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NASCAR value picks for the Auto Club 400

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

February 28th, 2020

The NASCAR Cup Series continues its West Coast swing on Sunday afternoon with the Auto Club 400 at California’s Auto Club Speedway.

Kevin Harvick is the betting favorite (+400), with defending series champion Kyle Busch close behind (+500). Last week’s winner at Las Vegas, Joey Logano, is the third choice (+600). We’ll look at a trio of drivers beyond the top three to try to connect with a live longshot.

Odds to win the Auto Club 400

DriverAuto Club 400 Odds
Kevin Harvick
+400
Kyle Busch
+500
Joey Logano
+600
Chase Elliott
+700
Brad Keselowski
+800
Martin Truex Jr.
+800
Kyle Larson
+800

Chase Elliott (+700)

Elliott, NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award winner for two years running, is still in search of his first Cup Series victory in California. However, he’s done well to record two top 10 results on this oval in just four starts.

His average finishing position (10.75) is third, only behind Jimmie Johnson (7.60) and Kyle Busch (9.95). Elliott’s average starting position at this course is a lackluster 15th, so he’s had to put in work on race day to move his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet up through the field.

If he qualifies well, look out.

Kyle Larson (+800)

Larson already has a win under his belt in six starts at Auto Club Speedway (2017), along with two additional top five runs.

The California native has led an average of 18.33 laps at this course, third only to Busch and Johnson (among drivers who have led at least 100 laps).

Larson has excelled on two-mile tracks during his relatively brief time in the Cup Series, with four wins in  18 starts. Harvick has just four wins in 71 starts on two-mile ovals.

Martin Truex Jr. (+800)

Truex will seek his second Auto Club Speedway win in a three-year span. The No. 19 Toyota driver led 125 laps at Fontana in his 2018 victory and finished eighth in last year’s edition of the Auto Club 400.

In his last six starts at two-mile tracks, Truex has an average finishing position of 8.00, good for fifth among active drivers in that stretch. However, Truex’s average starting position (13.8) is the lowest of the five drivers in question (Busch, Brad Keselowski, Logano, and Denny Hamlin being the others), so he’s had to work harder to earn his results on race day. Truex’s qualifying result bears watching.  


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