NASCAR Best Bets: Foxwoods Casino 301
Matt Selz brings you his top bets for today's NASCAR slate.
The Magic Mile, a.k.a. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, is hosting its lone Cup race this weekend in the form of the Foxwoods Casino 301. There are 301 laps scheduled around this 1-mile flat track that has minimal banking in the corners and resembles a Martinsville that’s twice the size and slightly wider corners. This is a track where short track racing is more in play and intermediate style racing takes more of a back seat. So expect long runs with the same driver in the lead and some beating and banging, as we saw last year coming to the finish between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. So let’s start looking at the favorite bets for Sunday’s race.
Kevin Harvick +350 - Harvick is once again the odds on favorite this week...I know shocker right? He’s won three of the last five races here including the last two July races and used great pit strategy to get the car up front late in the race in those wins. That’s been a strength of the 4-car team this year with in-race adjustments being key with no practice sessions and that’s why they’ve flourished, in addition to having the fastest car most weeks.
Denny Hamlin +425 - Hamlin nearly won here last year going side-by-side with Harvick in the final corner but coming up just short. He does have a win here previously and has been a great pick most weeks to have a very competitive car. Starting P2 gives him a great shot at staying near the front throughout the race and presuming he has the setup correct, or can adjust it better than they did a few weeks ago, Hamlin is a great pick to add to his already series-leading wins total.
Kyle Busch +550 - Busch, or KFB as he’s calling himself these days, has been ticking in the right direction the last few races and led a season-high number of laps at Kansas last race. Busch and JGR in general have been very good here over the last several years and this track fits Busch’s driving style as well. There’s only been one other season where he’s not had a win after 19 points races and in that season he picked up the first win in the 20th race, which would be this weekend’s race.
Martin Truex Jr +700 - Truex has three top-fives in the last four races here and has the best average finish in the last four races as well. Truex should be a factor all day as he tries to notch his first win at a track that he’s never won at before and just keep in mind his recent successes at Martinsville and Richmond, two tracks that can be compared to New Hampshire in terms of driving style.
Aric Almirola +1500 - Almirola is on the pole for Sunday’s race and pole-sitters have won an eighth of the time in the 48 Cup races at this track. In the last eight points races, Almirola has eight top-10s and five of those are top-fives while leading more than 200 laps as well. The 10-car has been fast and Almiriola is looking to lock in his spot in the playoffs with a win and is in the catbird seat to start the race on Sunday to notch his first win in a year and a half.
Matt DiBenedetto +3500 - DiBenedetto loves shorter tracks. Lives for them, and it shows. His performances at short tracks are far better than basically any other style and that goes for New Hampshire as well where he got a top-five in last July’s race here. He was in a Toyota last year, but a typically 25th or worse Toyota, as compared to being in the 21-car for Wood Brothers this year which is an uptick in equipment. DiBenedetto has been a threat for top-10s quite frequently this year at tracks that he doesn’t normally run well at and now comes the Magic Mile. He’ll need some good pit strategy but it’s quite possible he’s in position late to fight for a win.
Matt Kenseth +4400 - Kenseth has three wins at this track and was quite good here even up to his then-retirement a year and a half ago. It fits his methodical, rhythmic, driving style and picking him to do well at tracks he’s done well at previously since he’s come back has been a recipe for success to this point. He’s starting P21 on Sunday and nearly 21-percent of New Hampshire winners have come from outside the top-20 starting spots so it’s not far fetched he gets up there.
Christopher Bell +6600 - Bell won here twice in his two Xfinity series races and finished P2 and P1 in his two Truck series races as well. Now he was starting a lot closer to the front in those races than he is on Sunday as he’s starting P35 but the near 21-percent of winners from outside the top-20 stat from above also works for Bell. He’s proven he can finish inside the top-10 and even top-five when starting that far back, he’s had a lot of practice at it having started P32 or worse in nine of the 13 random draw qualifying races, so a track he’s had a great history at in the lower series isn’t a bad one to take a shot on longer odds that he can notch his first career Cup win and get you a nice pay day