The regular season finale for its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is this weekend’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, as NASCAR’s annual stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway comes from September this year. Adjustments to the schedule have taken the July race to the second weekend in September. It will not be hot at IMS as normal, so teams will need to make some adjustments to what they remember about the monitor.
Speaking of adjustments, NASCAR, as a whole, demands some. The statement that Furniture Row Racing will stop operations because of lack of sponsorship. NASCAR’s problems run deep, as even Jimmie Johnson, who stays a significant name in the sport despite a lack of consequences, does not have sponsors lined up for next year. Martin Truex Jr. won last year’s championship with Furniture Row. He’ll remain with Toyota and proceed to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2019, however this really is a indication of bigger problems for the sport.
While our principal focus remains the end of the regular season, NASCAR has a great deal of things to find out. CEO Brian France is still receiving treatment for substance abuse problems and the sport is hurting financially with decreasing presence and a lack of sponsors. Some could even think about the situation dire.
In any event, we are a betting information website, so our focus is that this weekend’s race. It is the 26th and last race of the regular season, with the playoffs starting next week in Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is among the most iconic places in racing and milk consistently goes down good, irrespective of the temperatures outside, for the winner of this one.
For all those on the outside looking in for the playoffs, that milk would go down real, real good. Only two playoff places remain unclaimed. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. have 16 of the 25 wins. Clint Bowyer has two. Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, and Austin Dillon have one win apiece. Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola are based on factors. Jimmie Johnson appears secure, using a 19-point border on Alex Bowman. He’ll get knocked out if somebody below Bowman wins. If not, he’s got a tremendous points advantage on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.. Kasey Kahne won this mess of a race this past year, which had cautions, crashes, and bad weather. If that happens this week, he would be in.
Unsurprisingly, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. would be the best three on the board at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Harvick and Busch are both +265 and Truex is +470. There is actuallyn’t much to say about these guys. Truex has some extra incentive to win each and every week for Furniture Row and his hard-working crew, but that might not be enough against Busch and Harvick to a big, fast track. Harvick hasn’t won since 2003, Busch won here in both 2015 and 2016, and Truex hasn’t won here.
Harvick won the Michigan race a few weeks back and was second earlier in the year. That is the best barometer we have for this 2.5-mile track since Daytona and Talladega are all restrictor plate races and those are an altogether different animal. Busch was fourth and third. Truex was 18th and 14th. Truex did win on the two-mile loop at Car Club Speedway.
The obvious choice for investment that this week is Kyle Larson. Larson doesn’t have a win, but swept just about everything last week at Darlington. He simply finished third instead of first. He led the most laps and won the two phases. He was third two weeks prior at Bristol. Larson has been 17th and 28th in Michigan earlier this season, but he possesses three career wins at Michigan and has run well at Car Club Speedway. Larson is +660 to get his first win and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if he got it here.
Brad Keselowski, last week’s winner at Darlington, is +1300. Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano will be the only others under 20/1. That is just another difficulty for NASCAR. It just isn’t all that aggressive anymore. Fans of motorists not called Harvick, Busch, or Truex don’t have a lot to see on a weekly basis.
There are some non-household names which have won this race lately. Jimmie Johnson has four wins, with the last coming in 2012. Jeff Gordon won here five occasions, with the past in 2014. Ryan Newman won in 2013. Kahne won last year. Paul Menard won in 2011. Jamie McMurray won in 2010. There is the possibility for somebody to measure as a very long shot, but it seems highly unlikely with the gear and the drivers who have dominated the sport this season.
Coverage of this 2018 Massive Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard is going to be on NBC Sports Network on Sunday September 9 with a two p.m. ET start time.
Odds as of September 5, 3:30 p.m. ET:
Kevin Harvick +265
Kyle Busch +265
Martin Truex Jr +470
Kyle Larson +660
Brad Keselowski +1300
Ryan Blaney +1600
Joey Logano +1600
Erik Jones +2200
Denny Hamlin +2200
Chase Elliott +2200
Kurt Busch +2600
Clint Bowyer +2600
Aric Almirola +4400
Jimmie Johnson +5500
Daniel Suarez +6600
Alex Bowman +8800
Paul Menard +10000
Austin Dillon +11000
Ryan Newman +11000
Jamie McMurray +11000
William Byron +20000
Matt Kenseth +30000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +30000
Chris Buescher +50000
Kasey Kahne +50000
AJ Allmendinger +100000
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