The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back in action as drivers do battle in the Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Once again Kevin Harvick opens as the favorite to tame the 1.5-mile tri-oval.
Harvick is listed at +275 at Sportsbook followed by Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. at +400, Kyle Larson at +700, Ryan Blaney at +1200, Denny Hamlin at +1350, Brad Keselowski at +1650, Joey Logano at +1950, and Erik Jones and Kurt Busch at +2250 to round out the top 10.
Harvick has lots of Experience at Chicagoland
The only two active drivers to compete in each and every race at Chicagoland since its inauguration in 2001 are Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. And of those 17 starts, Harvick has found himself finishing in the top five a record nine times, including winning the first two. However, the California native hasn’t been able to carry the checkered flag around this 1.5-mile track since 2002.
Harvick enters this race still trailing Kyle Busch in the Monster Energy Cup standings. Busch, who has four wins on the season, has conquered Chicagoland just once in his career in 2008, becoming the only driver to win this race while also winning the pole. Since then, the Nevada native has finished in the top five at this track just twice, doing so in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. It should be noted, however, that Busch led the most laps in last year’s race with 85.
Both Harvick and Busch will have some work to do if they want to compete with Martin Truex Jr. Truex has claimed the last two races at Chicagoland and has won two of the three last races overall, including last week’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. The New Jersey native joined Busch as the only two drivers to qualify within the top five and go on to win this race, and one of four different drivers to win after qualifying in the top 10.
Sleeper Pick for the Overton’s 400: Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson has won multiple races in every season since he became a full-time driver in 2002 but has yet to find victory lane this season. Even more of a jaw-dropping stat is that the 42-year-old has led just two laps thus far in 2018. So why put money on him? Johnson has had success at Chicagoland, despite not earning a win, having led the most laps (695), the most top-10s (11), second in top-fives (7), most poles (2) and has found himself being the runner-up three times. Recently, Johnson was able to lead the most laps in the 2016 running at Chicagoland. At +2500 the No. 48 car could provide some decent value to bettors.