Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

Chicagoland Speedway Data

Season Race #: 26 of 36 (09-15-13)
Chase Race #: 1
Track Size: 1.5-miles
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 18 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 18 degrees
Banking/Tri-Oval: 11 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 2,400 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,700 feet
Race Length: 267 laps / 400 miles

Top 12 Driver Rating at Chicago

Jimmie Johnson 116.2
Tony Stewart 109.8
Brian Vickers 101.5
Matt Kenseth 101.5
Kyle Busch 99.4
Kevin Harvick 95.8
Jeff Gordon 94.6
Clint Bowyer 91.8
Carl Edwards 90.9
Brad Keselowski 90.2
Mark Martin 89.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr 89.5

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (eight total) among active drivers at Chicagoland Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data

2012 pole winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 182.865 mph, 29.530 secs. 9-14-12
2012 race winner: Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 143.363 mph, (02:47:37), 9-16-12
Track qualifying record: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 188.147 mph, 28.701 secs. 7-8-05
Track race record: David Reutimann, Toyota, 145.138 mph, (02:45:34), 7-10-10

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Re: Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Tale of the Tape at Chicagoland


1 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)


· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.6
2013 Rundown
· Five wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 13.9
· Led 17 races for 1,149 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· Two top fives, four top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.8 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 10.9, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 101.5, fourth-best
· 178 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 168.894 mph, third-fastest
· 1,473 Laps in the Top 15 (68.9%), fifth-most

2 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.3
2013 Rundown
· Four wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 12.8
· Led 14 races for 1,139 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· Six top fives, nine top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 9.3 in 11 races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 7.2
· Series-best Driver Rating of 116.2
· Series-high 310 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 169.329 mph
· Series-high 1,856 Laps in the Top 15 (86.8%)
· 226 Quality Passes, seventh-most

3 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 Doublemint Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.2
2013 Rundown
· Four wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 13.9
· Led 13 races for 1,102 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, three top 10s
· Average finish of 13.4 in eight races
· Average Running Position of 11.1, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 99.4, fifth-best
· 95 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 455 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 168.646 mph, fourth-fastest
· 1,533 Laps in the Top 15 (71.7%), fourth-most
· 246 Quality Passes, fifth-most

4 - Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.1
2013 Rundown
· Two wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.7
· Led 8 races for 51 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, six top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 10.5 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 12.0, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 95.8, sixth-best
· 439 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 168.640 mph, fifth-fastest
· 1,462 Laps in the Top 15 (68.3%), sixth-most
· 207 Quality Passes, ninth-most

5 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.6
2013 Rundown
· Two wins, eight top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.3
· Led 11 races for 447 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, three top 10s
· Average finish of 16.6 in eight races
· Average Running Position of 15.2, 15th-best
· Driver Rating of 90.9, ninth-best
· 110 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 1,393 Laps in the Top 15 (65.1%), seventh-most
· 263 Quality Passes, third-most

6 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.6
2013 Rundown
· One win, eight top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.7
· Led 9 races for 216 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· One top 10
· Average finish of 15.0 in four races
· Average Running Position of 16.8, 18th-best
· Driver Rating of 78.8, 21st-best

7 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 Post-It Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.5
2013 Rundown
· One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 15.1
· Led 3 races for 115 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, one top 10
· Average finish of 18.2 in 10 races
· Average Running Position of 15.8, 17th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.6, 13th-best
· 71 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· Series-high 559 Green Flag Passes
· Average Green Flag Speed of 168.251 mph, 12th-fastest

8 - Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Peak Antifreeze Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.3
2013 Rundown
· Eight top fives, 13 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.3
· Led 6 races for 285 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, six top 10s
· Average finish of 10.1 in seven races
· Average Running Position of 12.6, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 91.8, eighth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 168.346 mph, 10th-fastest
· 1,277 Laps in the Top 15 (68.2%), ninth-most
· 229 Quality Passes, sixth-most

9 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.3
2013 Rundown
· Five top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.2
· Led 7 races for 146 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 14.3 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 13.5, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 89.5, 12th-best
· 64 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· 516 Green Flag Passes, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 168.246 mph, 13th-fastest
· 1,383 Laps in the Top 15 (64.7%), eighth-most
· 251 Quality Passes, fourth-most

10 - Kurt Busch (No. 78 Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.1
2013 Rundown
· Eight top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.2
· Led 13 races for 441 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· Six top 10s
· Average finish of 18.3 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 15.2, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 84.3, 15th-best
· 60 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
· 1,239 Laps in the Top 15 (57.9%), 10th-most
· 193 Quality Passes, 12th-most

11 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.2
2013 Rundown
· Two wins, eight top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.2
· Led 6 races for 466 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· Two top fives, three top 10s
· Average finish of 19.0 in nine races
· Average Running Position of 18.0, 21st-best
· Driver Rating of 81.0, 18th-best
· 74 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

12 – Ryan Newman (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.3
2013 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s, one pole
· Average finish of 16.0
· Led 10 races for 84 laps

Chicagoland Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, seven top 10s, one pole
· Average finish of 15.5 in eight races
· Average Running Position of 15.0, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 82.8, 17th-best
· 20 Fastest Laps Run, 22nd-most
· 468 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
· 1,166 Laps in the Top 15 (54.5%), 14th-most
· 192 Quality Passes, 15th-most

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Re: Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

GEICO 400 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

Matt Kenseth starts the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship as the No. 1 seed with a three-point lead over second place in NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. Kenseth, on the basis of his five wins, is just ahead of Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson who each have four wins on the season. Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards will start nine points back and the seven other drivers participating all fall within 12 to 15-points behind when the green flag drops at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday to kick off the 10-race Chase.

Despite four straight poor finishes heading into the playoffs, Johnson is still posted as the 3/2 (Bet $100 to win $150) favorite by the LVH Super Book to win the title. Kenseth and Kyle Bucsh are next at 7/2 (Bet $100 to win $350) odds and everyone else has been placed at 12/1 odds are higher which is a strong indication of what the LVH is thinking. It’s a three-horse race, and I’m inclined to agree. And based on the way Johnson has run lately, as well as how he has fared on 1.5-mile tracks this season, it might be just a two-horse race between Kenseth and Busch.

Five of the 10 races in the Chase will be run on 1.5-mile tracks and no one has been better than Kenseth and Busch. In fact, only Harvick has been able to win one of the six races run on these types this season while the Gibbs duo hogged the other five. Meanwhile, Johnson has only one top-5 finish on these type.

If having to choose between Kenseth and Busch, I’d have to go for our local boy, Kyle, and not just because I’m a homer. He actually is the best suited to do well consistently on all 10 tracks in the Chase. The other tracks different from the 1.5-mile variety he’ll have to conquer are New Hampshire, Dover, Talladega, Martinsville and Phoenix, tracks that he has won at before during his career.

Chicago’s layout is a little different from Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas and Las Vegas, and probably closer to Kansas and Kentucky, but the same principle applies: horsepower kills and handling is at a premium. It just so happens that Kenseth and Busch have been the best under that criteria this season, and in Kenseth’s case, he won at Kentucky and Kansas this season which should be a great starting point to choose a winner for this week.

Kenseth’s best finish at Chicago was second-place, doing so twice (2005, 2007), while Busch took the checkers there in 2008 and finished fourth last season behind eventual Cup Champion Brad Keselowski. That run kicked off an impressive 10-race performance by Keselowski, but unfortunately, he won’t be participating in this year’s Chase.

A driver I didn't consider a real Chase contender before all the penalties were levied on Monday was Martin Truex Jr. However, I consider him a contender on one of the five 1.5-mile tracks because he’s the only driver to finish in the top-10 of all six run on this year. His last outing on one was at Atlanta two weeks ago where he finished third and his best outing was runner-up at Texas April 13. He tied a career best at Chicago last season with ninth-place. Look for him to better that this week and contend for the win.

Keselowski won’t be in the Chase, but his teammate Joey Logano will be. He’s at 20/1 odds to win the title, and I don’t like his chances either, but he’s got a fighting shot on these type of tracks like Chicago. He’s finished in the top-5 on three of the six 1.5-mile tracks this season and has shown great horsepower of late. He won on Michigan’s two-mile layout in late August and then finished second at Atlanta. Look for him to grab a win at one these tracks, maybe even this week.

Then we have Kasey Kahne from the Hendrick organization. It’s amazing that teammate Jimmie Johnson has been so bad on these tracks while Kahne has been so good. He’s been runner-up at Las Vegas, Kansas and Charlotte this season, and a win is sure to be coming soon. Kahne finished third in this race last season. If you think Kahne can put together 10 straight weeks of solid racing, 12/1 odds to win the Championship might be for you.

Top-5 Finish Prediction

1) #20 Matt Kenseth (6/1)
2) #22 Joey Logano (12/1)
3) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
4) #56 Martin Truex Jr. (15/1)
5) #29 Kevin Harvick (15/1)

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Re: Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Chicagoland
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com's Jeff Wackerlin breaks down all the stats and information to help steer you toward Sunday's GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Who's HOT at Chicagoland

• Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers entered in the race with a 9.3 average finish.
• Brad Keselowski has the best average finish (3.0) in the last two races - both with current Goodyear tire combination.
• Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in his last four starts.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman have each finished eighth or better in their last two starts.
• Carl Edwards has finished in the top five in two of his last three starts.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Chicagoland

• Joe Gibbs Racing (previous Chicago winner with Kyle Busch in 2008), Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Penske Racing each tested at Chicagoland Speedway last month.
• Martin Truex Jr. (5.5), Matt Kenseth (7.0), Kevin Harvick (9.0), Kasey Kahne (10.7) and Joey Logano (11.2) are the top five drivers in average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.
• Logano (3.7) and Kurt Busch (4.3) have the best average finishes in the last three races on 1.5-mile tracks.
• Mark Martin, who dominated the 2009 Chicagoland race en route to the win with Hendrick Motorsports, is coming off his first top 10 since subbing for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet. Stewart has finished ninth or better in his four Chicagoland starts with the team, including a win in 2011.
• Jeff Gordon has finished ninth or better in seven of the last 11 races at Chicagoland, including a win in the 2006 race.

Note: Sprint Cup Series teams will be running the same left- and right-side tire codes that they have run at Chicagoland since 2011. In that two-race span, Keselowski (3.0), Earnhardt (5.5), Johnson (6.0), Newman (6.5) and Harvick (7.0) are the top five drivers in average finish. Johnson has led the most laps with 211.

MotorRacingNetwork.com Writer Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Joey Logano
Pete Pistone: Matt Kenseth
Dustin Long: Matt Kenseth
John Singler: Matt Kenseth

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

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

Matt Kenseth: 12.8 average finish in 12 starts; Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Last of four top 10s came in 2008 (race held in July); Tested at the track last month; Second-best average finish (7.0), most wins (3) and laps led (355) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Jimmie Johnson: Won the pole and led 172 laps en route to a second-place finish last season; Leads all drivers entered in the race with a 9.3 average finish; Third-best average finish (6.0) and most laps led (211) in the two races with the current tire code combination; Seventh-best average finish (12.3) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 799) that he last finished 13th with at Pocono Raceway after leading 43 laps; This is also the same car he led 183 laps with en route to a ninth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway.

Kyle Busch: Won the 2008 race (held in July) from the pole; Coming off third top 10 in eight starts; Second among all drivers in wins (2) and laps led (299) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Tested at the track last month.

Kevin Harvick: Winner of the first two races in 2001 and 2002; Second-place finish in 2011 is last of six top fives in 12 starts; Fifth-best average finish (7.0) in the two races with the current tire code combination; Third-best average finish (9.0) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car: Will debut a new car (chassis No. 430) in the GEICO 400.

Carl Edwards: 8.3 average finish in last three starts; Eighth-best average finish (12.5) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 854) that he last finished eighth with at Michigan International Speedway.

Joey Logano: Coming off first top 10 (seventh) in four starts; Making first track start with Penske Racing; Tested at the track last month; Fifth-best average finish (11.2) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 863) in the GEICO 400.

Greg Biffle: Only top 10 came in the 2008 race (held in July); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 862) that he finished 10th with at Pocono Raceway in August; 20.0 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Clint Bowyer: Has finished in the top 10 in the last four races; Seventh-best average finish (8.5) in the two races with the current tire code combination; Tested at the track last month; 16.2 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Second-best average finish (5.5) in the two races with the current tire code combination; Eighth-place finish last year was fifth top 10 in 12 starts; Won the 2005 race (held in July) with Dale Earnhardt, Inc; 18.5 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 810) that he finished sixth with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kurt Busch: 18.2 average finish in 12 starts; Finished sixth (for the third time) and led 64 laps in 2011 driving for Penske Racing; Will make first track start with Furniture Row Racing; Ninth-best average finish (14.2) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Kasey Kahne: Finished third last year in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports; Sixth-best average finish (7.5) in the two races with the current tire code combination; Fourth-best average finish (10.7) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 809) that he last finished seventh with at Michigan International Speedway.

Ryan Newman: Has finished eighth or better in three of his four track starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Won in 2003 (race held in July) with Penske Racing; Fourth-best average finish (6.5) in the two races with the current tire code combination; 10th-best average finish (14.5) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 733) that he last finished 13th with at Michigan International Speedway; This is also the same car he scored the win with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jeff Gordon: 29.5 average finish in last two races; Has finished in the top 10 in seven of his 12 starts, including a win in 2006 (race held in July); 20.8 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Brad Keselowski: Best average finish (3.0) in the two races with the current tire code combination; Tested at the track last month; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 864) in the GEICO 400.

Paul Menard: 17.5 average finish in last two starts; Only top 10 (10th) came in the 2010 race (held in July); 17.3 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 428) that he last finished fourth with at Michigan International Speedway in August.

Martin Truex Jr.: Coming off second top 10 in seven starts; 12.7 average finish in three starts with Michael Waltrip racing; Tested at the track last month; Leads all drivers with a 5.5 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Aric Almirola: Finished 17th in only start last season; Tested at the track last month; 16.5 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 864) in the GEICO 400.

Juan Pablo Montoya: Only top 10 (10th) came in the 2009 race (held in July); 18.5 average finish in last two starts; 17.8 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Making first Cup track start in the same car (chassis No. 860) that he last finished 25th with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 19.3 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car.

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Re: Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

GEICO 400 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts
Sportingnews.com

After watching Joey Logano have another strong performance during Saturday's final practice session at Chicagoland Speedway, he shoots up the ratings charts as the top driver expected to win Sunday's Geico 400. Logano had the eighth-fastest lap in the early session and the third-fastest lap during happy hour, but what makes him so highly thought of this week is his recent performances on the big horsepower 1.5- and 2-mile tracks.

We all saw it coming with Logano. He was showing signs earlier in the year that he was going to be a threat on these tracks with a third-place finish at Fontana in March. Then there was a fifth at Texas and Charlotte, third at Kentucky, and then he finally broke through with his first win of the season at Michigan in August. On his next attempt at big, fast track, he was runner-up at Atlanta on Sept. 1.

Not only has he proved to be one of the most consistent drivers on these type of tracks, but he's also riding with all kinds of confidence as he heads into the Chase. For the first time in his career, Logano is showing that he belongs up there with the small group of elite drivers. He starts from the pole on Sunday and should also take comfort in the fact that teammate Brad Keselowski won this race last season, which kicked off an improbable Sprint Cup Championship run.

Logano is currently 20-to-1 odds to win the Championship and should be considered a strong candidate to give favorites Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch a run for their money. No one believed Keselowski could win at the start of the Chase last season, but he changed a lot of attitudes toward what is perceived needed to win a Chase.

For the most part, the only model we had for what it takes to win a Chase was based in Johnson and the few that were able to outlast him over the 10-race stretch. That is, until Keselowski showed us how it‘s done.

It also helps a driver's cause to win the Chase if they're good on the type of track that half the Chase races are on, which are 1.5-mile tracks. We're not saying he's going to win it all, we're just not putting his name down on the bottom half of listed contenders. Since there are 13 drivers this year, Logano falls into the top-six of contending drivers. He just might turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread.

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Re: Geico 400 400 Betting News and Notes

Chase for the Cup starts Sunday in Chicago
By Brian Graham
Statfox.com

The Chase for the Cup is finally here as 12 drivers being a 10-race circuit to determine this year’s points champion. The Chase opens in Chicago on Sunday, marking the first daytime race in four weeks. Chicagoland Speedway is an intermediate track that was completed in 2000. Its configuration is a 1½-mile tri-oval shaped track with 18-degree banking on the turns, 11-degree banking on the 2,400-foot frontstretch and five-degree banking on the backstretch, which measures 1,700 feet. Brad Keselowski is the defending champion of this race.

Drivers to Watch

Clint Bowyer (15/1) -
In seven career races at Chicago, Bowyer has finished outside the top-10 only once, back in 2008 (22nd place). He's also raced very well on other 1.5-mile tracks recently, finishing 5th at Kansas, 8th at Charlotte and 3rd and Kentucky before engine failure ended his day in Atlanta in a race he led for 48 laps. Bowyer has yet to taste victory in 2013, but with a hefty eight top-5 finishes this season, he’s our pick to finally take home the checkered flag on Sunday.

Matt Kenseth (6/1) - The 1.5-mile track specialist has won two of the past four races at this distance, taking the checkered flag both in Kansas and Kentucky as part of his five wins in 2013. Kenseth has yet to win in 12 starts at Chicagoland, but he does have four top-7 finishes including two runner-ups at this track. He's also put himself in great starting position in the past two races at this venue, winning a pole and starting from the No. 3 spot which propelled him to a combined 48 laps led. The payoff isn't too favorable, but Kenseth is still worthy of a good-sized wager for Sunday's race.

Ryan Newman (25/1) -
Newman may be fortunate to join the Chase for the Cup group, but he is determined to show he belongs among these dozen drivers. Not only has he placed eighth or better in three of his past four starts at this track, but Newman tested at Chicagoland earlier this year. He's also been strong in the past four 1.5-mile tracks with an average finish of 9.8, most recently coming in fifth place in Atlanta. This was part of his four top-5's in his past seven starts. At 25-to-1, Newman represents the best betting value on the board here.

Brad Keselowski (12/1) - He may not be able to defend his points title, but Keselowski has a great chance to repeat his Chicagoland victory on Sunday. In addition to that win, he also placed fifth at Chicagoland Speedway in 2011. And although he has finished poorly in his past three races (27.3 average finish), taking himself out of Chase contention, Keselowski has qualified pretty well lately with top-12 starts in seven of his past eight races. With no more pressure to worry about his place in the standings, the No. 2 car has no reason to play it safe and should be near the front of the pack all day on Sunday. With double-digit odds, he's worthy of a small wager.

Aric Almirola (100/1) - As longshots go, Almirola appears to be the only triple-digit wager worth looking at this weekend. He's placed among the top-15 in two of the past four races on 1.5-mile tracks and he did test at Chicago in late August. Although he placed 17th in his lone Chicagoland start last year, remember that Almirola started second and led for three laps. He's also placed among the top-20 drivers in each of his past 10 starts this season that didn't end in a crash. Don't spend more than one unit on the 29-year-old, but the jackpot here is too substantial to completely ignore Almirola.

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