2011 5-hour ENERGY 200 Vegas Odds, Free Picks and Predictions – Favorites and Drivers to Bet On: Even in the Nationwide Series, big wrecks are common at the “Monster Mile.” The closing speeds are high and the exits of the turns are tight, creating some tense moments whenever drivers attempt to complete a pass. Throw in a mix of superstar Cup regulars and Nationwide regulars trying to make a name for themselves, and the potential for trouble is even greater.
Last May, Kyle Busch delivered a near-perfect performance. After starting on the pole, he led all but 14 of the 205 laps and easily defeated Ryan Newman to pick up the win. Busch’s teammate Denny Hamlin led 11 laps and appeared headed for a top-five finish, but a late mistake dropped him to 11th. However, Hamlin didn’t appear to have anything for Busch when the two were running at the front.
Shockingly, Busch was even more dominant in the fall event on his way to completing a season sweep at Dover. He led all but eight laps of the 200 laps, giving him a combined 383 laps led at the track in 2010. Busch’s primary competition was once again a teammate, but instead of Hamlin, it was Joey Logano. He ended up second, but like everyone else in the field, Logano was racing for second all day because Busch has the field covered.
As the introduction suggests, Kyle Busch is a pretty good pick this weekend. His sweep at Dover last season is part of a recent run of dominance at the track. Busch has finished in the top five in four of his last five starts, including three trips to Victory Lane. He is gunning for a three-peat this weekend, and bettors should jump on board.
Carl Edwards got his nickname “Concrete” Carl because of his success at tracks like Dover. He has finished 11th or better in his last eight starts at the track, including a win. Seven of those finishes were sixth or better, and Edwards is a safe bet to be in the mix for another victory Saturday.
Close calls are nothing new for Joey Logano at Dover. He finished second in the fall race last season, which was his second straight runner-up finish at the track. Logano owns a 6.0 average finish at Dover, giving him the best mark among active drivers. Of all the drivers without a win at the concrete oval, Logano has the best chance of breaking through this weekend.
The Dark Horses
In six of his last seven starts at Dover, Brad Keselowski has finished seventh or better. He has one win during the stretch, along with a pair of third-place finishes. Keselowski has been slowed a bit this season by some bad luck and some minor issues with Penske Racing in general, but he remains a threat to win almost every week. At a track like Dover that fits his driving style, he could cash in this weekend.
It is easy to understand why Kevin Harvick tabbed Clint Bowyer to drive his car this weekend at Dover. Bowyer has finished in the top-10 in seven of his last eight starts at the track, making a pair of trips to Victory Lane. He also has five top-five finishes during the stretch, making him more than capable of grabbing Dover win No. 3 this weekend.
Reed Sorenson has done everything but win at Dover. He has finished in the top 10 in seven of his eight starts at the track, and his 7.7 average finish ranks third among active drivers. Last year, Sorenson finished fourth in both races at Dover, and he has to be considered the Nationwide regular most likely to pull the upset.
The last five starts at Dover for Jason Leffler have resulted in five top-10 finishes. His best finish during the stretch is fifth, but there is no questioning his ability to run near the front. Leffler will have to make a sizeable jump to actually win, but he is one of the few Nationwide regulars with a history of competing with the big boys.
Big Names to Avoid
He has accomplished a lot in his young career, but finding a lot success at Dover isn’t on the list for Justin Allgaier. He does have a pair of top-10 finishes in four career starts, but he has never finished higher than ninth. Allgaier is used to running in the top five, and he has yet to come close to doing that at Dover.
Of all the big names in the field, David Reutimann has the most red flags. He hasn’t been bad at Dover by any means, but with just a single top-five finish to his credit at the track, he is the weakest option of the Cup regulars entered in this weekend’s race. Bettors should instead spend their money on names like Busch, Edwards and Bowyer.
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Odds to win the 5-hour ENERGY 200 – Dover International Speedway – Saturday, May 14, 2011
Kyle Busch 9/5
Carl Edwards 7/2
Joey Logano 5/1
Brad Keselowski 5/1
Clint Bowyer 7/1
David Reutimann 12/1
Ricky Stenhouse 12/1
Trevor Bayne 15/1
Elliot Sadler 20/1
Justin Allgaier 20/1
Aric Almirola 20/1
Reed Sorenson 30/1
Jason Leffler 30/1
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