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5 Hour Energy 400 at Kansas

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With Mothers Day being tomorrow NASCAR’s Cup Series will go back to racing on Saturday night under the lights at Kansas. Kevin Harvick is on the pole and he won the last race held here last fall. Matt Kenseth will look to improve on his stellar success at this track having won two of the last three races here as well as four top 5’s in the last five races and six top 7’s in the last seven races. In fact his worst finish here since 2009 is 11th last fall. Hopefully we won’t have any issues with the weather as we should be treated to a great race on this 1.5 mile Tri-oval track.


Stay Away From

Joey Logano 10-1

Once again Joey Logs will be starting on the front row. He has shown that he can be fast consistently at almost any type of track this season. While he has shown how much he has grown by running well at tracks that he has never run well at, Kansas has always gave him fits. I’m not putting money on someone who is just 10-1 despite having an average finish of just 23.67 at this track. In nine career starts at this track Joey has finished inside the top 10 just once and has five finishes outside the top 20. There just simply isn’t enough value in this play.

Kyle Busch 16-1

Speaking of guys that just haven’t been able to figure this track out. Kyle can run well on virtually any track, yet he just hasn’t been able to figure this place out. In 13 starts he has an average finish of just 23.31 and he has never finished inside the top 5. On top of that he has just two finishes inside the top 10 and eight finishes outside the top 20. His day may come eventually but it won’t be tonight.

Best Bets

Jimmie Johnson +550

The only thing not to love about Johnson this week is the +550 value. While no active driver has won here more than twice, Johnson is among the five drivers that have two wins. Would you bet against him separating himself from that pack? What if I told you his average finish in his 15 career starts is 7.53 including two wins, six top 5’s, 13 top 10’s and just one finish outside the top 20? I didn’t think so.

Brad Keselowski 10-1

Brad has found some success early on in his career at Kansas. He has just eight starts here but he holds the second best average finish among active drivers with two or more starts with a 10.25 mark. That includes one win and four top 10’s. This week he may have struggled a bit in practice but he rose to the occasion during qualifying and will be starting on the inside of row 2.

Tony Stewart 10-1

Smoke has really disappointing so far this season. He seems to run into problems every week and his crew chief Chad Johnston can’t seem to make the right adjustments or get on the same page as Stewart. However, after a disappointing first practice, the #14 Chevy was the fastest in second practice and then qualified 8th. He has started at Kansas 15 times and is one of the five drivers that have multiple wins at this track. In his 15 starts he also has six top 5’s and nine top 10’s. He should be a factor once the green flag waives this evening.

Jeff Gordon 10-1

Not many drivers have had the speed throughout the week that Jeff has had. He qualified 13th after having the 9th fastest car in first practice and the 6th fastest car in final practice. Not to forget the current points leader is also among the group of five drivers with multiple wins in Kansas. Also his average finish at this track is 10.63, good for fourth among active drivers with two or more starts. He certainly has what it takes to take the checkered flag this weekend.

Greg Biffle 20-1

This guy is really good here. 10.33 is his average finish which is good for the 2nd best among active drivers with nine or more starts. That includes two wins, seven top 5’s and nine top 10’s in 15 career starts. In practice this week he was fast out of the gate with the 6th fastest car in first practice and the 11th fastest car in final practice before qualifying 10th. He is going to get out front and lead some laps it’s just a matter of when.

Best Value Bets

Kyle Larson 18-1

This kid has had just about as nice week as a driver can have before the green flag waives. He topped the charts in first practice, he was fourth fastest in final practice and then qualified 5th. Not bad for someone who has never started at Kansas in the Cup Series.

Denny Hamlin 25-1

Coming off his big win at Talladega he hasn’t been particularly fast. He qualified way back in 30th place but he has found some success in Kansas having won here back in April of 2012. If he can find some speed early on in tonight’s race, he may be able to swing some momentum his way and 25-1 is great value for that to happen.

Paul Menard 80-1

Here is the best longshot on the board. He has only posted one top 5 in ten starts at Kansas but he has consistently posted top 15’s at this track. After a nice 6th place finish at Talladega things seem to be improving for this #27 team and at 80-1 you are getting a guy that has a legit shot to win this thing or at least be around at the end.

My Pick

Clint Bowyer 18-1

Nobody wants to win this week more than this guy. In 11 starts he has never won a Cup race at his home track despite being a factor on multiple occasions. While the #15 is typically a points racing machine, at Kansas that gets thrown out the window for Clint. He qualified back in 23rd but he was really fast in practice with a top 3 car in both practices. He just wants to win this week and I think he will finally get the job done and create a nice payday for the rest of us.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

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