It’s high time we jumped into the exciting action of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, and with today’s desert showdown in Phoenix Arizona for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 starting at 1:00 PM ET, it’s a perfect opportunity to delve into this increasingly popular sport, and take a look at some of its stars as we enter the second event of the 8-month long campaign.
After what was undoubtedly one of the most bizarre Daytona 500 races ever witnessed, in which pounding rain pushed the start to Monday for the first time in history, numerous wrecks knocked top competitors out of the field in the early goings, and a collision between Juan Pablo Montoya and a jet dryer produced arguable one of the greatest fireballs ever seen on a race track (thankfully only minor injuries to Montoya’s foot were sustained), we move into even closer confines at the 1-mile track at Phoenix for an intimate race featuring the top names in the NASCAR circuit. With Mark Martin jumping out on the pole position with a speed of 136.815, it will be interesting to see if this race becomes favored for the veteran drivers who are better adept at working in the pack, or if all hell breaks loose once again and a free-for-all ensues if the tight racing quarters produce more fender benders.
Let’s take a look at some of the top drivers, and which ones have the best shots at emerging victorious in the 2nd race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and check out the betting lines courtesy of TopBet Sportsbook, one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here.
Tony Stewart – Starting in the first row for the race today, last year’s Sprint Cup Champion comes off a mediocre showing in the Daytona 500 last week, finishing 16th and once again failing to catch the elusive Daytona 500 trophy that has escaped him all his career. He’s got history in Phoenix as well, where he picked up his first victory back in 1999, but hasn’t won since. Stewart finished in the Top 10 in both races here last year, and has been amongst the leaders over the years, however something always seems to keep Stewart off the podium in this race. At +800 odds, could Stewart finally find his way to win here after 13 years? History is certainly against him, but Stewart is a great driver who with a little luck today could be a solid payoff in this race.
Carl Edwards – Edwards sat on top of the leaderboard to start the Daytona 500 last week, and while his 8th place finish was a little disappointing as he never led a single lap during the race, his consistency was once again on display with another top 10 placing on a wild race day. Edwards last came away a winner in Phoenix in 2010, and has nabbed 6 top-5 finishes and 10 top 10′s. Sitting way back in the pack in 24th position, but still getting low odds at +800, Edwards is obviously a consideration to pull out a victory in this race today.
Jimmy Johnson – The former Sprint Cup Series Champion got his season off to a very rocky start. Getting knocked out of the Daytona 500 after the first lap, as well as seeing his crew chief Chip Knaus suspended and the team docked 25 points for a failed car inspection, Johnson will need a big showing in today’s race to get the team back from an early-season hole. JJ has the top odds for the race today as he’s qualified 4th, and has won at Phoenix 4 times. Add in his history of solid performances of the years here (11 top 5′s, 14 top 10′s), and there’s plenty of reason why he’s a top candidate to pull off a victory on the shorter track today, getting +400 odds at TopBet.
Kyle Busch – Last year’s 2nd place finisher at Phoenix, Busch is always a gamer on this short oval, and quietly enters this race in the 12th spot. Busch has 1 win and 8 top-10 finishes out in the desert, and in 3 of the 4 races on this track over the last two years he’s been in position to win. There’s no question that Busch is a great driver, and in a race where a well set-up car and a great driver is often the winning combination, this could be his race. Last spring saw an engine issue as the only thing preventing Busch from entering victory lane, so at +600 odds today, the Joe Gibbs’ Racing M&M’s car could be a good horse to get behind.
Jeff Gordon – The defending Subway Fresh Fit 500 champion seems to have a lot of people questioning whether he’s fallen off a little bit from his elite-level racing form, but the veteran driver could be in contention to win especially if there are problems in the front of the pack. Starting 30th definitely hurts his chances a bit, but in a long race on a short track anything can happen. Gordon has an impressive 10 top 5 finishes on this track to go along with last year’s win, indicating his skill as a driver, so don’t rule him out with decent +1500 odds as a longer shot.
Denny Hamlin – Qualifying 13th for this race and finishing 4th in the Daytona 500 last week, Hamlin has 5 top-5 finishes and 6 top 10′s to his credit, but has never won at Phoenix during his career. At +1000 odds to win, he could be one of the best options amongst the drivers who haven’t experienced victory on this track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Winless in 130 races now after just falling short at Daytona and finishing second, it seems its only a matter of time before Junior finds his way to the podium. He’s racing hard and aggressive, and even though he’s in the back of the pack starting 29th after a mediocre showing on qualifying day, we’re not ruling him out as he should be working with teammate Jeff Gordon all day long, and should have confidence backing him after a good Daytona finish. At +2500 odds, he’s an intriguing pick as a great driver on a long shot bet.
Make sure to check out all the betting lines for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race at Phoenix International Raceway, as the budding NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will undoubtedly make for great sports betting options to help close out another busy, sports-packed weekend. Jump into the action today at TopBet Sportsbook, and take a shot on one of the top drivers in NASCAR competition at the exciting 312 mile race in the desert.