Auto Club 500 Picks

NASCAR heads out West this week for Auto Club 500 on Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway.

Unlike last week’s thrilling finish, chances are we won't see another exciting race since this track is known for some of the most boring racing year in and year out.

Bet the 2010 Auto Club 500
The Daytona 500 tends not to teach bettors what to expect over the course of an entire season since plate racing doesn't show how teams have improved over the offseason. This race will reveal a great deal about which drives will be contenders in 2010 and which won’t, since you need both horsepower and a great handling car to win here. There are many tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule with similar characteristics, so this race is good barometer for those to watch and those to avoid.
Kasey Kahne 151/1
When Kasey Kahne hit the track at Daytona he showed that this team improved over the offseason thanks to its affiliation with Rousch-Fenway Racing. Where the team showed most improvement was under the hood, which was something he seemed to missing last year. In 12 starts, Kahne has an average finish of 14.8, which is a bit misleading since he had 3 DNF's in those 12 starts. But in those other nine races, his average dipped to 7.2, which is third best behind Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards. If his team can give him another great car this week, look for him to be up front and in contention at a nice price.
Carl Edwards 12/1
The Roush-Fenway cars are always consistent at California and Edwards may be the favorite to win this week after a strong showing at Daytona. Of his nine wins in 2008, six of them came on these 1.5-2 mile tracks and he managed a seventh and sixth place finish last year, which says a lot considering how bad he ran all season. Thanks to an off year, we think Edwards offers real value and a bit of a overlay considering his history on tracks similar to this.
Live Longshot
Matt Kenseth 15/1
Last season Matt Kenseth not only won at Daytona, but he won this race the following week. But after that it was a season in which he would rather forget since it was the first time he missed the chase. Much was expected last week at Daytona, but thanks to an ill handling car he was never a threat at any point. With his history on these tracks, as well as all of the Rousch cars, don't be surprised if he repeats this Sunday.

Bet the 2010 Auto Club 500

Posted: 2/21/10 10:00AM ET

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