Short track racing is back.
Bristol always brings action, usually ruffles feathers and rarely offers a surprise winner. Those making the odds certainly hedged their bets in way that will change how you think about Sunday’s Food City 500.
Kyle Busch or Bust:
Busch at Bristol might be the best fit between driver and track on the Sprint Cup circuit. Over the last five years, Busch has four wins and has led nearly 200 more laps more than his closest competitor. Busch even became the first driver to win all three NASCAR races held in a single weekend.
Even though Busch is the favorite, it’s not as much of a lock as it used to be. Busch was 4/1 two years ago. Now, it’s 6/1. These are still the lowest numbers of the 2014 Sprint Cup season, but there are other contenders.
These Guys Have These Numbers? Really:
Jimmie Johnson only has one win at Bristol over the last five years but has lead more than 700 laps here. No surprise the #48 is 6/1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one fire and likes this track. No surprise the #88 is 8/1. But Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch are both in the top five among active drivers at Bristol over the last five years. Newman is 20/1. Kurt Busch, in a Stewart Haas car, is 25/1. If I could legally bet on the race, these two would intrigue me Sunday.
Lots of Respect:
Matt Kenseth is 7/1. Kaseky Kahne, who underwhelmed this year, is 8/1. Eight drivers have had better finishes at Bristol over the last five years than Kenseth; it’s 10 for Kahne. There’s no statistical reason to justify both numbers unless oddsmakers know something I don’t know. That’s actually pretty likely.
Something crazy will happen at Bristol. It may not be a surprise winner, but it will be a fun. Here’s how your favorite driver stacks up Sunday. Enjoy the race.