The following article is brought to you by BetMGM.
When it comes to Kansas Speedway, you never know who might pull off the win. In fact, this Sunday’s Buschy McBusch Race 400 (3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) has eight different past Kansas winners in the current starting lineup. That makes for an interesting field when you bet NASCAR online.
But of course that doesn’t mean you’ll see the same old drivers celebrating afterward, as you can see below. The youngsters have proven this year they are more than capable of overcoming the veterans. Five of this year’s races already have been won by drivers who’ve been full time in the Cup Series for less than seven years.
If you’re following the NASCAR odds this week, you’ll see some unique names, which we’ll discuss below.
Denny Hamlin (+450)
Where is Denny Hamlin not good, right? More than half of his 552 career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series are top-10 finishes, and more than one third of his starts are finishes within the top five — and he tops this Sunday’s NASCAR betting lines. He has two wins in his last three starts at Kansas Speedway. His recent success on this track, coupled with his torrid start to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season (eight top-five finishes in 10 races), makes him a prime candidate to capture the checkered flag this weekend.
And frankly? He needs a win. He has dominated the season and sits atop the season’s standings — and it’s not even close. He is already 87 points ahead of the nearest competitor (Martin Truex, Jr.). But he’s also the only guy in the top six without a victory this year. While he’s still in great shape to make the postseason, a win would lock everything in for what has already been a dream season.
OTHERS: Right behind Hamlin in the odds are Kyle Larson (+650) and Truex (+650), while Kevin Harvick (+900) is a guy you never want to rule out (three wins, 17 top-10 finishes out of 30 starts). As usual, the veteran racers are threats. Brad Keselowski (+850) starts on the pole.
THE DARK HORSE THREAT
Chase Elliott (+900)
It won’t be long before calling Chase Elliott a dark horse threat just looks dumb. He’s good on road courses, he’s good on superspeedways — you name it. In fact, that may remind some big-time fans of his old man, 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Bill Elliott (44 career wins). But you can’t ignore the following data: In 10 career races at Kansas, Chase has a win, four top-five performances and six top 10s. He could be the happiest driver this weekend, but frankly — he could be that guy just about every weekend.
OTHERS: William Byron (+1400) continues to impress, and his BetMGM odds reflect it. He’ll start second this weekend. Don’t be surprised if he pulls off the win.
THE INTRIGUING LONG SHOT
Erik Jones (+10000)
Jones has a tough starting position at 27th, but he’s proven he races well when he races in The Sunflower State. During his short career at the NASCAR Cup Series level, he has five top-10 finishes and three top threes in just nine starts there. In two of his past three starts there, he has actually started out in the 20s, only to come home with fifth and seventh-place finishes. He knows how to navigate traffic at 1.5-mile oval tracks. On the intermediate tracks, his success percentages (top fives, top 10s and average finish) are his best among track types.
OTHERS: It’s funny, for a guy who actually has a pretty good record here, Chase Briscoe (+25000) isn’t expected to capture the checkered flag. Granted, he starts 19th on Sunday, but he’s won here on two junior racing circuits (Xfinity and ARCA). Joining SHR was his big Cup Series break. Who knows, right? If you take this guy and he rocks it, you’ll look really smart.