This week NASCAR heads west to Phoenix International for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. The following is a look at a few drivers to watch along with their current odds to win on Sunday.
The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing season
started with a bang last Sunday when an unheralded driver named Trevor Bayne,
in just his second start on the circuit, shocked the racing world with a
dramatic upset victory in the sport’s biggest event; the Daytona 500. Some
sportsbooks had 20 year-old has high as an 80/1 longshot but NASCAR betting odds boards had
him lumped into a ‘field bet’ at 5/1. Either way it was one of the biggest
upsets not just in NASCAR racing but in the world of sports.
Subway Fresh Fit 500
Denny Hamlin, who finished second in the Sprint
Cup point standings in 2010, is the current odds-on-favorite to win this race
at plus 500. Last week at Daytona he started 18th and finished 21st.
Last year in this race he started 26th and finished a disappointing
30th. Hamlin has never won the Fresh Fit 500 but in just five career
starts he has three consecutive third-place finishes from 2006 to 2008 and a
sixth-place finish in 2009.
A couple of racing heavyweights are tied as the
second-favorites to win this race at plus 600. Jimmie Johnson, who is in
pursuit of his sixth straight Sprint Cup title, is coming off a 27th-place
finish at Daytona but should be a major factor this week. He has four career
victories at this track including a first-place finish in this race in 2008.
Last year he finished fifth after starting 21st. Johnson has 13 top
ten finishes at Phoenix in 15 career starts and five top 10 finishes in this
The other driver at plus 600 is Carl Edwards,
who is one of the most consistent drivers in the Sprint Cup series. He started
the 2011 season on a strong note with a second-place finish at Daytona. He took
the checkered flag in his last trip to Phoenix, in the second to last race of
the 2010 season, after finishing seventh in this race earlier in the year.
Edwards has eight top 10 finishes at this track including five in this race.
Last year’s winner of the Subway Fresh Fit 500
was Ryan Newman. This year he has been opened plus 3000 to repeat as champion.
He not only won this race last year after starting 14th, he finished
second in the other race at this track after staring 18th. Newman’s
long odds can be attributed to the fact he only has five top 10 finishes in 17
career starts at this track and last year’s victory was his only top 10 finish
in this race.
A value pick for this race could be Jeff Burton
at plus 2500. He struggled at Phoenix last season with a 25th-place
finish in this race and a 19th-place finish in the second one, but
does have a solid resume at this track over the course of his 18-year racing
career. Burton has 12 top 10 finishes at this track including six top five
finishes and two victories.
Will another unknown driver step it up this weekend and be the first to the checkered flag defying the betting odds? Or do you find it in your best interest to stick with the guys at the top of their game? You can discuss anything and everything NASCAR over at SBR's NASCAR Forum.