NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Betting Preview

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Aug/06/2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Betting Preview

Cheez-It 355

Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY Odds to Win Race


The NASCAR circuit will make the short trip north from the Poconos to Watkins Glen for the Cheez-It 355 this week, a 90-lap, 220.5-mile race that has been held on at this venue since 1957. This is just one of two road courses during the season, the other being Sonoma Raceway, and will bring plenty of specialty drivers to race specifically at these type of tracks. Both Tony Stewart (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009) and Jeff Gordon (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001) have proven to be a couple of the best drivers when at these type of venues, but without them taking home the trophy in any of the past five years, it is time for some new names to make a mark on the winding asphalt.

Last year it was A.J. Allmendinger who took the checkered flag at the end of the 220+ miles, earning his first career victory behind a time of 2:26:48 with an average speed of 90.123 MPH. Watkins Glen has been a hotbed for new names to get wins since the likes of Gordon and Stewart with Juan Pablo Montoya (2010), Marcos Ambros (2011, 2012) and Allmendinger (2014) all getting Sprint Cup Series wins at road courses only.

In the first visit to a road course this year, the Busch brothers, led by Kyle, went one-two at Sonoma and it was Kyle who has won here (2008 and 2013) twice before as well. With only five more races before “The Chase”, let’s find a few racers who could do well on the turns at Watkins Glen this week.

A.J. Allmendinger (+450) - There is a reason that a guy who is 24th in the Sprint Cup Series standings is the favorite this week to win; he is a much better road racer. In 2015, he has just three top-10 finishes over 21 starts and has failed to crack the top-five once, even at Sonoma where he failed to finish the race. Despite that, he is solid on the twisting road courses and is 6-for-13 in getting top-10s at such tracks in his career while having his one win here last year. He has another top-five in that time and his 94.7 driver rating is seventh among current drivers at Watkins Glen. It had been since the beginning of March that the 34-year-old had cracked the top-10 this season, but he was able to get his act together leading up to this race and ended last week’s race in the Pocono’s in seventh after a pole of 22nd. His team is coming around at the right time to put up a huge performance at the Glen on Saturday.

Kyle Busch (+600) - Busch is the other obvious choice here and although his odds put him lower than Allmendinger, his experience at winning over his career and recent success make him a nice pick. He took down Sonoma back in June and was also the victor here in 2013, two of his four career victories on road courses. Not only has he been very successful at finishing off the races at these types of tracks, but he has been on fire since returning to the Sprint Cup Series in May and has won four of his 10 races in that time. Busch has won in four of the last six weeks, and looked to have another win under his belt last week after winning the pole, but ran out of gas at the end and finished in 21st after leading for 19 laps. Look for Busch to once again show up in a big way and continue his quest to make “The Chase.”

Brad Keselowski (+800) - Keselowski has limited experience at Watkins Glen, but in his five career visits to the track has earned himself three top-five finishes; all second places over three consecutive seasons between 2011 and 2013. He has a driver rating of 102.8 here (5th-best) and has spent 78.3% of his time (637 laps) in the top-15 (2nd-most) with an average green flag speed of 119.971 MPH (5th-fastest). His season has been similar to his results at the Glen as he has one victory while typically finishing just outside of first with three runners-up. Two of those came in the past three weeks; including in Pennsylvania as he took a start of ninth and led for three laps before giving it up to Matt Kenseth. The 31-year-old knows how to win as evidenced by his 17 career victories and he could be in line for his first win on a road course at the Cheez-It 355.<P>

Kasey Kahne (+3000) - Kahne has hit road courses 23 times in his career, and has a solid average finish of 18.7 while also earning a victory in Sonoma in 2009. He has been having a very rocky 2015 campaign, and has not done better than 19th at any of his last five stops as he comes off of a 43rd last week. But still, he is ranked 16th in the Sprint Cup standings with six top-10s in 21 races, with the last unsurprisingly coming at Sonoma where he grabbed an eighth after starting in 26th. Kahne has faded recently, but he should pick things up once again and have no issues competing for a top-10 finish with a chance at the top spot.<P>

Trevor Bayne (Field: +10000) - Much of the reason that Bayne is so low in the odds is that he has nearly zero experience racing on the road courses in the Sprint Cup Series. His visit to Sonoma this year was his first exposure to such a track and he actually fared quite well with a standing of 24th; a nice improvement over his start of 33rd. The youngster is fighting for a spot in “The Chase” for the first time after doing no better than 53rd in the past and has done so behind three of his career six top-10s this year; including two in the past seven races. Of the underdogs here this week, Bayne seems to be the best bet as his stock will continue to rise and he has plenty of wins coming in his future.


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