NASCAR Betting Action Returns To Pocono
By: Adam Markowitz
Thursday, August 4, 2011
There are just six races left in NASCAR's version of the regular season, and a slew of drivers are jockeying for position to get into Chase for the Sprint Cup. This week, NASCAR betting action heads to Long Pond, PA, where Pocono Raceway will host the Good Sam RV Insurance 500.
This race is the 21st of the season, and it is scheduled for Sunday, August 7. The green flag drops at 10:18 a.m. (PT), and live television coverage is available on ESPN.
The favorite on the Don Best odds screen for this race is Denny Hamlin, and for good reason. Hamlin won this race (then known as the Pennsylvania 500) in 2006 and 2009, which ties him for the most wins in this race for an active driver. Hamlin has four wins at Pocono, and seven Top 5 finishes in his 11 races.
Earlier this season at the 5-hour ENERGY 500 here in Long Pond, Hamlin only finished 19th, something totally out of the ordinary for his history.
Hamlin, who checks in at +450, also badly needs a good showing in this race to make it into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Though he is currently holding a Wild Card slot to get into the postseason, Hamlin is 19 points back of an automatic qualifying spot. A win in any of these last six races probably ensures that he is in regardless, as there are only three drivers right now that qualify for a Wild Card berth outside of the Top 10, that being Paul Menard and David Ragan.
The man who won the 5-hour ENERGY 500 knows a thing or two about this track as well, and we know that Jeff Gordon is going to be a driver to be reckoned with on Sunday. The Rainbow Warrior has five wins on this racetrack in his 37 attempts, and he has an average finishing position on 10.3. Gordon won the Pennsylvania 500 back in 1998, and he would love to make another trip to the winner's circle to ensure his place in the Chase as well.
Gordon is +500 on the Don Best odds screen.
Kurt Busch was the runner-up at the race earlier this year at Poconos Raceway, and he is going to be a sneaky driver to watch at +1000 on Sunday. Busch won this race in 2005 and 2007, and he has eight Top 5 finishes in 21 tries here.
Busch only has one win on the campaign, but he does have three pole positions and knows what it is like to win in Long Pond. Just like a number of other drivers, a win on Sunday would basically wrap up a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for Busch once and for all, a coveted spot to be in.
One man who has no troubles about the Chase is points leader Carl Edwards. There aren't many tracks that Edwards hasn't found success at in his career, and this is no exception. The No. 99 Ford made it to Victory Lane in this race in 2008.
Edwards also just signed an extension to his contract with Roush Racing, which will keep him with the team for the foreseeable future. What better way would there be to celebrate this contract renewal than to win at the Poconos!
Edwards is one of a slew of drivers that are +1000 on the NASCAR odds for Sunday's race.
There's a modest 40 percent chance of rain in the forecast on Sunday. Scattered clouds should keep the track temperate down just a bit. Highs are only expected to reach the high-70s.