While the Toronto Raptors wait for the draft lottery, NASCAR fans will be watching a lottery of another sort on Sunday afternoon as the Sprint Cup series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the first time in 2012. The Aaron’s 499 is usually one of the most exciting races of the season, as is every trip to the 2.66-mile track and now that we’re back to pack racing instead of the tandem draft of the past couple years, it all comes down to who is around on the final lap. Here are five drivers worth a look.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (+900): Most BetOnline.com reviews would tell you that it would be a Hollywood ending if Earnhardt ended his long winless streak at Talladega, where he has won five times, but none since the fall race in 2004. Still, the No.88 driver leads all active drivers with an 8.6 finishing average in his last 10 spring races here and he is running as well as ever.
Kevin Harvick (+900): Harvick won this race two years ago and always seems to be around the end of superspeedway races, and players who use pay head software know that is all you need at ‘Dega. Over the last 10 years, no one has a better finishing average at Talladega overall than the No.29 driver at 13.0.
Matt Kenseth (+1500): Kenseth has the same amount of DNFs as top-10s (two) in his last 10 spring races at Talladega, but he has been steady as they come this and ended up coming away with the win at Daytona to open the season. The No.17 driver is confident going into this week and sometimes, all you need is a little boost at a place like Talladega where anything can happen.
Clint Bowyer (+1800): Bowyer could offer a little value at your favorite betting sites (where you can wager here) as he has won two of the last three races overall at Talladega, although both came in the fall. Bowyer is still getting used to a new team, but he’s coming around and is sitting at 12th in the standings, which of course is the cut-off date for the Chase. It’s still too early to worry about that, but a win would help Bowyer’s wild-card chances.
Kurt Busch (+2300): Busch is probably the best superspeedway driver to never win on the plate track and in the Talladega spring race, he has a 14.6 average in his last 10 starts along with six top-10s. His equipment is as good as what he is used to, but equipment isn’t as important as smarts, skill and strategy at Talladega and if Busch can put himself in the right position at the end of Sunday’s race, he’ll pay off for some happy sports betting sharps.