NASCAR betting: Food City 500 preview

Mar 14, 2013 |
NASCAR betting: Food City 500 preview
Ryan Newman always runs fast on the half-mile track at Bristol.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Ryan Newman always runs fast on the half-mile track at Bristol.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The Sprint Cup Series moves to the fastest half mile in racing with the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday.

The steep banking will be the latest test for the Gen 6 cars, which are getting mixed reviews to start the season. Bristol is known for bump-and-run racing and the new bumpers, which aren’t as flat as the Gen 5 car, could allow drivers to easily bully their way to the front.

Favorite: Jimmie Johnson +500

The No. 48 car is once again the betting favorite heading into the weekly Sprint Cup event. Jimmie Johnson, who leads the points chase after a sixth-place finish in Las Vegas last weekend, hasn’t been as sharp at Bristol during his career but has finished inside the Top 10 in four straight races there, including a runner-up showing in the August race last year. He won this race back in 2010, his lone win in 22 starts at Bristol.

Live dog: Jeff Gordon +1,200

Gordon is among the best at Bristol, boasting an average finish of 11.9 – third among active drivers. He’s finished third in two of his last three trips there and has five wins at the half-mile track. However, the most recent came in 2002 and the track underwent a facelift in 2007. Gordon has completed 95.63 percent of his laps at Bristol and survival may be the name of the game, depending on how easy passing is in the Gen 6 car.

Long shot: Ryan Newman +5,000

"The Rocket Man" runs fast at Bristol, which is good and bad. He’s taken the pole three times and has placed among the Top 10 in 12 of his 22 career races there. But Newman has also got into trouble at Bristol, like last year’s August race in which he raced just 189 laps. He hasn’t had a fair shake this season, falling to engine issues and accidents since a fifth-place showing at Daytona. If the No. 39 Chevy can avoid trouble, he could find himself up front Sunday.

Key stat: 21 – Chevrolet has won 21 of the 52 Food City 500 races, going back to 1961. Chevy has visited Victory Lane four times in the past eight years. Each manufacturer – Toyata, Ford, Chevrolet – has a win this season. Chevy leads the manufacturers standings with 21 points.

Notable quotable:

“There is some glass on the nose of these cars that we can fold up pretty easily and we might have to cut noses off the cars even from not being part of a crash, but just the stack up on the restart might cave in noses. We might have some modified looking vehicles out there running around. There will be a learning process. I don’t think the aero balance and implications there will come through, but we’ll be talking a lot more about less weight, the type of camber we’re allowed to run this year and things like that.” – Jimmie Johnson on the new Gen 6 car at Bristol.

Odds to win Food City 500 (Courtesy of JustBet)

Jimmie Johnson 5-1
Kyle Busch 7-1
Brad Keselowski 7-1
Denny Hamlin 7-1
Jeff Gordon 12-1
Greg Biffle 12-1
Tony Stewart 12-1
Matt Kenseth 12-1
Kasey Kahne 12-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12-1
Carl Edwards 12-1
Kevin Harvick 15-1
Clint Bowyer 20-1
Martin Truex Jr. 25-1
Brian Vickers 30-1
Joey Lagano 40-1
Ryan Newman 50-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 60-1
Jamie McMurray 60-1
Juan Montoya 60-1
Paul Menard 75-1
Marcos Ambrose 75-1
Kurt Busch 75-1
Jeff Burton 100-1
Aric Almirola 100-1
A.J. Allmendinger 300-1
Danica Patrick 500-1
Field (Any Other Driver) 100-1

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