Welcome to the party Kevin Harvick.
For two weeks, writers have addressed Harvick’s chances to win the 2014 Sprint Cup. This is what happens when you become the first driver to win two races in the 2014 Sprint Cup season. The other thing that validates this talk are oddsmakers, who make or lose millions on a few digits. The oddsmakers have spoken, and Harvick is a contender.
Harvick and Kyle Busch are both favorites Saturday night in Richmond at 6/1. Harvick and Busch are second and first respectively in terms of average finish at Richmond, owning seven wins between the two.
Busch is always a favorite at places like Bristol, so the number here isn’t a surprise. Harvick hasn’t been a race favorite at any track other than Talladega or Daytona in years. Even at Richmond, guys like Johnson and Earhardt Jr. sneak up the list. While both are less than 10/1, Harvick’s move to the front is a major move.
Old and New:
Kyle Larson has the same odds as Tony Stewart. Both are 20/1, long shots but not out of the question long shots. Numbers like this validate Chip Ganassi’s decision to pick such a green driver. It also raises questions about Stewart, who has the third best average finish among active drivers at Richmond. A dozen drivers have better odds but worse numbers at the track. Consider this the Anti-Harvick.
Martin Truex Jr. returns to Richmond with a new team and 75/1 odds. Austin Dillon would be in the Chase if it started today and is 100/1. Both Richard Petty Motorsports cars are 100/1 or worse. Casey Mears, who is ahead of Kasey Kahne in the points, is 150/1.
Because of the new points strucutre, people are going to gamble for wins. Someone will win in an upset. This might be an interesting week to take a long shot.
Here’s how your favorite driver stacks up. Enjoy another night race, offer Kevin Harvick a party favor, and insert random catchphrase here.