Last Updated: 2018-10-17
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series makes two stops a year at Kansas Speedway. The Xfinity Series does not, but it is one of the biggest stops of the year when the drivers descend on Kansas City. This week’s Kansas Lottery 300 is the first race of the Round of 8 in the Xfinity Series playoffs, which means that it is the first chance for the drivers to improve their chances of running for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17.
The Xfinity Series was idle last week with the Cup Series at Talladega for NASCAR’s best impression of a demolition derby. The Xfinity Series will also be idle next week before resuming operations on November 3 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The points reset at the start of the Round of 8, which is why Christopher Bell only has a five-point lead over Justin Allgaier. Bell won two playoff races, but everybody resets to 3,000 points and then bonus points are added to the equation. Bell won two races, two stages, and led the most laps in his win at Dover, but only had 44 bonus points. Allgaier had 39 bonus points.
Barring a disaster, those two should move on to the Final Four at Homestead-Miami because Daniel Hemric is in third place with 3,013 points. Cole Custer and Elliott Sadler are tied for fourth with 3,011 points. Tyler Reddick has 3,010 points. Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric really need a good showing this week with 3,003 and 3,001 points, respectively.
With two wins in the Round of 12, Bell leads all drivers with six wins. Allgaier has five. The only other playoff driver left standing with a win is Reddick, who won the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona to open the season. Ryan Preece, Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, and Spencer Gallagher are the other points-eligible drivers with wins.
The track in Kansas is a pretty standard 1.5-mile loop. Bell had only one of his wins on 1.5-mile tracks. He won twice at Richmond on the short track, once on the short track at Iowa, once at Dover on the Monster Mile, and once at New Hampshire on the 1.058-mile loop. Allgaier scored two wins on road courses and also won on short tracks, with the exception of the 2.5-mile track at Indianapolis.
The 1.5-mile tracks were dominated by Cup guys. Kyle Larson won at Vegas. Brad Keselowski at Phoenix. Ryan Blaney at Texas. Larson at Chicagoland. Keselowski on the oval at Charlotte. Kevin Harvick at Atlanta. Chastain had the only other 1.5-mile win among Xfinity drivers, but he’s in a different car now.
With all that in mind, the favorite this week is Christopher Bell. Bell is +175 per 5Dimes Sportsbook for this week’s race. Bell did run well on the 1.5-mile tracks, though wins were hard to come by. He was third at Atlanta, second and fourth at Las Vegas, fourth at Phoenix, second at Texas, third at Charlotte, first at Kentucky and first at Kentucky. Bell is the most consistent driver in the Xfinity Series and should get the win, much like he did in two of the three races without Cup Series guys to start the playoffs, but there isn’t a ton of value on this price. That’s partially because he won this race last year.
Justin Allgaier is the second favorite at +400. He’s also been solid on most of the 1.5-mile tracks. He was sixth at Atlanta, third and second at Las Vegas, second with a stage win at Phoenix, and fourth at Kentucky. There is a little bit more on this price, especially because he’s had a strong car and has been a solid driver over the course of the season. He’s certainly a better bet than Cole Custer at +450. Custer was second at Charlotte and has run pretty well overall, but he hasn’t gotten over that hump yet.
Daniel Hemric might finally break through this week at +700. Hemric had three stage wins over the course of the first three playoff races. He was solid on the 1.5-mile tracks overall and has really shown a lot of versatility this season by running well on big tracks or in tight racing conditions like Road America and the Roval at Charlotte. The +700 price tag isn’t a bad return on him.
Elliott Sadler has had some decent runs on the 1.5-mile tracks, but hasn’t been able to get a win this season. At +1200, he might run with the front of the pack a bit, but a Chevy hasn’t won this race since 2007, so the JR Motorsports team probably won’t get one here. In fact, Toyota cars have won the last five and eight of the last 10 in this particular race. Three of those were Kyle Busch in consecutive years from 2014-16. Still, Sadler’s price is this attractive for a reason.
Coverage of the 2018 Kansas Lottery 300 will be on NBC Sports Network with a 2:30 p.m. ET start time on Saturday October 20.
Odds as of October 17, 4 p.m. ET:
Christopher Bell +175
Justin Allgaier +400
Cole Custer +450
Ryan Preece +600
Daniel Hemric +700
John Hunter Nemechek +1000
Elliott Sadler +1200
Tyler Reddick +2000
Brandon Jones +2000
Austin Cindric +3000
Field (any other driver) +4000
Matt Tifft +5000
Chase Briscoe +6000
Ryan Truex +10000
Spencer Gallagher +10000
Ryan Reed +20000
Shane Lee +30000
Michael Annett +50000
<< Previous PostNext Post >>