Race: Hollywood Casino 400
Date: Sunday October 16, 2016
Track: Kansas Speedway
Time: 2:15 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
Jimmie Johnson proved that he still has what it takes to dominate at Charlotte! Hurricane Matthew put a damper on the weekend, pushing the Saturday night race into Sunday, but Johnson and his team managed to get to victory lane after all was said and done. This was actually quite the accomplishment for the 6-time champ, seeing as hes never made it into the round of 8 since the inception of this format of the Chase. This year, Johnson managed to contend with his biggest enemy, which seemed to be his own pit road speeding issues, to push forward and solidify his chance at the Championship.
Perhaps the biggest issue that we saw out of Charlotte was the amount of tire issues going on. It was to the point where the Goodyear reps were on tv explaining what was going on with the tire. Whenever Goodyear has to get on tv to explain anything, thats never good for them. The interesting thing is that the tire seemed to be separating because of the setup of the cars based on what Goodyear was saying. Im wondering if there was a difference between the setups being that the teams were expecting a night race and had to turn right around and readjust for a day race. That can substantially change the way a car handles, causing some major equipment deficits. Overall, between the tire issues and other mechanical issues, there were a slew of Chase drivers who suffered some pretty heavy hits. Overall, there were 5 Chase drivers who ended up finishing 30th or worse, with Kevin Harvick probably suffering one of the hardest blows.
What I think is pretty crazy is the media frenzy saying that the first round of the Chase was uneventful. We saw Truex Jr. take home 2 wins and Harvick took home the other. Four drivers were eliminated that we expected to be eliminated. Im going to fill everyone in on something here in terms of the first round of the Chase. Thats how it works. Theres not any kind of crazy that happens here. The most vulnerable guys always go first. I mean, I like Chris Buescher and all. But lets be real. You didnt think he was going to move on, did you? Not this year. And Tony Stewart? Well, we were all rooting for a Hail Mary, but his record just didnt support a championship run. The racing gets better as we move through the Chase. We see the points get tighter and the drivers get more aggressive as those coveted spots are limited through each round. With 5 Chase drivers finishing 30th or worse, there will definitely be some regrouping in the garage area and some serious competition on the track as 12 drivers all race for 8 spots.
This weekend that racing continues with the 2nd race of this 12 car group at Kansas. The best part about this race is the race that comes after it. Talladega leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of many drivers as the closing race to a round simply because the unpredictable nature of the track. Drivers who excel at superspeedways can be taken out in the blink of an eye. That being said, Kansas will be a hard-fought win for one of the drivers. Thats for sure. Overall, Im looking at the two frontrunners at this track being Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. Logano has won the last 2 Chase races here and Harvick, well he needs a win. He had power problems in his car last weekend, leaving him scraping for points at the bottom of the pack. Kansas Speedway is
a 1.5-mile asphalt tri-oval, exactly what the Penske driver of Joey Logano and SHR driver of Kevin Harvick excel at. This is a place where track position is critical, so look for those guys to be up front and trying to stay there all day long. Here are my picks for winners this weekend:
My Pick to Win: Joey Logano. Bet your pick using your credit card and get a generous 50% signup bonus up to $250 at one of the web’s best auto racing betting sites: Bovada.
Middle of the Road Pick: Kasey Kahne
Dark Horse Prediction: Chase Elliott
Chase Elliott was giving them a heck of a run at Charlotte and led a ton of laps before getting involved in a wreck and being one of the 5 drivers wiped out. I think that he is continuing to get stronger and will definitely be a major player in the field. Hes one of the most consistent rookie drivers out there and has proven that he has the ability to excel at most any type of track. Kasey Kahne ended his day with an impressive run at Charlotte. These types of tracks seem to do him well, and perhaps he can carry that consistency into this weekend. Overall, though, Logano will be the man on Sunday. Hes going to have a lot of competition, but he wants that win just as bad as anyone else to secure his spot in the next round, and hes proven that he can do that here.
Here are your current top 12 after last week’s race:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Kyle Busch
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Kurt Busch
6. Carl Edwards
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Austin Dillon
10. Chase Elliott
11. Joey Logano
12. Kavin Harvick
As you may very well notice, the two biggest contenders for this weekends race are at the bottom of the pack this week heading to Kansas. You can imagine that will most certainly bring tensions with it to the track. I honestly cant pick out more than maybe 1 or 2 drivers that Im surprised about in this bunch. I think that the Chase is a pretty good representation of the strength weve seen throughout the season from all of these teams. They all have a lot to prove and theyre all very strong competitors. I cant wait to see how everything turns out knowing were going to Talladega after this weekend. These guys will be battling for sure. Stay tuned for an action-packed race this Sunday at Kansas Speedway! For the largest selection of NASCAR prop bets and betting options, check out 5Dimes!
Hollywood Casino 400 Betting Odds
Martin Truex Jr