Following last week’s doubleheader there’s only one race this weekend with the NASCAR Cup Series heading to famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400. NASCAR’s return to racing amid COVID-19 has been hugely successful with the season now into the second half of the schedule with only nine points races left before the playoffs start in September. Bookmaker is offering a generous welcome bonus with a maximum of $1000.
Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated at Pocono last week and both are at the top of the odds board four Sunday’s race. Harvick edged Hamlin by less than a second to take the Pocono Organics 325, tying Hamlin with his third Cup Series win of the season. The tie lasted a day with the finishing order of the top two drivers reversed in Sunday’s Pocono 350. Hamlin captured his fourth win of the season and second in the last four races with a three-second cushion over Harvick. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete updated list of odds and to place your wager.
NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400
Date and Time: Sunday, July 5, 2020, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, IN
Opening NASCAR Odds: Kevin Harvick +400
Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 TV Coverage: NBC
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is better known for hosting the IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500, but NASCAR has been racing at The Brickyard since 1994. Drivers face a different set of challenges this weekend with Indy being relatively flat and rectangular in shape. The speedway distance of 2.5-miles is the same as what drivers dealt with last week at Pocono and we saw how well Harvick and Hamlin did finishing 1-2 in both races.
It’s not unusual to see Kyle Busch at the top of the odds chart. He settled in at +500 on the opening line sandwiched between Harvick (+400) and Hamlin (+525). It is odd to see No. 18 without a victory this late into a season, though. He was close last weekend before being nudged out of the field on Sunday. Kyle finished fifth in Saturday’s race. “Hopefully life gets back to normal eventually,” he said. And I don’t think he was talking about the coronavirus.
We see the usual suspects hanging around the top of the odds list with Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski rounding out the first five. Between them they’ve won 11 of the 15 races this season, even more impressive since Kyle has yet to post a victory. And we’ve yet to see a back-to-back winner.
Harvick won here last year and is one of five active drivers with a win in this race along with Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman. Harvick broke his 0 for 38 slump at Pocono with a win last week and he’s finished sixth or better in his last five starts at Indy.
Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Odds at BookMaker.eu
Kevin Harvick +400
Kyle Busch +500
Denny Hamlin +525
Joey Logano +700
Brad Keselowski +825
Ryan Blaney +950
Chase Elliott +1050
Martin Truex Jr +1100
Aric Almirola +2000
Erik Jones +2200
Clint Bowyer +2800
William Byron +3000
Kurt Busch +3300
Alex Bowman +3300
Jimmie Johnson +4000
Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Preview
After last weekend and considering his history at Indy, pegging Harvick as the favorite was an easy move for oddsmakers. With a win and second at Pocono he increased his points lead in the Cup Series standings over Ryan Blaney. In 19 starts at IMS, Harvick has a pair of victories along with seven top-5s and 13 top-10s, and he’s never crashed out. His average finish of 8.9 is the best among active drivers.
Is it time to get concerned for Kyle Busch? The winless drought continued last weekend for the reigning Cup Series champ, though the speed was evident, which is a good sign. But no wins and just eight top-10s has me reaching for the panic button. Kyle has had a lot of success at Indy with a pair of wins in the last five races, but it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in him right now. He went back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 but failed to finish two of the last three races and ran eighth in the one he did complete.
Hamlin’s showing last weekend and for the season are reasons for optimism heading to Indy. He leads the Cup Series with four wins and nine top-5 finishes. However, Hamlin has yet to win in 14 starts at IMS, though he has been consistent with five top-5s and eight top-10s. There’s no doubt he’s been one of the top drivers this season, but we haven’t seen anyone go back-to-back making Hamlin a better bet on the alternative market.
Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at BookMaker
Nobody is giving Jimmie Johnson much of a chance this week. He’s gone 110 races without a victory and he was never a factor at Pocono last week. If there’s a place where the drought ends it’s at Indy. JJ leads all current drivers with four wins and can match Jeff Gordon for the most all-time victories here. Since Johnson is planning on retiring after this season, how about going out with a bang? Dropping a few bucks at his price is worth the investment.
Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Odds Pick: Jimmie Johnson
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– Phil Simon, Gambling911.com