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NASCAR: Auto Club 400 preview and picks

Profile Picture: Brandon Coppinger

February 27th, 2020

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to California to race in the Auto Club 400 on Sunday. Auto Club Speedway is a two-mile, D-shaped oval track that produces high speeds.

The last five races at the track have produced five different winners, and those five will be in the field Sunday—Kyle Busch (2019), Martin Truex Jr. (2018), Kyle Larson (2017), Jimmie Johnson (2016), and Brad Keselowski (2015).

The track is abrasive and tends to play into the hands of veteran drivers who have experience over the course. Let's look at a few drivers who have a great shot to win.

Odds to win the Auto Club 400

DriverOdds
Kevin Harvick
+400
Kyle Busch
+500
Joey Logano
+600
Chase Elliott
+700
Brad Keselowski
+800
Kyle Larson
+800
Martin Truex Jr.
+800
Ryan Blaney
+1200
Jimmie Johnson
+1500
Denny Hamlin
+1600

Kyle Busch (+500)

Kyle Busch should be the favorite Sunday. He has four wins in 21 starts at the track. He has also picked up 10 top five finishes, led 807 laps, has an average finish of 9.95, and is the defending race winner.

A year ago he was able to lead 134 of the 200 laps and won all three stages in the race. Considering his success at the track, this price tag is fair. The 2019 Cup Series champ will be tough to beat.

Ryan Blaney (+1200)

This is the third week in a row we've picked Ryan Blaney. If things broke his way, he could have won the first two races of the year. Yet we get +1200 here? Sign me up.

In his last two races at Auto Club, Blaney has finished eighth and fifth. He has shown in two races that the 2020 season could be his breakout year.

Kurt Busch (+3000)

Yes, the other Busch. The elder Busch brother is coming into this race off a 33rd at Daytona and a 25th-place finish in Vegas. Maybe that's why he is +3000.

Consider this, though, before you write off Kurt Busch. In 26 starts at Auto Club, he has one win, seven top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes. He has finished in the top 10 in half his races at the track, with zero DNFs, and he has an average finish of 12.58.

The Chevys were fast last weekend, with their new body. With great stats and a potential downforce advantage, how can you not consider Kurt Busch? If you're a longshot player, he is the perfect play this weekend. 


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