Gentlemen, start your engines! The STP 400 at Kansas Speedway is set to drop the green flag for the first time on Sunday, June 5 at 10:16 a.m. (PT). FOX will have national televised coverage of the race, and NASCAR betting fans surely aren't going to want to miss out on this one!
There are co-favorites on the NASCAR odds to win this event on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards. Both have already locked up spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this year, and both are currently +550 favorites to take the checkered flag on Sunday.
For Johnson, it's been a relatively tough month. He hasn't won a race since April 17 at the Aaron's 499, and he hasn't placed better than eighth in a race since that point, including in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
Last week at the Coca-Cola 600, he wrapped up a disappointing two weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway by finishing 28th, seven laps off of the pace.
You won't find a much more consistent driver on the Sprint Cup circuit than Edwards who had completed every lap of every race before the 600 last week dating back to the Daytona 500.
Edwards watched his streak of six straight Top 10 finishes go down last weekend at the Coca-Cola 600 as well. He ended that race in 16th position, but Edwards maintained his hammerlock on first place in the NASCAR points race, 36 ahead of Kevin Harvick.
The driver of the No. 99 Ford has never won a race here in Kansas, and his average finish is just 12.3. Ford drivers also only have three wins in nine races all-time at Kansas Speedway.
Toyota drivers have never won a race here though, which is why it is a bit puzzling that the third favorite is Kyle Busch. He dropped from third to fifth in the standings last week at the Coca-Cola 600 after wrecking and finishing in 32nd place, nearly 60 laps off the pace.
If you want to talk about struggling at a track, you have to look at Busch's marks here in Kansas. He has just one Top 10 finish in seven races, and he has an average finishing position of 23.9. His best finish is seventh. Be sure to avoid Busch at +850 as the third choice on the STP 400 board.
There have been nine races here at Kansas Speedway since it opened up to the boys of NASCAR in 2001. Only three have been multiple time winners at this track, but we're not so sure that any of these drivers are worth backing.
Jeff Gordon pulled off the feat in the first two races that were ever run here in '01 and '02. Still, we're not so sure that we are willing to back the Rainbow Warrior right now, knowing that he is going to have to fight to make NASCAR's version of the playoffs over the course of this next month.
Tony Stewart, who is +1300 to win the STP 400, won in 2006 and 2009. Still, he hasn't run well this year and only has one Top 5 finish, at the Kobalt Tools 400. Aside from that, Stewart hasn't finished better than seventh and isn't worth a bet either.
The only one of the bunch that we would consider this year at the STP 400 is the champ of last year's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway, Greg Biffle. Sure, Biffle is one of the favorites at +950, but he has been the most consistent of the three this year.
Biffle has rebounded from bad finishes in his first three races of the year to post four Top 10 finishes, and he is definitely due to post a win, one which he really could get at a track in which he has run incredibly well at in his career.
Next week, the boys of NASCAR head to Long Pond, PA for the Pocono 500.