NASCAR Odds Favor Montoya At Watkins Glen
By: Adam Markowitz
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Road races always provide NASCAR betting fans with some unpredictable twists and turns, and this weekend's race at Watkins Glen International is sure to be one of the craziest of the year.
The Heluva Good! Sour Creams Dip at the Glen will take place on Sunday afternoon in Watkins Glen, NY, as some of the best drivers in the world try to reach Victory Lane to bolster their chances of reaching the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
One look at the Don Best odds page for this week's NASCAR race, and Sprint Cup bettors have to do a double take. The favorite is Marcos Ambrose, who is in 23rd place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The third favorite this week is Juan Pablo Montoya, who is 21st.
Montoya is at +850 and the defending champion of this race, and he has a great road racing history thanks to his days with the INDY Racing League. Last year's race at Watkins Glen marked the only time that Montoya made it to the winner's circle in a Sprint Cup race.
This is a feat that Ambrose, this week's favorite at +475, will try and duplicate despite the fact he only has three Top 5 finishes on the campaign. The former IRL driver has three runs here at Watkins Glen in his career, and he has finished in the Top 5 all three times.
Should either of these drivers happen to win this race, they will likely move into the Top 20 in the NASCAR points race, which would make them eligible for a Wild Card slot into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
A significantly more familiar name, Tony Stewart, is also a heavy favorite at +650. Stewart has truly had a bit of a dynasty here at Watkins Glen in his career. He has run 12 times and won the race five times, and all of those wins came from 2002 through 2009.
Stewart is currently sitting in ninth place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with just five races to go, and he is sure to need a good showing in this one to stick in front of that Top 10 cut line, which would guarantee his entry into the postseason.
Before Stewart was dominating Watkins Glen, Jeff Gordon was doing it. The Rainbow Warrior comes in at +900 on the DonBest odds screen this week, and he is hoping to rekindle some of the magic from his late-90s three-peat. Gordon won this race from 1997-99, and then again in 2001.
There are definitely some other names in this race that you might not recognize right away if you're a weekly follower of NASCAR. Robby Gordon (+2700) and Boris Said (+3300) run this race virtually every single season, and both have high hopes that this is the year that they can get the job done and make it to Victory Lane.
Gordon won this race in 2003, letting him join the ranks of Montoya, Steve Park and Geoff Bodine as winners at Watkins Glen in the last 15 years who weren't regular competitors for checkered flags in the Sprint Cup.
The green flag drops on Sunday at 10:14 a.m. (PT). Television coverage is slated for ESPN.
Mother nature is calling for temperatures in the mid-70s with a 40 percent chance of afternoon showers.