Samsung Mobile 500 Betting News and Notes

Samsung Mobile 500 Betting News and Notes

Texas Motor Speedway Data


Race # 7 of 36

Track Size: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 501 miles
Banking/corners: 24 degrees
Banking/straights: 5 degrees
Frontstretch: 2,250 feet
Backstretch: 1,330 feet

Top 12 Driver Rating at Texas

Matt Kenseth 106.5
Tony Stewart 105.8
Greg Biffle 100.8
Carl Edwards 100.0
Jimmie Johnson 98.4
Kyle Busch 97.5
Denny Hamlin 95.2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 92.7
Clint Bowyer 92.1
Jeff Gordon 90.3
Kurt Busch 89.6
Mark Martin 87.1

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (14 total) at Texas.

Qualifying/Race Data

2011 pole winner: David Ragan, 189.820 mph, 28.448 seconds
2011 race winner: Matt Kenseth, 149.231 mph, 4-9-11)
Track qualifying record: Brian Vickers, (196.235 mph, 27.518 seconds, 10-21-05)
Track race record: Tony Stewart, (152.705 mph, 11-6-11)

Driver Ratings for Winners

Driver/Year (Driver Rating/Series Driver Rating Rank)

Matt Kenseth/2011 Spring (101.9/2nd)
Denny Hamlin/2010 Spring (95.6/6th)
Jeff Gordon/2009 Spring (86.9/12th)
Carl Edwards/2008 Spring (88.7/10th)
Jeff Burton/2007 Spring (68.6/24th)
Kasey Kahne/2006 Spring (69.7/23rd)

Pre-Race Driver Ratings of the year the driver won at Texas Motor Speedway (past 6 spring races)

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Driver Highlights - Texas


Greg Biffle (No. 16 Filtrete Ford)

One win, six top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
Average finish of 17.2
Average Running Position of 13.3, ninth-best
Driver Rating of 100.8, third-best
Series-high 402 Fastest Laps Run
898 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 173.057 mph, third-fastest
3,314 Laps in the Top 15 (70.7%), sixth-most
584 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), second-most

Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour Energy Toyota)

Three top fives, seven top 10s
Average finish of 13.0
Average Running Position of 13.2, eighth-best
Driver Rating of 92.1, ninth-best
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.696 mph, ninth-fastest

Kurt Busch (No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet)

One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s
Average finish of 14.5
Average Running Position of 14.1, 10th-best
Driver Rating of 89.6, 11th-best
174 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
1,011 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
2,839 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6%), eighth-most
467 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota)

Four top fives, five top 10s
Average finish of 16.2
Average Running Position of 12.2, fifth-best
Driver Rating of 97.5, sixth-best
203 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.935 mph, fifth-fastest
2,951 Laps in the Top 15 (67.8%), seventh-most
480 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard Chevrolet)

One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles
Average finish of 14.1
Average Running Position of 11.4, fourth-best
Driver Rating of 92.7, eighth-best
163 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
1,036 Green Flag Passes, third-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.733 mph, sixth-fastest
3,604 Laps in the Top 15 (76.9%), fourth-most
Series-high 610 Quality Passes

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)

Three wins, five top fives, six top 10s
Average finish of 15.5
Average Running Position of 11.4, third-best
Driver Rating of 100.0, fourth-best
321 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 173.037 mph, fourth-fastest
3,696 Laps in the Top 15 (78.9%), second-most
566 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)

One win, seven top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles
Average finish of 16.8
Average Running Position of 14.3, 11th-best
Driver Rating of 90.3, 10th-best
216 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.472 mph, 11th-fastest
2,814 Laps in the Top 15 (60.1%), ninth-most
484 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office / March of Dimes Toyota)

Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s
Average finish of 10.2
Average Running Position of 12.6, seventh-best
Driver Rating of 95.2, seventh-best
164 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
1,004 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.713 mph, seventh-fastest
2,809 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5%), 10th-most
537 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)

Three top fives, eight top 10s
Average finish of 12.9
Driver Rating of 83.6, 13th-best
1,030 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
2,568 Laps in the Top 15 (54.8%), 13th-most
457 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet)

One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s
Average finish of 10.2
Average Running Position of 12.4, sixth-best
Driver Rating of 98.4, fifth-best
249 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.700 mph, eighth-fastest
3,328 Laps in the Top 15 (71.0%), fifth-most
561 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Best Buy Ford)

Two wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s
Average finish of 8.7
Average Running Position of 9.5, second-best
Series-best Driver Rating of 106.5
275 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
1,037 Green Flag Passes, second-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 173.069 mph, second-fastest
3,656 Laps in the Top 15 (78.0%), third-most
571 Quality Passes, third-most

Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Best of the Best Toyota)

One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s
Average finish of 13.7
Average Running Position of 14.8, 12th-best
Driver Rating of 87.1, 12th-best
930 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 172.464 mph, 12th-fastest
2,670 Laps in the Top 15 (57.0%), 11th-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1 / Office Depot Chevrolet)

Two wins, five top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
Average finish of 12.6
Series-best Average Running Position of 8.5
Driver Rating of 105.8, second-best
339 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 173.136 mph
Series-high 3,895 Laps in the Top 15 (83.1%)
532 Quality Passes, seventh-most

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Driver Notes & Quotes for 2012 Texas Samsung Mobile 500
NASCAR.com

MATT KENSETH ON TEXAS: “I really enjoy racing at Texas, and especially the added fun of it being a night race now, just adds some excitement to the weekend. It’s a place I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of great finishes at, and it’s a track where Roush Fenway as an entire team seems to perform well at. Texas gives us several lines to race on, so it’s just turned into a place where drivers can take the high line or the low line when it comes to racing for position. Texas is just a great fast track with the challenge of relatively flat straightaways and high-banked turns so it’s a place that can be challenging, but I always look forward to racing there twice a year.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG ON TEXAS: “We’ve had a lot of success at Texas over the years and had two great runs last season. Last November, our car got loose as the race went on and the track rubbered up so we’ll work on those similar situations this weekend in practice. We only have one practice Friday that will be around the same time as the race starts so we’ll spend time on race trim since track conditions should be similar to Saturday. I’m hoping that we can either get a win or a top five for our Best Buy team to start back up this next stretch of races.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-810 (brand new chassis)

KEVIN HARVICK ON TEXAS: “Texas (Motor Speedway) was probably the worst track for us last year. We struggled with what we needed to get in the car to be able to have speed and race well. We’re going there with a different mindset this year to try to get some speed out of the car. In Las Vegas, we had a lot of speed, so our first mile-and-a-half race went really well and hopefully when we get to Texas we can have it all together.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 391 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Harvick scored an 11th-place finish in this Chevrolet last month at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

JEFF BURTON ON RECENT RUNS AT TEXAS: “That just shows you how hard the sport is. I know that no matter how well we ran one week, it doesn’t mean we are going to run that poorly the following week. It’s a constant test of where you and your team are and this is a very demanding sport. Honestly, none of our performances last year looked very good and it was just a continuation of what had gone on for the entire season. I think we have run better than many of our finishes indicated. Texas Motor Speedway is different anytime we run there. That is why we have seen so many different winners. That track doesn’t have a personality. Every time you go there, it is something different. I think that is why you see so many drivers run well there one race and then terrible the next. I don’t know why, but it is different every time we go there.”

BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 385 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This is a brand new No. 31 Chevrolet that will turn its first laps this weekend.

PAUL MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Menard will pilot Chassis No. 386 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet and will log its first laps on the track during Thursday’s practice session.

RYAN NEWMAN CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 39-682 - This chassis made two runs last season, which resulted in two top-20 finishes. The car debuted at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September. Although Newman qualified in the top-10, he struggled with track position for most of the day and finished a disappointing 20th. Chassis No. 39-682 returned to action for last season’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After qualifying 14th, Newman ran as high as second at Homestead. He ran in the top-10 for the most of the day but ended the race in 12th place. The chassis has been updated for the 2012 season and will make its first start this year at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1104 - Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team will bring Chassis #1104 to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis made its debut in last year’s All-Star race, finishing 17th. Since that time the chassis also raced in the spring race at Charlotte (37th), both races at Michigan (19th, 23rd) and in the fall race at Dover (15th).

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1119 - Crew Chief Chris Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1119 to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis saw track-time last year at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway finishing 14th and 18th, respectively. This season, this chassis finished 17th at Fontana.

KURT BUSCH CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 665 - Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 will be the second race of the 2012 season for this chassis. This is the same car the No. 51 Phoenix Racing team competed with at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The car was built in 2011 and used only once that season, which was the June race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where driver Landon Cassill scored a 12th-place finish after starting 12th.

MARK MARTIN ON TEXAS: “Texas Motor Speedway is the site of a lot of great success for me. I think we’ve won a race and finished in the top five seven times. We blew up the first year leading the race and Jeff Burton went and got his first win. Then the next year (1998) we got the win. I’ve won three Nationwide races there. It’s an absolutely great place to race and man is it fast!”

MARTIN CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary 729 – Backup 708 – Neither has raced in 2012.

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Texas Samsung Mobile 500 Storylines
NASCAR.com

And…we’re back.

Though not ALL of NASCAR racing took a complete break during the Easter weekend, each of the three national series did. But each one returns, and in grand fashion.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing returns to primetime this Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time since the rescheduled Daytona 500. The Samsung Mobile 500 starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. NASCAR’s premier series starts under the lights in four of the next six events, and will end under the lights in five of the next seven.

After a two-week break, the NASCAR Nationwide Series returns, also at Texas Motor Speedway for Friday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.

A rarity, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will cap off the racing weekend, with NASCAR’s much-anticipated return to Rockingham Speedway in Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 Presented by Cheerwine.

Texas: Roush's House

Roush Fenway Racing has two cars in the top four and all three in the top 12. Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth (along with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.) is 12 points behind teammate and points leader Greg Biffle while last season’s standings runner up Carl Edwards is 12TH. Kenseth and Biffle are two of only three drivers to have three top-five finishes. (Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the other.)

Momentum aside, the Roush stable has good reason to look forward to this weekend. Kenseth won this race last season, and Roush has eight victories at Texas overall – more than twice the second-place owner on the TMS wins list.

Hamlin Win In The Bag After Being On The Bag?


Pretty soon, golfers everywhere will hammer Denny Hamlin’s inbox for tips. Hamlin caddied for Bubba Watson during last week’s Par 3 Tournament at Augusta National, the ceremonial precursor to the year’s first major tournament. A few days later, Watson won The Masters.

Will Hamlin’s fortune mirror Watson’s this weekend at Texas? Signs point to “sure, why not?”

Hamlin swept the two Texas race in 2010, so past success is prevalent. And not he has a not-so-secret weapon: Darian Grubb. Grubb won last year’s Texas Chase race with driver Tony Stewart.

Earnhardt Returns To Scene Of First Triumph

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been stuck on win No. 18 for 135 races. Could this weekend’s site finally signal the end?

Earnhardt nabbed his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2, 2000. So there’s good memories, and great momentum.

He has three top-three finishes (and four top 10s overall), which has moved him to second in the points. The last time he was this high in the points late in the season was 2008, the season he last won. The last time Earnhardt held the points lead was October 2004.

Of course, an Earnhardt win this weekend would be extra special. Hendrick Motorsports has a mini-win drought on its hands – 12 races have passed since its last win. The organizations next victory would be No. 200.

Mikey Likes It

Michael Waltrip Racing still has three drivers in the top 10 in owner points and two in the top nine in the driver standings. Martin Truex Jr. is one of four drivers with four top-10 finishes, along with Biffle, Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.

Truex’s surge shouldn’t surprise many. The New Jersey native finished the 2011 season with five top 10s in the last six races.

Wild Cards, Anyone: Kahne Leads Crop Of Big Guns Who Need Wins, Badly

A fourth finish outside the top 25 has landed Kasey Kahne outside the top 30 in points. His hopes of climbing into the top 10 in the next 20 races seems slim. So what now? The Wild Card, that’s what.

After race No. 26, the top 10 in points will earn a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Spots 11 and 12 will go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 10.

Kahne isn’t the only “big name” driver outside the top 20: Gordon is 21st, Jamie McMurray is 24th and Kurt Busch is 26th.

Who’s The Fastest?

Greg Biffle's 193.736 mph last fall won the Coors Light Pole Award and was the fastest lap of the season in qualifying. For this year's Daytona 500, his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards turned a lap of 194.738 mph for the Coors Light Pole. If Texas wants to keep its title as fastest track, Friday's pole-sitter will need to do just over a mph faster. The track record is 196.235 mph.

One Position The Difference Between Locked In And Qualify On Speed

The No. 83 owned by Thomas Ueberall and driven by Landon Cassill is in the field at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14 by the slimmest of margins: one point and one finishing position. That’s the difference between the 35th and 36th positions in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owners’ championship standings following the season’s sixth race at Martinsville Speedway. The No. 10 owned by Tommy Baldwin and shared by David Reutimann and Danica Patrick is 36th and must qualify its way into the Samsung Mobile 500.

The ongoing battle over a top-35 ranking currently is a three-way battle. Richard Childress’ No. 33 Chevrolet is four points to the good in 34th – but that’s good enough, at least for now.

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Samsung Mobile 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

In an off week that seemed like an eternity for NASCAR fans, things got a little better for most when a guy named Bubba won an event on Sunday. It didn’t matter that the event was golf to NASCAR fans, because they’ve had a special love brewing for Bubba Watson, and not just because he’s a Georgia Bulldog, but rather because of the car he drives.

Watson bought the ‘General Lee’, the famed car from the Dukes of Hazzard television series. Watson not only owns the car, but he proudly drives it to tournaments despite the backlash he receives because the Confederate flag on the roof of the car isn‘t politically correct. Because Watson hasn’t conformed to what people think he ought to do, the fans that comprise of the powerful buying power of NASCAR nation has will soon be seen buying whatever product Bubba is pitching.

With the week off from racing, a big exciting race will be needed to satisfy the fans thirst for NASCAR and it’s something Texas always provides. The high banked 1.5-mile track should provide all the excitement every fan wants to see in a big Texas way on a big Texas starry Saturday night.

Coming into this week’s race, we have a little bit of data to go off of from the results of two tracks that require similar horsepower. Las Vegas is the sister track of Texas and while the baking in Vegas is a just a little flatter with speeds obtained a little slower, it serves as a great barometer for every team as far as set-ups go. Whatever worked well in Las Vegas should translate well in Texas. And whatever went bad at Las Vegas, don’t repeat at Texas.

California is a much flatter and bigger track than both Las Vegas and Texas, but still requires the same type of necessary horsepower needed at Texas.

It doesn’t take long to see who the best driver was at Las Vegas and California, because Tony Stewart won them both which is why he is the 6-to-1 favorite this week according to odds posted by the LVH Super Book. If we take Stewart’s past history at Texas into the equation, you don’t have to sort through too many races because he won the last race held there last fall.

If past recent success at Texas and similar tracks isn't enough evidence that Stewart should be favored, consider that he's using the same car that won at Chicago last season and at Las Vegas in March.

It would almost seem foolish to bet any other driver to win this week, but we should at least try to make a case for a few other drivers.

Stewart may have led the most laps in Las Vegas, but it was Jimmie Johnson who was chasing him down but eventually settled for runner-up. Johnson won his six-guns and Cowboy hat at Texas in 2007 and also has four runner-up finishes to his credit. Johnson didn’t look like the driver to beat in Las Vegas, but his crew -- the best in the business -- worked hard to get the right set-up. It’s quite possible that the adjustments made in the crunch at Vegas will have Johnson’s car set ideally right off the hauler when they practice Thursday night.

Greg Biffle won at Texas in 2005, but more importantly, has finished in the top-5 of the last three races run there. The current points leader also has a third-place finish at Las Vegas and a sixth at California to suggest he’s got all the big Texas horsepower he’ll need this week.

“I’m jacked up going to Texas and I cannot wait," Biffle said earlier this week. "I love that race track and we have Filtrete on the car this weekend. Texas is a challenging place, coming off of turn two the track really flattens out, but getting into three and four it’s different on both ends, making for a kind of a long sweeping corner. Typically we run the bottom in three and four, and maybe run up the race track a little bit in one and two. Kind of a double dog leg down the frontstretch and it can be a little bit challenging getting to pit road for green-flag pit stops. We’ve run really really well there, I’ve had a lot of success at Texas, and I feel like it could be our first win of the season coming up.”

Matt Kenseth has the best Texas resume of any driver with an average finish of 8.7 in 19 starts that includes wins in 2002 and last spring. Kenseth was a driver who was expected to do well at Las Vegas and California, but it never materialized. Despite those poor runs, he’s still a driver that can be expected to find his way into the top-5 considering he‘s done it in five of his last six Texas starts. He'll be using a brand new chassis this week to try and get it done again.

Carl Edwards is a three-time winner at Texas and finished third and runner-up last season. Edwards still hasn’t given any indication during practice that he’s a driver to be contended with, but when the race is over, there is right in the mix. At Vegas and California, he looked to have no shot at a top-20 based on practices, but wound up fifth in both races. Texas should get him straight and he knows it.

“I love racing at Texas and it’s been one of our best race tracks," said Edwards, who will be using a brand new chassis this week. "I’ve got some great memories from that place and it’s a fun place to win a race. Martinsville is behind us and we have some really good tracks coming up this month with Texas and Kansas. Those mile-and-a-half tracks have been great for us from day one.”

It’s either hit or miss for Kyle Busch at Texas. He’s either going finish in the top-5 of finish outside the top-15. Busch has never won at Texas and missed last fall’s race due to bad behavior, but the California race showed Busch has some giddy-up under the hood. Busch led the most laps in that race and finished runner-up after the rain shortened the race.

In that California race, Denny Hamlin had perhaps the best car and might have won if it weren’t for the rain. Beyond suggesting Hamlin’s progression from California will translate well this week, we also have past history that shows he had a big Texas sweep of the two races in 2010. Hamlin looks to be the best value on the board with most protential to take the race away from Stewart.

The big Texas wild card in this race is Kasey Kahne, who won there in 2006. Kahne also finished third in the fall race last season. The only thing going for Kahne right now is bad luck. He’s had great cars every week, but you would never know by simply looking at the results. It’s likely that Kahne will practice as one of the best this weekend again and we’ll have to see how it plays out from there, but he is going to win very soon, mark it down.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:
1) #11 Denny Hamlin (12/1)
2) #48 Jimmie Johnson (8/1)
3) #16 Greg Biffle (12/1)
4) #14 Tony Stewart (6/1)
5) #17 Matt Kenseth (7/1)

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Re: Samsung Mobile 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Texas
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

To help you make your fantasy racing picks, Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at Texas
• Defending race winner Matt Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in nine of his last 10 starts.
• Three-time winner Carl Edwards posted a 2.5 average finish in both races last season.
• Greg Biffle is the only driver to record top 10s in the last seven races.
• Tony Stewart is coming off his second win in the last 11 races.
• Denny Hamlin has two wins and an average finish of 7.8 in the last five races.
• 2007 fall winner Jimmie Johnson has posted an average finish of 8.3 in the last four races.

Keep an Eye On at Texas
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in the top 10 in both races at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011.
• Clint Bowyer has posted a 6.0 average finish in his last three starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman have posted respective average finishes of 7.0, 8.8 and 12.0 in the last five races held at 1.5-mile speedways.
• Martin Truex Jr. will be going for his fourth straight top 10 of the season this weekend.
• Jeff Gordon has posted an average finish of 7.7 in the last three races at 1.5-mile speedways.
• Mark Martin has finished sixth or better in four of his last six starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne each finished in the top 10 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first 1.5-mile speedway in 2012.

MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Tony Stewart
Pete Pistone: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ricky Hamber: Matt Kenseth
Craig Moore: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Carl Edwards

Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

(All stats/notes are in regards to Texas unless noted)

Greg Biffle: Won the pole and finished fifth last fall; Finish was seventh consecutive top 10; Winner of this event in 2005; Third-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 809) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Finished in the top 10 in both races last season; 14.1 average finish in 19 starts; Eighth-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 668) that he finished 10th with at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Tony Stewart: 12.6 average finish in 20 starts; Second-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 640) that he led 127 laps en route to the win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month.

Matt Kenseth: Defending race winner; Coming off third straight top-five finish; Leads all drivers in average finish (8.7), laps led (756); Leads all drivers with a 106.5 driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 810) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Kevin Harvick: Last of eight top 10s came in the 2010 fall race; 12.9 average finish in 18 starts; Will return in the same car that he finished 11th with at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr: Coming off sixth top 10 in 13 starts; Will make fourth track start with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Denny Hamlin: Swept both races in 2010; Tied for second in average finish (10.2); Seventh-best driver rating in the last 14 races.

Ryan Newman: 14.7 average finish in six starts with Stewart Haas Racing; Last of three top 10s came in this event in 2008 with Penske Racing; Winner of the 2003 race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 682) that he last finished 12th with at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2011.

Clint Bowyer: Coming off third straight top 10 with a ninth-place finish last fall; Led 44 laps and finished second in this event last year; 13.0 average finish in 12 starts; Ninth-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 730) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Jimmie Johnson: Winner of the 2007 fall race; Finished eighth in this event for 12th top 10 in 17 starts; Tied for second in average finish (10.2); Fifth-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 669) that he has finished second with in its last three outings, most recently at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Carl Edwards: Three-time winner; Swept both races in 2008; Posted a 2.5 average finish in both races last season; Fourth-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 811) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Brad Keselowski: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in seven starts; Led 32 laps and finished 18th in this event last year; 23.7 average finish; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 820) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Joey Logano: 26.0 average finish in seven starts; Only top 10 came in the 2010 fall race in fourth.

Paul Menard: Finished fifth in this event last year; 10.0 average finish in last three starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 386) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Jeff Burton: Last of nine top 10s came in the 2009 fall race; Scored second win in this event in 2007; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 385) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Kyle Busch: 16.2 average finish in 13 starts; Best finish (third) came in this event in 2008 and 2010; Sixth-best driver rating.

Juan Pablo Montoya: Last of two top 10s came in this event in 2009; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1119) that he last finished 17th with at Auto Club Speedway.

AJ Allmendinger: Coming off second top 10 in eight starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 821) in the Samsung Mobile 500.

Jeff Gordon: Winner of this event in 2009; 16.8 average finish in 22 starts; Coming off 10th top 10 with a sixth-place finish; Combined to lead 229 laps in the 2009 and 2010 spring races; 10th-best driver rating in the last 14 races.

Bobby Labonte: 26.5 average finish in two starts with JTG-Daugherty Racing; 23.7 average finish in 22 starts; Will return in the same car that he finished 26th with at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Marcos Ambrose: Finished sixth in this event last year; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 735) that he posted an 8.5 average finish in both races at Texas Motor Speedway last season.

Jamie McMurray: 26.0 average finish in four starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Last of six top 10s came with Roush Fenway Racing in the 2008 fall race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1104) that he last finished 15th with in the 2011 fall race at Dover International Speedway.

Mark Martin: Finished sixth or better in both races in 2009 and 2010; 13.7 average finish in 22 starts; Will make first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Kurt Busch: Winner of the 2009 fall race; Scored 11th top 10 in 18 starts last year in this event; Will make first track start with Phoenix Racing in the same car (chassis No. 665) that he finished 35th with after an accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

David Ragan: Won the pole and finished seventh last year in this event; Finish was second top 10 in 10 starts; Will make first track start with Front Row Motorsports.

Kasey Kahne: Coming off fourth top 10 in 15 starts; Won this race in 2006 with Evernham Motorsports; Will make first track with Hendrick Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 713) that he finished 14th with at Auto Club Speedway.

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Re: Samsung Mobile 500 Betting News and Notes

Samsung Mobile 500 Preview and Picks
By Greg Engle
Covers.com

After a one-week respite, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns with a primetime Saturday night show at Texas Motor Speedway, the Samsung Mobile 500.

The nod for favorites this week has to go to the drivers in the Roush-Fenway Racing stable. The team is an eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway - more than double the victory total of its two closest rivals, Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, who have six combined.

The leader of the pack right now at Roush is Matt Kenseth. The last time the Sprint Cup series raced at night was the season-opening Daytona 500. Although rescheduled, Kenseth shined under the lights at Daytona and there’s no reason why he won’t shine again Saturday. Kenseth is the defending winner of this race and has two career victories at Texas.

"Texas gives us several lines to race on, so it’s just turned into a place where drivers can take the high line or the low line when it comes to racing for position," said Kenseth. "Texas is just a great fast track with the challenge of relatively flat straightaways and high-banked turns. So it’s a place that can be challenging, but I always look forward to racing there twice a year."

The other Roush driver stepping into the role of favorite this week is Carl Edwards. After some less-than-stellar racing, he’s looking forward to getting back to the front of the field. He leads the top 12 drivers in the standings with three wins overall at Texas and finished second there in the fall.

This week’s spoiler could be the biggest story of the season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on a 135-race winless streak, but has the feel of a driver who could win at any time. He has three Top-3 finishes (and four Top 10s overall), which has moved him to second in the points.

The last time he was this high in the standings at this stage of the season was 2008, the same year he picked up his most recent race victory. And the last time Earnhardt Jr. held the points lead was October 2004, the year he won his first Cup race. That first win came at Texas Motor Speedway and he could find himself visiting Victory Lane again, for the first time in nearly four years Saturday night.

Head-to-head

Tony Stewart vs. Ryan Newman: Stewart won this race in the fall and has surprised many with his strong start to the season. He has two wins but in the races he hasn’t won, Stewart has struggled. His teammate and employee, Ryan Newman, is coming off an upset win at Martinsville and has won at Texas as well. His boss was victorious here last fall, while Newman finished in 11th. Look for the same result Saturday, as Stewart finishes ahead of Newman.

Jimmie Johnson vs. Kasey Kahne: Both Hendrick Motorsports drivers will look to upstage Earnhardt Jr., but each seems to be lacking that extra little pop that can propel them into contender status. Both have wins at Texas and both want the distinction of winning the 200th race for Hendrick. While they’ll probably fall short of that goal, look for Johnson to at least finish in front of Kahne.

Bottom Line

Sixteen of the 22 races have been won from a Top-10 starting position. Only one has been won from the pole - Kasey Kahne in 2006. Matt Kenseth started 31st en route to his victory at Texas in 2002, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.

Picks

Matt Kenseth (+800)
Carl Edwards (+800)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (+1,500)

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Re: Samsung Mobile 500 Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Practice Notes & Driver Ratings     
By Micah Roberts
Vegasinsider.com

Practice Notes - Texas
Rating     Driver     Odds     Practice 1     Practice 2     Qualified     Las Vegas*
1     Denny Hamlin     12/1     9th     7th     13th     20th
Notes: Two-time winner, both coming in 2010; said his car this week is his fastest ever at Texas.

2     Greg Biffle     10/1     2nd     2nd     3rd     3rd
Notes: 2005 spring winner; was the star of all practice sessions using a brand new chassis.

3     Matt Kenseth     7/1     7th     3rd     2nd     22nd
Notes: Two-time winner with the best average finish (8.7) among all drivers; new car this week.

4     Carl Edwards     7/1     10th     14th     20th     5th
Notes: Three-time winner, including a runner-up and third last year; using new chassis this week.

5     Kevin Harvick     12/1     3rd     6th     15th     11th
Notes: Fifth best average finish (12.9) among all drivers; strong practice using Las Vegas chassis.

6     Clint Bowyer     20/1     26th     4th     18th     6th
Notes: Runner-up in this race last year with average finish of 13th; using brand new car this week.

7     Kasey Kahne     12/1     11th     24th     5th     19th
Notes: 2006 winner with three other top-5 finishes, including third last fall; using Fontana chassis.

8     Jimmie Johnson     7/1     20th     22nd     10th     2nd
Notes: 2007 winner with four other runner-up finishes; using brand new chassis this week.

9     Martin Truex Jr.     40/1     12th     9th     1st     17th
Notes: Consistent season (6th in points) and great practices suggests more of the same this week.

10     Tony Stewart     6/1     23rd     35th     29th     1st
Notes: Two-time winner; despite terrible practices and using back-up car, he'll find his way near the front.

Results from Las Vegas race held March 11, 2012, a sister track that is most similar to Texas among all 2012 races run thus far.

Note: Only two scheduled practice sessions: Thursday's was 120 minutes and Friday's was 90 minutes..

Betting Notes:

Based on the way the practices went, the top choices to win this race are Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. For all three, they have a combination of great cars for this weekend and great recent history at Texas. The next tier of drivers to consider would include the Michael Waltrip drivers, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.

Edwards had a great practice and we have seen him progress during races at tracks like Las Vegas and California this year with fifth-place finishes despite having poor practice sessions. He was fairly good and consistent during Friday's final practice and should be well ahead of the game with little altering required, other than for the changes required during the race because of temperature change.

I really loved what Kevin Harvick came out and did in practice and believe he'll be contending for a top-5 finish. The same goes for Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr, both of whom are currently on great runs coming into this race. Both drivers should find themselves in the winner's circle very soon.

The Hendrick drivers are kind of a mystery and they all have the look of being cars that will be very good in the later stages of each fuel run. None of them had a great single lap time, but they were able to maintain consistent speeds for a long duration.

Matchup of the Week: Denny Hamlin -130 vs. Kasey Kahne

Hamlin has the look of winner and it's rather short price to lay with him going against a driver that is snake bit week after week. Kahne will eventually win, but before fully backing the No. 5 team, I'd like to see a few consistent runs in a row. Hamlin should be in contention to win the race.

You also can't go wrong with Greg Biffle or Matt Kenseth in any of their match-ups as they'll be in the top-5 for most of the day.

Kurt Busch won't be matched up against any of the top drivers this week, but has the look of being somewhat reliable because of his final practice. He's a bit of a gamble based on what he's done this year, but will still look to lay or take a price on him against most of the drivers not listed above.

Another driver I will look to play is Tony Stewart despite his poor practices. His odds have been severely diminished because of using a back-up car and poor practices, but by 400 miles, I full expect to see Stewart within the top-10 battling for position. His pre-practice and post-practice prices will be about a $1.00 swing in the match-ups making some of them too hard to pass up at plue-money.

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