Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch co-favorites at Bristol
By: The Linemakers   
Sportingnews.com

LAS VEGAS -- The LVH SuperBook has installed Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch as 5-to-1 co-favorites to win Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the world’s fastest half-mile track.

It may seem odd that Johnson has been given co-favorite status at Bristol with Busch, since Busch has five career wins at the track to Johnson’s one, but it’s more a matter of the Gen-6 car and Johnson being fast on three vastly different tracks this season. There’s no reason to suggest Johnson won’t be just as good this week.

Johnson’s lone win at Bristol came in spring of 2010, but he experienced his share of the track's wrath during the first half of his career. Johnson, however, has been one of the best there since 2009. He’s finished ninth or better in seven of his last eight Bristol starts. In his last four runs, Johnson has finished third, fourth, ninth and second.

Busch fits into that legendary Bristol category of drivers gobbling up wins in bunches over short periods of time. We’ve seen greats of the past like David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace pileup Bristol victories during their reigns. Recently, we saw Kurt Busch win five Bristol races over a nine race stretch, and then Kyle Busch do the same. In each case, regardless of the track layout, it took a certain type of attitude to dominate this track over stretches.

In two of the last three races, we’ve seen a new kid – Brad Keselowski – win. And most will agree that Keselowski’s attitude and style of racing fits in with some of the greats. Keselowski is 7-to-1 to win this week, a nice price for someone who has taken quickly to the new Gen-6 car. Keselowski is the only driver to have top-five finishes in this season's first three races.

Two-time Bristol winner Carl Edwards is 12-to-1 this week, and while he struggled there last year, it’s safe to say the Gen-6 car has breathed life into the No. 99 Roush-Fenway Ford after a rough 2012 season.

Over the last 20 Bristol races, no one has a better average finish than Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is listed at 15-to-1 odds. Junior has a 9.8 average finish at the track that includes a 2004 win. Matt Kenseth is right behind Junior over that stretch with a 10.3 average finish. Kenseth, a two-time winner, is listed at 10-to-1.

There will be a traditional NASCAR practice schedule this weekend with practice and qualifying on Friday and two final practice sessions on Saturday. We’ll have practice notes posted about an hour after the final session is run with a list of 10 drivers that look to be dialed in the most for Sunday’s race.

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Re: Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Food City 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

For the fourth straight week we get to see the new Gen-6 car on a vastly different track. The world’s fastest half-mile at Bristol is up next and if the learning curve we saw last week is any indication, we should be in store for a treat. At Daytona and Phoenix, we didn’t see much passing. But at Las Vegas we saw 22 lead changes -- the most since 2007 -- among eight drivers.

The plentiful passing at Las Vegas could simply mean the car is better on a 1.5-mile track with speeds at 188 mph and a larger spoiler, as opposed to the snoozer at Daytona with restrictor-plates and a shorter spoiler. But it’s likely that after three weeks of competitive racing and practices that every crew chief is finding out more about what the Gen-6 car is all about.

Expect Bristol to provide the most exciting race of the season thus far.

The new car hasn’t only created some uncertainties with the crew chiefs as they accumulate new data every week, but also bettors. Past trends and pre-race analysis of practices that have been successful over the last decade have failed to produce similar results through the first three weeks of 2013. What we do know is that teams with big money are going to be successful which shortens the field to about 18 drivers a week with a legitimate chance, but after that it’s kind of a crap shoot.

Bettors who won with Matt Kenseth last week probably cited his past success at Las Vegas with two wins and the fact that he’s on one of those elite teams, but for those who wager based on practices, Kenseth wasn’t a consideration. He didn’t do anything in practice to suggest he would be a major player in the race, and he wasn’t until late.

These are all things that have to be rendered into the betting equation each week, and at least considered until the Gen-6 car starts to show some kind of pattern that can be followed.

Over the last few years at Bristol we’ve seen quite a few changes with the COT and then changing the layout of the track twice. Now we get to see how the new car performs on the new layout, which makes this a difficult race to handicap.

Kyle Busch won four of five races from 2009-11 in the COT and Brad Keselowski won two in a row before Denny Hamlin won last fall. They would appear to be the drivers beat again this week. All three have performed well this season, and all three are from high profile organizations.

Busch may have the overall edge, even though it’s been four Bristol races since he last won. He’s got five wins over his career there -- winning on the old faster configuration as well as the bad idea configuration with multi-grooves. That bad idea to change the track is why Bristol is no longer the toughest ticket to get in sports, which is why they revamped it again last season. Although the racing isn’t back to being the way it was in 2007, it was an improvement.

In 16 career starts, Busch has a 10.3 average finish at Bristol with 11 top-10 finishes. He’s going to be a short price this week at about 6-to-1, but should be the driver to key on.

The trend at Bristol has been watching drivers win Bristol races in bunches over the course of a three-year span. Between David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch, they dominated over long stretches. The driver that fits that role right now is Keselowski who won in the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012 before finishing 30th last fall. Just like all those drivers before him, Keselowski has the mindset and skill set to be one of those that etches his name into Bristol history.

The driver with the best career average at Bristol over the last 20 races is, surprisingly, Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 9.8. He’s only had one win over that span (2004), but he hasn’t finished any worse than 18th and has 10 top-10 finishes. Junior currently sits third in points and has finished in the top-10 of all three races thus far -- one of three drivers to do so. Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson are the others.

Johnson had struggled at Bristol for most of his career until finally getting his first win in 2010. Since then, he’s kept his Bristol roll going strong. In his last four races, he’s finishes fourth of better three times and his worst finish has been ninth-place. Johnson has a five-point lead over Keselowski and a 10-point lead over Junior in the season point standings.

Kenseth is right behind Junior with a 10.3 average finish over the last 20 races at Bristol. He’s a two-time winner, the last coming in 2006. He’s had top-10 finishes in six of his last seven starts and should be considered a top contender behind Busch and Keselowski.

Hamlin loves short track racing and despite dominating Martinsville and Richmond over his career, he didn’t get his first Bristol win until last fall. In 14 career starts, Hamlin has a 14.6 average finish and has finished seventh or better seven times.

Carl Edwards has bounced back from a terrible performance at the Daytona speed weeks, where he wrecked five of his cars, to have back-to-back top-5 finishes, including a Phoenix win that broke a 70-race winless streak. He’s climbed all the way to fifth in points and now visits a track that has been very good to him, at least if we wipe away 2012, and we should be able to do so with ease because it‘s apparent that the equipment he‘s got in the Gen-6 car is light years ahead of the junk he had last season. He’s a two-time winner at Bristol with a 14.4 average finish in 17 starts.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
2) #99 Carl Edwards (10/1)
3) #2 Brad Keselowski (7/1)
4) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (13/1)
5) #11 Denny Hamlin (8/1)

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Re: Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Bristol: 2013 Food City 500 Notes

Bristol Motor Speedway Data


Season Race #: 4 of 36 (3-17-13)
Track Size: 0.533-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 24-28 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 24-28 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 4-8 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 4-8 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  650 feet
Backstretch Length:  650 feet
Race Length: 500 laps / 266.5 miles

Top 12 Driver Rating at Bristol

Kyle Busch............................. 102.3
Jeff Gordon.............................. 100.7
Matt Kenseth............................ 99.8
Brad Keselowski....................... 97.4
Greg Biffle................................ 96.2
Jimmie Johnson........................ 93.8
Kurt Busch............................... 92.0
Denny Hamlin........................... 89.8
Kevin Harvick............................ 89.7
Carl Edwards............................ 88.2
Dale Earnhardt Jr...................... 87.9
Tony Stewart............................ 87.7

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (16 total) among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway

Qualifying/Race Data

2012 pole winner: Greg Biffle, Ford, 125.215 mph, 15.324 secs. 3-16-12

2012 race winner: Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 93.037 mph, (2:51:52), 3-18-12

Track qualifying record: Ryan Newman, Dodge, 128.709 mph, 14.908 secs. 3-21-03

Track race record: Charlie Glotzbach, Chevrolet, 101.074 mph, (2:38:12), 7-11-71

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Re: Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver's Tale of the Tape at Bristol

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)

· Six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.2
· Average Running Position of 12.4, third-best
· Driver Rating of 96.2, fifth-best
· 292 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.450 mph, fourth-fastest
· 5,848 Laps in the Top 15 (73.0%), third-most
· 365 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), seventh-most

Kurt Busch (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet)

· Five wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.8
· Average Running Position of 13.4, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 92.0, seventh-best
· 726 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.388 mph, sixth-fastest
· 394 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)

· Five wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 10.3
· Average Running Position of 13.0, fifth-best
· Series-best Driver Rating of 102.3
· Series-high 556 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 114.499 mph
· 5,310 Laps in the Top 15 (66.3%), fifth-most
· 379 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet)

· One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 11.8
· Average Running Position of 14.0, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 87.9, 11th-best
· Series-high 837 Green Flag Passes
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.328 mph, ninth-fastest
· 4,787 Laps in the Top 15 (59.7%), ninth-most
· 363 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Kellogg’s/Frosted Ford)

· Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.4
· Average Running Position of 14.7, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 88.2, 10th-best
· 290 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 5,208 Laps in the Top 15 (65.0%), seventh-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)

· Five wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 11.9
· Series-best Average Running Position of 9.5
· Driver Rating of 100.7, second-best
· 338 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 615 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.494 mph, second-fastest
· Series-high 6,584 Laps in the Top 15 (82.2%)
· 427 Quality Passes, second-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota)

· One win, four top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 14.8
· Driver Rating of 89.8, eighth-best
· 337 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 725 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.335 mph, eighth-fastest
· 3,835 Laps in the Top 15 (54.7%), 13th-most
· 307 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)

· One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.5
· Average Running Position of 13.9, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 89.7, ninth-best
· 237 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· 742 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.390 mph, fifth-fastest
· 4,745 Laps in the Top 15 (59.2%), 10th-most

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

· One win, seven top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.0
· Average Running Position of 12.8, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 93.8, sixth-best
· 455 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.277 mph, 12th-fastest
· 5,681 Laps in the Top 15 (70.9%), fourth-most
· 336 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 The Home Depot / Husky Toyota)

· Two wins, 10 top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.1
· Average Running Position of 10.7, second-best
· Driver Rating of 99.8, third-best
· 380 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.484 mph, third-fastest
· 6,412 Laps in the Top 15 (80.0%), second-most
· Series-high 451 Quality Passes

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)

· Two wins, two top fives, two top 10s
· Average finish of 13.7
· Average Running Position of 13.3, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 97.4, fourth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.368 mph, seventh-fastest

Ryan Newman (No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet)

· One top five, 12 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 17.4
· Average Running Position of 15.3, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.9, 13th-best
· 621 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· 5,227 Laps in the Top 15 (65.2%), sixth-most
· 359 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)

· One win, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 17.6
· Average Running Position of 15.8, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.7, 12th-best
· 303 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 114.284 mph, 11th-fastest
· 4,291 Laps in the Top 15 (53.6%), 12th-most

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Re: Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Bristol
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

BRISTOL, Tenn. - This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for Sunday's Food City 500. To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com brings you our weekly analysis to help steer you toward Sunday's 500-lap event.

Who's HOT at Bristol

• Brad Keselowski led 232 laps in this event last year for his second consecutive win.
• Kyle Busch has five wins and has led 1,340 laps in his last 12 starts.
• Jimmie Johnson has finished in the top 10 in seven of the last eight races, including a win in this event in 2010.
• Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch each are five-time winners (all on the old track surface/configuration).
• Two-time winner Matt Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in six of his last seven starts.
• Brian Vickers was the only driver to finish in the top five in both races last season.
• Denny Hamlin won last year's summer race - the first with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking.

Keep an Eye On at Bristol

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (12.0), Carl Edwards (13.8), Ryan Newman (14.0) and Greg Biffle (14.1) each rank in the top five in average finish among drivers that have competed in all of the last 10 races at Bristol.
• Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick each have a Bristol win with the Gen-4 car and will be looking for a return to Victory Lane with the new Gen-6.
• Clint Bowyer finished in the top 10 in both races last season at Bristol.
• Bristol is one of only oval track that Marcos Ambrose has recorded more than three top 10s (4) at.
• Jeff Burton has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five Bristol spring races, including a win in 2008.
• Joey Logano, who will make his first track start with Penske Racing, led 139 laps in last year's summer race.
• Kasey Kahne, who is one of three drivers to lead more than 100 laps with the Gen-6, is coming off his third top five in the last five Bristol races.

MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kyle Busch
Pete Pistone: Brad Keselowski
Tony Rizzuti: Kurt Busch
John Singler: Kevin Harvick

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

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

Jimmie Johnson: Winner of this event in 2010; Has finished ninth or better in the last four races; This event last year was the only time he did not lead at least 50 laps in the last eight races; Finished second last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; Will return in the same chassis (No. 714) that he last finished 34th with at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Brad Keselowski: Winner of the 2011 summer race and 2012 spring race; Led 232 laps in this event last year; Finished 30th last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; Will debut a new chassis (No. 834) in the Food City 500.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Last of 12 top 10s in 26 starts came in this event in 2010; Two of his seven top-five finishes came on the progressive banking; Led 12 laps and finished 12th last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; Will return in the same chassis (No. 745) that he finished 11th with at Dover International Speedway.

Denny Hamlin: Coming off first win in 14 starts; Five of previous top 10s came on the progressive banking; Led 177 laps on the old track surface in the spring of 2007.

Carl Edwards: Finished in the top 10 in both races in 2011; Two-time winner on the progressive banking; Finished 22nd last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 806) that Matt Kenseth finished 14th with last fall at Martinsville Speedway.

Mark Martin: Will not race this weekend; Brian Vickers will drive the No. 55 and will be in the same chassis (No. 722) he drove to top-five finishes at Bristol last season.

Matt Kenseth: Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing after winning with the team last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Two wins and a 12.1 average finish in 26 previous starts with Roush Fenway Racing; Two wins came on old track surface; Finished 25th last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking.

Greg Biffle: Won the pole and finished 13th in this event last year; Six top-10 finishes on the progressive banking; Finished 19th last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; Will return in the same chassis (No. 803) that he finished fifth with at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Clint Bowyer: Posted a 5.5 average finish two starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; 17.0 average finish in 14 overall starts; Finished seventh last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; Will return in the same chassis (No. 740) that he won with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last October.

Aric Almirola: 27.0 average finish in two starts with Richard Petty Motorsports; Only top 10 came in 2008 with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Making first Cup Series track start; Finished in the top 10 in both Nationwide races last season; Will return in the same (chassis No. 791) that Carl Edwards raced to an 11th-place finish last spring at Martinsville Raceway.

Paul Menard: Finished 10th in both races last season; 13.8 average finish in four starts with Richard Childress Racing; Will return in the same chassis (No. 412) he tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

Jeff Gordon: Finished third last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; 13.9 average finish in the 10 previous races on the progressive banking; Led 206 laps and finished third in the 2011 summer race; Five-time winner on the old track surface.

Kasey Kahne: Led 42 laps and finished ninth third last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded on the progressive banking; 23.0 average finish in two starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Led 305 laps and finished second with Gillett Evernham Motorsports on the first races on the progressive banking in 2007; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 769) that he finished 19th with two weeks ago at Phoenix International Raceway.

Joey Logano: Making first track start with Penske Racing; 22.1 average finish in previous eight starts with Led 139 laps and finished eighth last fall; Will debut a new chassis (No. 836) in the Food City 500.

Marcos Ambrose: Coming off first top five in eight starts; Will return in the same chassis (No. 784) that he last finished 12th with at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch: Four of his five wins came on the progressive banking; Finished sixth last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded; Last time he led more than 150 laps (153) was in this event in 2011; 1,311 laps led on the progressive banking.

Tony Stewart: Has only posted one top 10 (second) in eight starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Will return in the same chassis (No. 722) that he finished in the top five with in both races at Pocono Raceway last season.

Kevin Harvick:
Winner of this event in 2005; Finished 15th last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded; Three top-10s on the progressive banking; Finished Will return in the same chassis (No. 391) that he raced to a sixth-place finish in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jeff Burton: Finished 33rd last summer in the first race with the top groove grinded; Winner of the this event in 2008; Four top 10s on the progressive banking; Will debut a new chassis (No. 372) in the Food City 500.

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Re: Food City 500 Betting News and Notes

Bristol Post-Practice Betting Notes and Top-Rated Drivers
By: Micah Roberts   
Sportingnews.com

Kyle Busch was fastest in the final two practices Saturday, giving reason to believe Busch might be looking at his sixth Bristol win Sunday in the Food City 500. Busch, who will start from the pole, had the best 10-consecutive lap times in the early session and was second best -- behind teammate Denny Hamlin -- during happy hour.

The 10-consecutive lap average stat doesn't hold as much weight at Bristol's half-mile track as it does at a 1.5-mile track like Las Vegas, but there is no denying between Busch's fast laps and his past success on the track that he is the driver to beat on Sunday.

The only negative to be found with Busch is that his last three races at Bristol have been his worst since his rookie season in 2005. From '09-'11, Busch won four of five Bristol races. In his last three, he's finished 12th, 32nd and sixth, respectively, which has watered down his career average finish to 10.3.

Both of Busch's JGR teammates also looked outstanding on Saturday. Hamlin, who won at Bristol for the first time last fall, was almost as good as Busch. A notch below would be last week's winner and two-time Bristol winner Matt Kenseth.

Two-time Bristol Brad Keselowski was fastest in Friday 90-minute practice session, but he tailed off a bit Saturday with the 12th-fastest lap in the early session and sixth during happy hour.

Busch vs. Keselowski -- this is the battle that everyone would like to see unfold on the fairly new configuration at Bristol. There's nothing better than two drivers with fast cars who don't like each other, have basically the same type of never-give-in attitude and past success on the track.

Busch's car is a little faster than Keselowski's, but the No. 2 car has won two of the last three races. And history shows Bristol wins coming in bunches for certain drivers. Right now, Keselowski would appear to be the driver on the same path as some of the tracks' giants like David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace.

Brian Vickers is driving the No. 55 MWR Toyota this week and is using the same chassis he drove to two top-5 finishes at Bristol last season. Vickers qualified fourth and was eighth fastest during happy hour.

The long-bomb special this week is Jeff Burton at 100-to-1. We've seen higher odds at Bristol hit with Elliott Sadler at 125-to-1 in '01, but Burton actually had practice times that put him on the contender list. Burton might not have the luxury of a no-wear tire like Sadler had when he cashed in big time, but almost anything can happen here, and Burton has the look of being a driver that should be in the top 10 most of the day.

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