stop shop with the track and a place to gamble all in basically one spot.
The speedway track in KC is a little bit different than your standard oval setup. This is a tri-oval track that actually juts out at the start/finish line. It is a 1.5-mile loop with a very flat backstretch and a little bit more banking in the front. This is the newer of the two races. The fall race has been a staple since 2001, but this race started back in 2011.
How They Stand
The weekend at Dover was something of a mess. Rain postponed Sunday’s race after lengthy delays and efforts to dry out the track. Monday’s race wasn’t great. There were scheduled competition cautions to check tire wear after all the water that fell on the track over the weekend. Drivers were loose and the rules package didn’t go over well at the Monster Mile.
Martin Truex Jr. eventually won and moved up into fifth in points. Alex Bowman finished second for the second straight week and Kyle Larson was third. After last week’s results, Kyle Busch is still in first, even though he’s finished outside the top five in four of his last five races. Joey Logano is second, with Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Truex rounding out the top five. Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Clint Bowyer finish out the top 10.
A Busch Party
Kyle Busch is the favorite this week at +400. He won this race back in 2016. Surprisingly, that is his only win at this track. He was 10th last year and fifth in 2017. He’s definitely run better in the fall with a second, a 10th with the most laps led, and top-five finishes in 2016 and 2015. Busch’s results on 1.5-mile tracks have a lot to do with these odds. He was sixth at Atlanta, third at Las Vegas, won at Phoenix, and was 10th with the most laps led at Texas. He had five wins on 1.5-mile tracks last season.
Martin Truex Jr. is the second favorite at +650. He swept the two races in 2017 with his two career wins at Kansas. He was second in the spring and fifth in the fall last year. He led the most laps in this race three years ago, but finished 14th. He has run very, very well here in the past and might be the favorite if he had better outcomes on the 1.5-mile tracks earlier in the year.
Four for Ford
The next four drivers on the board all run Fords. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano are all +750. Keselowski won the inaugural spring race in 2011 and Harvick won last year. Logano is one of six two-time winners in the fall. So is Harvick. Harvick won in 2013 and 2016 and Logano won the two races in between.
The final Ford driver is Ryan Blaney at +1150. He’s one of three drivers at that price, with Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson as the only others priced at less than 20/1.
This is going to be a tough race to bet because you can make a case for all of the shorter prices. Busch and Truex speak for themselves. I’d probably go against Keselowski in matchups with the low price, just because he’s had more success on 1.5-mile tracks over his career. This hasn’t been the best of tracks for him. Outside of his win, he only has two other top-five finishes here between the two races.
Logano led the most laps in the fall race last year and was third in the spring. He also has those two wins. He’s a pretty decent bet this week at +750. Harvick has finished third or better five straight years in this race. He hasn’t had quite the same success in the fall, but he still has those two fall wins. Based on price alone, Logano and Harvick are preferable to Busch and Truex.
Blaney was fourth in 2017 and fifth in 2016. He finished 37th last year, but that wasn’t really his fault as he couldn’t finish the race. He was third in 2017 at Kansas. Even though he upgraded teams from Wood Brothers Racing to Penske before last year, he only finished 37th and seventh.
Are there any long shots worth a look? The majority of the field is +2150 or higher in early betting. One guy maybe worth a cheap beer money bet is Erik Jones. Jones was seventh and fourth at Kansas last year. He led the most laps in 2017 in the lone Xfinity Series race, but couldn’t finish the job. At +2750, there is some value.
Larson isn’t a long shot, as he’s priced at +1150 like Blaney and Elliott, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention him, as he was fourth with the most laps led last spring and third in the fall. Larson took a ton of money last week for the race at Dover and finished third. I’d expect to see him take a lot of bets again this week, though I have a hard time seeing him win.
Logano and Harvick present the best prices this week. A lot of drivers have had consistent results at Kansas, so anybody in the top six is worthwhile, but my preferences are these two Ford guys. I’d also look to fade Keselowski in matchups against the guys on the board around him, as his Kansas results just don’t stack up the same.