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Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol 

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Saturday, 7:30pm, ESPN

This is one of the “majors” in NASCAR. The night race at Bristol. What a show this is. “Wrestling with cars”. The high line will be the dominant line but the winning car will be the one that can pass on the bottom. Expect few cars on the lead lap come the end but one hell of a race. There should be some ego’s flaring and there may be a fight. The Nationwide featured some drama and the Cup Series may create even more. This race is a bucket list type race for any true NASCAR fan. This is right up there with Daytona, Talladega and Charlotte. I can’t wait this is going to be fun.

Yes it’s a short track so expect some green flag laps resulting in a lot of cars going a lap down quickly. Expect some fuel/pit strategy. Expect tough passing yet phenomenal racing and expect a dynamic finish.

Stay Away From:

Denny Hamlin 7-1

I hate to put him here. I am a real fan of Denny, I just think he is done for the season. He may not benefit a ton, physically, from sitting out the rest of the year but he would benefit in the publics mind. By all means everyone forget about him so I can bet him at big odds to win the Cup next year. However despite earning the pole position I just see the #11 dropping back into the low teens and riding around. Probably dropping a lap back at some point before getting a lucky dog. That just feels like their potential right now. It’s kind of sad, though they will bounce back next season.

Best Bets:

Kasey Kahne 9-1

This feels like a Hendrick weekend to me for some reason. Kahne has shown ability to just be flat out faster than anybody else on the track. We may see just that #5 car this Saturday night. He has won here before and knows exactly how to get it done. I don’t love the 9-1 odds, compared to the next two, but I really do think he could run away with another win.

Dale Jr. 16-1

You can’t believe it… I can’t believe it, but Dale Jr. has cracked the best bet’s section. At 16-1 that is great value for the guy who has the second best average finish at Bristol among active drivers. Despite mediocre finishes the past two years here and finishes the past few weeks inevitably putting Jr. on the bubble, the #88 team needs to step up to make The Chase. Dale Jr. has had a successful past here at Bristol and that team needs to push that. 16-1 is insane.

Best Value Bets:

Marcos Ambrose 70-1

Ambrose races at this track like its’ a short track. He flat out flies around Bristol. In nine races he has finished inside the top five twice, which is exceptional for the Cup Series. He has finished 5th and 10th here in the past two years. He is starting 14th and has one owed to him after The Glen.

My Pick:

Jimmie Johnson 7.5-1

Sure it’s boring, and honestly I kind of wanted to pick Jr., but sorry he hasn’t won in six weeks, that’s far too long, and +750 is fabulous odds for the #48.


Friday, August 23,, 2013

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