There’s a reason the favorites again this week are the favorites. But, the big money question is, which longshots are there to watch again this week?
Team Penske has won the last two Vegas spring races. Both were by Joey Logano. He’s had a top 10 finish in nine of his last 10 Vegas starts. His teammate Brad Keselowski has a top 10 finish in 10 of his last 11 Vegas races too. Throw in Ryan Blaney scoring six top seven finishes in his last eight Vegas tries and you can see why Sunday’s race may be Penske’s to lose.
Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. may be their top threats but the two have faded a bit now at this track. Harvick, won this race in 2018 and was fourth and second respectively during the two races in 2019, but just eighth and 10th a year ago.
Truex, won the race in 2017 but was only 20th and fourth last year. Can they improve?
Chase Elliott swept both stages a year ago in this very race but blew a tire and crashed.
The other factor is a late race yellow. It happened in both races in 2020. Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney were well on their ways to a 1-2 result last March until Ross Chastain brought out the ninth and final caution and put Bowman and Blaney in a losing situation. If they’d pit, no one behind would. If they didn’t, then everyone else would hit pit lane for fresh tires.
They ended up pitting and Logano took the win.
Similar situation in the playoff race last Fall. Kurt Busch and others ran their second to last stint long hoping for a caution. They got one and pinned a lot of good cars a lap down. It allowed Busch to pit but maintain his lead. He’d win the race as a result.
Is an end of the race pit call going to decide this year’s winner? If so, this could open the door for a sleeper.
Kyle Larson (+1000)
He’s been good at Vegas in the past with five Top-10 finishes in his last six tries, including three of which coming inside the Top 3 (2 runner-up showings). Now, he’s in a Hendrick car..
Ryan Blaney (+1300)
Has six Top-7 finishes in his last eight starts in Vegas. His teammates have each had a top 10 finish in all but one Vegas start since 2013 too.
Kurt Busch (+1800)
Busch, won last Fall and enters with two straight top 10 finishes on the season.
William Byron (+1800)
He finished seventh in the playoff race in 2019 and restarted the Spring race last year on the front row before contact cut his tire on the overtime restart. He’s coming off of a win last week in Homestead.
Alex Bowman (+2500)
Bowman, was sixth and fifth the last two Fall races. Can he get a spring result? He enters on the heels of two straight top 10 finishes and should have won last year’s spring race.
Austin Dillon (+4000)
He was fourth in this race last year and 12th in the Fall. Watch out.
Matt DiBenedetto (+5000)
Why not here? This car has six straight top 15 finishes in Vegas between Paul Menard and Matt DiBenedetto. Plus, DiBenedetto had two runner-up finishes last year too.
Chase Briscoe (+8000)
He swept both Xfinity race there last year. Why not keep the odd theme of winning going this year on Sunday?
Ross Chastain (+15000)
Larson did phenomenal in this car in Vegas. Chastain also won an Xfinity race for Ganassi there too. For these odds, you absolutely have to go with him here.