First Data 500 Predictions
The third stage of the NASCAR postseason gets underway this afternoon with the First Data 500. Here’s three drivers we like to contend for the victory.
According to the latest oddsmakers, Kyle Busch is the favorite today with +275 odds to win. Other short odds to win are Denny Hamlin (+450) and Martin Truex Jr. (+600). The First Data 500 is set to take place today at 3PM from Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia.
52102 Denny Hamlin +450
It’s hard to go against Hamlin here. Martinsville has always been a strong track for him. He has finished in the top 10 in 20 of the 27 races there in his career, including five wins. His average finish at Martinsville is 9.6, while his driver rating is 106.9. Hamlin has had a strong postseason thus far and is contention for his first series championship. I think he takes advantage today and punches his ticket to the final at Homestead.
52105 Joey Logano +700
Logano is just outside the crop of favorites, but I think he has really good value at 7/1 to win today. Logano is a former winner at Martinsville and he has an average finish of 13.4 in 21 races at this track. His driver rating of 94.2 is also very strong. Logano won this race last year and knows the importance of getting that spot in the final right away and not leaving it up to chance. I like his style to lead to a strong run today and possibly a win.
52113 Kurt Busch +4000
If you are looking for a longshot today, I think Kurt Busch has a lot of value. Busch isn’t in the playoff chase anymore, so his odds are already a bit longer, but Martinsville has been a pretty good track for the veteran. Busch is a two-time winner at Martinsville and he has finished 12th or better at the track in his last three appearances there. Busch only has to go for wins now, since he doesn’t have a series title to think about. He’s not one to just let the playoff drivers compete, so I expect him to be aggressive and give his all to get to the front.