The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its first of two scheduled trips to Kansas this week for the GO BOWLING 400. Four of the first six races have finished in under three hours so there is a good chance that we see another faster race at Kansas this Saturday night. It will be the first night race of the season, which will only add to the excitement. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. shocked the NASCAR world with a victory in the GEICO 500 this week. Stenhouse is even less likely to produce back-to-back victories but after last week’s surprise finish it will be very interesting to see what happens in Kansas this weekend.
Event: GO BOWLING 400
Category: NASCAR Sprint Cup
Date: Saturday May 13th, 2017
Location: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas
Kyle Busch will be looking for a breakthrough at Kansas this weekend. The defending champion at the GO BOWLING 400, Busch placed third at last week’s GEICO 500. Busch has consistently finished in the top-10 but he is still looking for his first win heading in to this week’s race.
Past Five Winners
2016: Kyle Busch
2015: Jimmie Johnson
2014: Jeff Gordon
2013: Matt Kenseth
2012: Denny Hamlin
What To Know About The Track
There won’t be much space to operate with this week at Kansas so track position will be extremely important. Drivers that don’t have fast cars will struggle to make up ground on the competition in the pits. However, tires don’t wear out as much as Kansas as they do at other tracks so there should be plenty of two tire pit stops in order for teams to try to get their cars in front. This will be the fifth race at an intermediate track this season. It won’t be a surprise if the drivers that have had success at this type of track this season continue to perform at a high level this weekend.
We have seen some strong parity throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series so far this season with only two drivers that have picked up multiple victories so far this year. Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson have each won twice and both drivers are threats to win this weekend. Johnson won this race in 2015 while Keselowski won this race back in 2011. Meanwhile, Busch returns as the defending champion for this race hoping that he can finally find a way to break through with a victory. Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott have all been extremely consistent so far this season and should be among the sports betting favorites to win this weekend.
A Good Matchup To Bet: Kyle Larson over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The sportsbooks have made a slight adjustment since Dale Jr. announced he will retire at the end of this season. It seems as though Dale Jr.’s odds are slightly worse than they should be based on the perception that he could be in for a strong finish based in part on the fact that this is his final season. However, there is nothing about his performance that suggests Dale Jr. is worth taking a chance on this week. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson has been the most consistent driver in NASCAR all season and he has been at his best on intermediate tracks. Larson is a threat to win every week and he should be a strong pick in the head-to-head matchup versus Dale Jr. for this week’s GO BOWLING 400. Jr. is the better name but Larson is the driver who has had the better season.
Top-Five Pick: Kyle Busch
Busch has proven he can win here in the past and he should be locked in this week as he chases his first victory of the season at the GO BOWLING 400. Busch hasn’t won yet but he has three top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes this season. It’s only a matter of time before Busch breaks through with a victory and his skill set and experience and Kansas make it very likely it happens this week. Busch is the best bet on the board to finish in the top-five at the GO BOWLING 400 this week.
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