I’m not sure what seems sillier: naming a race after a cartoon character or the odds for Kevin Harvick at Saturday night’s SpongebobSquarepants 400. Neither are bad; both are a bit strange when you do some quick analysis.
Harvick is 7/2. I get Harvick is having a magical year and is the top contender for the 2015 Sprint Cup. He has been a gift for NASCAR media during a slow time of year.
So it really is with all due respect that this number seems insane to me. Harvick is seventh among active drivers in terms of average finish at Kansas. He has one win in 18 career starts. More than half the time, Harvick ends up outside the top 10.
Can Harvick win? Of course. Can Harvick contend? It’s likely. This isn’t Phoenix, and Harvick’s numbers here lower here at Kansas. I just don’t get it.
Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch are 6/1. Johnson owns two wins at Kansas. Only three times has he finished worse than tenth. Kurt Busch has never won in Kansas, and 17 drivers have a higher average finish at the track than Busch. Of course, this means Busch will do better this weekend.
Team Penske and Jeff Gordon are 8/1. Of the three, Gordon has the best track record with three wins and ten top 5 finishes at Kansas in his Sprint Cup career. Of course, this means Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski will do better this weekend.
Kansas has some distinctive long shots who have different reasons for contending this weekend.
- Kyle Larson has an average finish of seventh in his young Sprint Cup career, best among active drivers because of the small sample size. Larson is 30/1.
- Carl Edwards is fourth on the active driver finishing list at Kansas. Even though Edwards never won at Kansas, he finished 10th or better in 11 of his 15 career starts. With Joe Gibbs gear, Edwards is 18/1.
- Greg Biffle might like Kansas than any other track on the Sprint Cup circuit. He is 100/1 in spite of two career wins at the track.
Here’s how your favorite drivers stack up in the NASCAR odds department of the Spongebob Squarepants 400. Let’s hope the racing at Kansas isn’t as cartoonish as the title character for the event, and insert a random catchphrase here.