NASCAR’s Sprint Cup circuit speeds another race closer to its Chase for the Cup cut this weekend when it heads back to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania for the running of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sunday (1 pm Eastern, ESPN).
Last Sunday Wisconsinite Paul Menard, who went off as a 60/1 shot at BetDSI.eu, held off Jeff Gordon to earn his first career Sprint Cup victory, winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Gordon, off at 17/2 on BetDSI’s Brickyard 400 betting board, placed second; Regan Smith, at 22/1, took third; Jamie McMurray, at 40/1, finished fourth; and another Wisconsinite, Matt Kenseth at 14/1, came in fifth.
So through the first 20 races of this season, with six to go before the Chase cut is made, Carl Edwards leads the Sprint Cup points standings by 11 points over five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson; 12 points over Kevin Harvick, 16 points over Kenseth and Kyle Busch; and 18 points over Kurt Busch.
Gordon at -52, Ryan Newman at -64, Tony Stewart at -73 and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at -76 round out the top 10.
Sitting just outside the top-10 cut line are Denny Hamlin at -95, Clint Bowyer at -108, Greg Biffle at -122 and Menard at -129.
The top 10 make the Chase for the Cup field, as do the two drivers ranked 11th-through-20th with the most wins. As of right now those two would be Hamlin and Menard.
Back in June Gordon won the 5-Hour Energy 500 on the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle at Pocono, finishing ahead of Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Johnson and Harvick. Hamlin led a race-high 76 laps but finished 19th.
Last year Hamlin led a race-high 88 laps and won the Gillette ProGlide 500 at Pocono. Kyle Busch finished second, Stewart third, Harvick fourth and Johnson fifth.
Then last August Biffle led the last 21 laps and won the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono. Stewart finished second, Edwards third, Harvick fourth and Hamlin fifth. Johnson led a race-high 96 laps but came in tenth.
Hamlin has won four of the last 11 Sprint Cup races held at Pocono.
As of Wednesday morning BetDSI.eu is listing Hamlin and Gordon as 5/1 co-favorites on its Good Sam RV Insurance 500 betting board. Johnson comes next at 11/2, followed by, among others, Edwards and the Busch brothers each at 10/1, Harvick at 12/1, Stewart at 14/1, Kenseth at 15/1, Biffle at 20/1, Newman at 28/1, Bowyer, Dale Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya and Kasey Kahne at 30/1, David Ragan, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Burton at 40/1, Menard at 50/1, McMurray at 75/1 and Smith at 150/1.
Hamlin as a great record at Pocono, but 5/1 isn’t enough to tempt us. So in searching for a bit of a price we’ll go with Edwards at 10/1 and victory-starved Earnhardt at 30/1 to win Sunday’s race.
Denny Hamlin 9-2
Jeff Gordon 5-1
Jimmie Johnson 6-1
Kurt Busch 10-1
Kyle Busch 10-1
Carl Edwards 10-1
Kevin Harvick 12-1
Matt Kenseth 14-1
Tony Stewart 14-1
Greg Biffle 20-1
Clint Bowyer 30-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 30-1
Kasey Kahne 30-1
Juan Pablo Montoya 30-1
Ryan Newman 30-1
Jeff Burton 40-1
Brad Keselowski 40-1
David Ragan 40-1
Joey Logano 50-1
Mark Martin 50-1
Martin Truex Jr. 50-1
Jamie McMurray 65-1
David Reutimann 65-1
Brian Vickers 65-1
Field (All Others) 100-1
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.