Kevin Harvick Favored For NASCAR Kobalt 400 In Vegas
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series makes its first trip out West this season with Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and your betting favorite is Kevin Harvick at 19/4 at Bovada. Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson won the first two races of the 2015 Sprint Cup season. Now the circuit heads to Sin City, where last season Brad Keselowski beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 1.53 seconds for his 11th career victory.
Repeat For No. 4?
Of course Harvick is the defending Sprint Cup champion He won eight poles in 2014, two more than he had in his entire career until that point. Harvick also tied his personal best by winning five races, and with 2,137 laps led, he became the third driver since 2000 to break 2,000 in a season. It all came together in the season-ender in Homestead Harvick not only beat the remaining contenders in the Chase but also won the race.
A win in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 would almost assure Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet a spot in the 16-driver playoff field again this year. Harvick is off to a strong start this season, finishing second in the first two races and leading 116 laps on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His Xfinity Series (formerly Nationwide) car won in Atlanta. Harvick has yet to win at Las Vegas. His driver rating is 94.5, which is eight of 47 drivers. He has three top-fives and five top-10s in 14 starts in Vegas.
Back-To-Back For JJ?
Johnson is the 5/1 second favorite at Bovada. He didn’t until late May last year but made sure that story line wasn’t repeated with a victory in this season’s second race. The 48 team looked dominant in the second half of last week’s race in Atlanta with all of his 92 laps at the point coming over the final 128 circuits. Johnson has had his share of success at Las Vegas with four wins as well as the best average running position (8.9), best driver rating and most laps led (442) in the loop data era.
Earnhardt Jr. is next at 7/1. The early returns this year have been promising with two straight third-place finishes. Dale Jr. nearly won at Las Vegas last year but came up just short when he ran dry on the final lap, yielding the victory to Keselowski. In his past four starts at Vegas, Earnhardt has four top-10s with an average finish of 6.8 in that stretch.
Points leader Logano rounds out the favorites at 15/2. Logano followed up his Daytona 500 with the pole for Atlanta and led 84 laps en route to a fourth-place finish. Intermediate tracks were a strength for the Penske organization last year with the team winning five of the 11 races run at such venues, including teammate Keselowski’s win at Las Vegas last year.
Keselowski is 8/1 to repeat along with Jeff Gordon. — Gordon is the only driver in the field who has started all 17 Sprint Cup races at Las Vegas, where the first race was on March 1, 1998. Gordon has only won there once, in 2001. It was also the same year he won his most recent Sprint Cup title. Keselowski will make his 200th career start in Sunday’s race. In addition to being the defending champion, he also has two top fives and an average finish of 17.6.
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