The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to the "world's fastest half-mile" for in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, where race cars go around a track and look like fighter jets in a gymnasium.
The Bristol night race has long been a crown jewel in the sport. It's a race that many drivers crave to win and a race that holds legendary stories still told to this day. Another chapter will be written Saturday night. The question is who will be celebrating in victory lane when the night is over?
How can a driver, who has won eight races in 28 attempts, be a vulnerable favorite? Kyle Busch is amazing at Bristol. He's led more than 2,300 laps, and other than his eight wins, has three more top-five finishes and five more in the top 10, with an average finish of 13.79. If he wins Saturday night, he can do it without my money. Why? Over the course of the last few weeks Busch has had issues with other drivers, most notably William Byron and Bubba Wallace. Bristol is a perfect place for a "payback" wreck. Kyle Busch could easily lead the majority of the laps, while lapping a car that isn't too fond of him and—
boom. The night could be over and so could your wager. You can't take the chance to wager on Busch at such low odds this week. Busch has one coming. It will be interesting to see who delivers it.
Two win bets you must consider
Kurt Busch (+1200)
The older brother of Kyle Busch is a must play Saturday night. Kurt Busch is the defending race winner and he has won six races out of 37 starts at the track, with six other top-five finishes and seven more in the top 10. He has led more than 1,000 laps in his career there. In the Bristol spring race he was able to bring his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Chevy to a second-place finish. I love his success at the track, I love his odds and I love his mindset right now. Kurt Busch has had his ups and downs in the sport, but it appears he's in the right place mentally now, and he is just as good as his little brother at Bristol.
Denny Hamlin (+1200)
How can you not consider Denny Hamlin on Saturday night? If you look at the numbers, no driver is better than Hamlin right now. His team is a freight train storming down the tracks. He hasn't finished outside the top five in his last five Cup Series races and won the Gander RV 400 during that span. In his career at Bristol, Hamlin has one win, seven other finishes in the top five and four other in the top 10 from 27 starts. Hamlin and his team are making a strong championship run. It doesn't matter where the circuit goes, Hamlin is going to run well. Hamlin is a good short-track driver with a fast car, and you can't beat the current price on him. He will qualify well and contend for a win Saturday night in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.