NASCAR’s new west coast swing has turned into a one man show. For a market that cares a great deal about Hollywood, the odds for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 show one shining star above all the rest.
To the surprise of nobody, Kevin Harvick is the favorite at 7/2. This is the lowest number I can remember at Auto Club Speedway. It’s also a testament to just how hot Harvick is at the moment. Consider Harvick’s track record at Fontana.
- There are 12 Sprint Cup drivers with better average finishes than Harvick.
- Harvick has only one career win at Auto Club in 21 career starts.
- Harvick has finished outside the top-1o in 57% of his career starts at Fontana.
Are these numbers bad? No. But for Harvick to be this low at this track is stunning when you consider his Fontana track record. That said, when you consider the last seven races, it’s hard not to hedge a bet and hard not to wonder how long Harvick’s storybook run might last.
Jimmie Johnson has finished fifth or better in 60% of his career starts at Auto Club, including five wins. Johnson is alone at 6/1. Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon are each 8/1. Of the three, only Gordon has a win here. The other two are out of the top-20 in terms of average career finish.
Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth both are in the top five among active drivers, average finish and Auto Club. Kenseth is 12/1. Edwards is 15/1, and that number could increase with Edwards in a backup car for Sunday.
Interesting Names and Numbers:
Kyle Larson had a tremendous run, finishing second at Fontana last year. Larson is 15/1 along with Kurt Busch, who has won at Auto Club Speedway. Kasey Kahne is also a past winner who is at 12/1 this week.
If a Sprint Cup fan is looking for a long shot, consider Aric Almirola, who is 300/1 and would be in the Chase if it started today. Yes, it’s early. But Richard Petty Motorsports has made strides, and Almirola at 300/1 could be a huge win at some point this 2015 Sprint Cup season.
Among those not contending, any Roush Fenway Racing driver. Sprint Cup fans can get Greg Biffle at 100/1. Ricky Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne are both 500/1. For a team dealing with growing pains, these numbers are far removed from the era of Kenseth and Edwards.
There are 42 drivers and one shooting star (for now) running Sunday. Here’s how your favorite drivers stacks up with the NASCAR odds for Sunday’s Auto Club 400. Enjoy the final week of the west coast swing, and insert a random catchphrase here.