The NASCAR Cup Series comes back after resting on Easter weekend, so let’s do a quick recap of what we saw the first six races of the season as we head to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
Clint Bowyer came up with an awesome performance two weeks ago at Martinsville and Martin Truex Jr. ended Kevin Harvick’s bid for four straight wins in three weeks at Fontana. Austin Dillon won at Daytona.
Yes, Harvick has three of the six wins. He’s won half of the races and he’s a huge favorite to win Sunday, a place he won at the last time there for the first time in his career. He’s likely to be using that same chassis again, masked with a blue Ford oval logo instead on the Chevy bow-tie he was driving. There’s been three down force tracks this season and he won on two of them (Las Vegas, Atlanta) and the only reason he probably didn’t win at Fontana is because he foolishly wrecked himself early.
I haven’t seen any evidence to believe any other driver will be better than him on Sunday, which makes it tough to bet. I’m eager to take a few drivers at 12-to-1 odds or higher, but Harvick is so good and ahead of everyone else that the only way he doesn’t win is if he wrecks himself again, his pit messes up late or he had a late speeding penalty, all of which he’s done in the past year.
I’d like to take Kyle Busch to finally win a race this season after finishing second or third almost every week, but I can’t get justified odds on him. It’s like the sportsbooks are saying, “Yes we know Harvick is going to win, but if he doesn’t it’ll be Kyle or Truex, so how about some Jimmie Johnson at 25-to-1?”
Yeah, no thanks sportsbooks, even though Johnson is a seven time Texas winner including winning this race last season. Johnson has a junky jalopy and I never thought I’d say that about the seven-time champ who loses his Lowe’s sponsorship after the season.
I think the best value, if any, rests with the Team Penske trio of Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano, who appear to be catching up with whatever Harvick is doing to have such edge on these type of tracks.
Best of luck this week!