NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesSaturday, October 12 – 7:00 p.m. EDT
Bank of America 500
Charlotte Motor Speedway – Concord, NC
The Chase for the Cup hits the halfway point with the fifth Cup race taking place under the lights for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. This intermediate track, completed in 1959, is a 1.5-mile, quad oval with 24-degree turns and 5-degree straights. The frontstretch is 1,980 feet (0.38 miles) and the backstretch measures 1,500 feet, or 0.28 miles. Clint Bowyer won last year's Bank of America 500, while Kevin Harvick brought home the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600 that took place on May 26.
Odds to Win Race(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||15-to-1|
|Martin Truex Jr.||25-to-1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||100-to-1|
|FIELD (Any other driver)||100-to-1|
Drivers to WatchKevin Harvick (8/1) - He has a great chance for a Charlotte sweep this season with his front row start next to Jeff Gordon on Saturday night. Harvick has finished in the top-8 in five of his past six races at this track, which includes a victory in May of 2011. Harvick has also raced strong over the past two months, racking up top-9 showings in five of his past eight starts. This includes a 3rd-place finish at Chicago and a victory last week in Kansas, and both of these tracks measure 1.5 miles long. Although 8-to-1 is a bit chalky for the man we're picking to win on Saturday night, you should realize that there are four others drivers with less favorable odds than Harvick on the board.
Denny Hamlin (30/1) - He went off at 5-to-1 in the last Bank of America 500, and a dreadful 2013 season has multiplied those odds six-fold heading into Saturday night's race. While Hamlin has a current streak of 16 straight finishes outside the top-10, he has been excellent at Charlotte in his career. Hamlin's pole win and fourth-place showing in May gives him six straight top-10's at this track, which includes a pair of runner-ups last year. At 30-to-1, Hamlin possesses the best value of any driver for Saturday's race.
Kurt Busch (15/1) - Busch will be starting in the No. 20 spot on Saturday, which is favorable enough to go for the checkered flag. He loves the 1.5-mile tracks, placing 6th or better in each of the past four races at this distance (6th at Kentucky, 4th at Atlanta, 4th at Chicago, 2nd at Kansas). He was also close to winning at this venue in May, placing third behind Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne. That gives Busch six top-5's in Charlotte, including a victory in 2010. Busch also enters the weekend on quite a roll, racking up top-4 finishes in six of his past 10 starts. At 15-to-1, a small wager is warranted here.
Clint Bowyer (20/1) - Bowyer has not had a successful Chase so far with an average start of 21.3 and an average finish of 12.5 in the four playoff races. However, the defending champion of the Bank of America 500 will be starting a respectable 14th on Saturday night, marking his sixth top-15 start in his past eight Charlotte races. In that timeframe, he's produced four top-8 finishes, including an 8th-place showing in May. At 20-to-1, Bowyer is worthy of a one-unit wager.
Juan Montoya (60/1) - Our longshot pick of the week did very well in qualifying by earning a start in the No. 8 spot, which will be his best starting slot ever at Charlotte. The only other time Montoya had a spot better than 16th place at this track was in 2009 when he started ninth and finished eighth. Montoya has been racing strong to finish the season, with three top-6 starts and three top-7 finishes over his past nine races. This includes a 7th-place showing at Atlanta, which like Charlotte, is also a 1.5-mile track. The 60-to-1 odds make Montoya an intriguing lottery play on Saturday.