Can-Am 500 Betting Preview
Race: Can-Am 500
Date: Sunday November 11, 2018
Track: ISM Raceway
Time: 2:30 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
What We Learned From Last Week
Well, Texas was…interesting. It brought forth a whole other personality of Aric Almirola that I didn’t know existed, and I have to say that I not too keen on him anymore. I’ve always vouched for him, being that I never felt like he got the attention he deserved. This has literally been for years. I always saw the talent that he had, and now that he’s with a solid team, he’s managed to really bring forth that talent moving throughout this season and staying in championship contention the whole year. That being said, he really needs to chill out on the other drivers. Oh, so Logano and you swapped paint and you came out with the short stick? Buddy, that doesn’t mean that he was supposed to cut you some slack. So, Logano is already going to Homestead, huh? That doesn’t mean that he isn’t trying to win another race or gain as many points as he can as well. I’m so tired of hearing drivers say that so and so should’ve cut them some slack because he is already moving on. Dude, that’s not how this whole racing thing works. I’m not going to give up a SINGLE spot to anyone just because I’ve already earned my spot moving forward. I can always take another win or another point. Slow your roll, Almirola. You’re not making any friends on and off the track with that attitude.
Now that my rant is over, we can move on to winner Kevin Harvick. I’m not surprised he won to be honest. He’s always been a top notch driver at Texas and proved that he’s still not giving up on a repeat championship hope. I mean, he quite frankly dominated the race, leading 177 laps, winning all of the stages, and coming away with his 8th win of the season. That’s not too shabby. He’s been having a good run of bad luck, but he managed to cast away that winless since August spell on Sunday, reassuring his team that they’ve still got what it takes. Ironically, even though he won at Texas, he said he’s going to Phoenix this weekend to win another race. Take note, Almirola. Harvick will likely not cut you any slack either because he *gasps* wants to win another race for some strange reason. He’s not worried about anyone else’s race. Regardless, Ryan Blaney finished second, who was the pole winner of the race. Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five spots.
We Are We Headed This Week?
This weekend, the drivers are headed to the blue walls of Phoenix. This track is a pretty awesome track. I don’t know if it’s the unique configuration or simply being that it’s the last race before the champion is crowned, but whatever it is, Phoenix brings nothing short of a thrilling race to both fans and drivers. At 1.022 miles, this asphalt oval has variable 10-11 degree banking through turns one and two and through the dogleg, which is a unique characteristic of this track. Turns 3 and 4 have between 8 and 9 degrees of banking, while the backstretch varies slightly between 8 and 10 degrees. The frontstretch is mild at only 3 degrees. Tires are the name of the game here. Because of the configuration, the drivers are really pushing hard on the tires through the entire track. Another issue here tends to be pit road. Drivers tend to have speeding penalties on and off pit road, leading to loss of races and championships. It’ll be interesting to see how the drivers handle pit road and the intricacies it takes to make it work at this place.
Potential Winners and Odds Heading into Martinsville
Coming into Phoenix, it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow to bet against Kevin Harvick. This guy is pretty fabulous here. With 7 wins, who can top him, especially after coming off a win at Texas? Overall, Harvick has finished in the top 6 in twelve of his last thirteen starts here. Along with a win this spring, Harvick just has some momentum coming into the weekend. There will be a lot of other competitors as well, but Harvick should top them all. Kyle Busch and Truex will give them a run for their money, but with Truex still looking for his first career win here, it’s unlikely that this will be the weekend. It’s not that he’s not great here, but he’s never managed to pull off that win. Anything is possible, but I just don’t think that anyone will be able to top Harvick. Let’s take a look at your potential winners heading into Phoenix this weekend:
My Pick to Win: Kevin Harvick
Middle of the Road Pick: Erik Jones
Dark Horse Prediction: William Byron
Byron is for sure a long shot, but he’s still trying to build his portfolio. He will give a good shot for a strong finish to the season, but I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to pull off win over Harvick. Erik Jones actually is coming off a strong weekend, with a top 5 finish at Texas. His practice and qualifying options will give us a better look at how the weekend will go. Overall, though, I think that Harvick will be the guy to beat.
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Here are your current top 8 after last week’s race:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Joey Logano
3. Kyle Busch
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Kurt Busch
6. Chase Elliott
7. Aric Almirola
8. Clint Bowyer
Almirola and Bowyer are in must-win positions. They can’t make it in on points alone. On the other hand, Kurt Busch and Truex are tied at 25 points behind Harvick, but Truex is just above Busch because of his standings this season. Kyle Busch is only 3 points above both Truex and his brother. This will be the last race before the top 4 are locked in for Homestead. Right now, Harvick and Logano certainly don’t have to worry about a thing, but you best believe that they will be racing for a win and every point available. There will be no cutting slack this weekend. Sorry, Almirola. Stay tuned for a great weekend of racing as we head to Phoenix for the last race before the 2018 champion is crowned at Homestead!!