2016 VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Odds, Free Picks & Predictions – Favorites, Contenders & Sleepers: The inaugural XFINITY Series Chase kicks off this weekend at Kentucky Speedway, and Saturday’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 will be the first race of the seven-race playoff. With the Sprint Cup Series in New Hampshire, the race is also a non-companion event. Not surprisingly, there are barely any Cup regulars scheduled to be in the field.
Like the Chase for the Sprint Cup, a driver in the XFINITY playoffs can automatically advance to the next round of the playoffs with a win, so Saturday’s race will be a golden opportunity for one of the title contenders to punch their ticket. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the drivers to watch in this weekend’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.
2016 VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Odds, Free Picks & Predictions – Favorites, Contenders & Sleepers
There aren’t many Cup drivers making the trip back and forth from Kentucky to New Hampshire, but Ryan Blaney is set to be in the XFINITY field. He has a 6.5 average finish in five starts at Kentucky, and more importantly, he is a two-time winner at the track.
He has become the super sub of the XFINITY Series, and whenever Sam Hornish Jr. has been given a chance to drive, he has been a contender. He has a 3.0 average finish in three starts this season, winning once and finishing second in his most recent start. Hornish will pilot the Richard Childress Racing No. 2 car this weekend, so he will have the equipment needed to battle for another win Saturday.
No XFINITY regular has shown more upside on a consistent basis this season than Erik Jones. His four wins and 13 top-five finishes are both the most among XFINITY drivers, and in three starts at Kentucky, he has a 4.7 average finish and has finished as high as second. Expect Jones to contend for yet another win this weekend.
He is one of two XFINITY Series drivers who has won multiple races this year, and no driver has been more reliable than Elliott Sadler. In the first 26 races of the year, he has logged a series-best 23 top-10s. In 10 starts at Kentucky, he owns an 8.0 average finish and has finished sixth or better five times. Meanwhile, he has never finished outside the top 15 at the track.
He has spent most of the season at or near the top of the point standings, and Daniel Suarez should be in thick of things this weekend at Kentucky. He has made three starts at Kentucky, and he has finished fourth or better in two of them, finishing a career-best third at the track earlier this year.
In five starts at Kentucky, Ty Dillon has never finished outside the top 15 and has compiled a 6.8 average finish. Perhaps more importantly, he has cracked the top 10 in four of his five starts here, logging a pair of third-place finishes.
While he has underwhelmed since becoming a full-time XFINITY driver, Darrell Wallace Jr. has always performed well at Kentucky. In three starts at the track, he has yet to finish outside the top 10, and he finished a career-best fifth here earlier this season. With very few Cup drivers in the field, Wallace could be poised for a career performance.
It has been quite a year for Matt Tifft, who saw his promising NASCAR career put on hold because of a brain tumor. Fortunately, surgery was successful, and he is set to make his return to the XFINITY Series this weekend. Tifft finished 10th in his Kentucky debut earlier this year, and driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, he will have the best equipment in the series to work with.
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Xfinity Visitmyrtlebeach 300 Odds
Erik Jones +100
Daniel Suarez +500
Sam Hornish Jr +600
Ryan Blaney +700
Elliott Sadler +800
Justin Allgaier +800
Ty Dillon +1000
Matt Tifft +600
Darrell Wallace Jr +3000
Brendan Gaughan +3000
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