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Fantasy win odds for the 2013 Geico 400

Updated on August 31, 2014
Kyle Busch has won at Chicago before. Can he do it again?
Kyle Busch has won at Chicago before. Can he do it again?
Enough of Robin Pemberton announcing penalties. Let's race!
Enough of Robin Pemberton announcing penalties. Let's race!

As the weekend approaches NASCAR finally turns its attention from press conferences and radio scanners back to where it belongs; the track. Whether your driver made the Chase (and then lost it- or lost their Chance then made it- or lost their chance and still lost it) or not they'll still have ten more chances to take a checkered flag home before the season ends. So let's take a look at the first Chase race as NASCAR rolls into the Windy City for the Geico 400


Before going any further, a quick note. We'll be looking at the statistics over the past ten races, all courtesy of racing-reference.com. Going any further back takes us into fourth generation cars and a completely different race environment in terms of competition on the track. We're also in no way advocating gambling in any way shape or form. These odds are purely for informational purposes only.

Will Harvick kick off his final Chase with RCR by winning in Chicago?
Will Harvick kick off his final Chase with RCR by winning in Chicago?

The Favorites:

Driver: Clint Bowyer

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

Odds of Winning: 5-1

Clint Bowyer has spent the past week hearing nearly every commentator in the NASCAR universe tear him and his team apart. For someone lacking mental toughness, that could easily cause the team to fall into a tailspin. The smart money is that doesn't happen here. Instead, Bowyer comes out with a chip on his shoulder bigger than the city of Chicago with something to prove. He's run seven of the last ten races at Chicago and scored a top ten in six of them. His average finish of 10.1 puts him third-best in the starting field. Imagine the stories Monday morning if Bowyer kicks of the Chase with his first victory of the season?


Driver: Kevin Harvick

Team: Richard Childress Racing

Odds of Winning: 10-1

While he too has not won at Chicago over the last ten races, he has four top five finishes to show during the same period. He's improved on his average start with a finish 6.4 spots higher (tops in the starting field Sunday). He also has zero DNFs over that same timeframe. Harvick may also be the benefactor if the sparks fly between Bowyer and Jeff Gordon, another favorite to win. NASCAR's “Closer” can sit back and let the two rivals take each other out while he swoops in for the kill a la Kyle Busch at Fontana earlier this year.


Driver: Jeff Gordon

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 12-1

Missing the Chase seems to have lit a fire under “Four Time” and Gordon will be out for blood Sunday. He could hardly ask for a better track to do it at either. Gordon has a win and five top five finishes over the last ten races here. If he focuses on trying to win the race he'll have every chance to do it. The only thing stopping him may be himself; if he lets the desire to exact revenge on Bowyer win out he'll be a spectator over the closing laps. Perhaps a very satisfied spectator, but a spectator nevertheless.

The Bowyer-Gordon feud could provide an opening for someone else to take the checkered flag
The Bowyer-Gordon feud could provide an opening for someone else to take the checkered flag
Vickers won earlier this year in New Hampshire. Can he redeem MWR with a win on Sunday?
Vickers won earlier this year in New Hampshire. Can he redeem MWR with a win on Sunday?

The Sleepers:

Driver: Brian Vickers

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

Odds of Winning: 25-1

Like MWR teammate Bowyer, Vickers has taken a large amount of abuse over the past week thanks to his actions at Richmond. And like Bowyer, Vickers has had no small amount of success at Chicago lately. He's run six of the last ten races and has the highest average finishing position of anyone in Sunday's race at 9.5. Finally, he's less likely to be the target of retribution from one of the teams bumped out by the Richmond Shenanigans; right or wrong Vickers act of slowing up is seen as less heinous than Bowyer's spin. He's got a lot to prove and a fast car to do it in.


Driver: Jimmie Johnson

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 30-1

The only reason Johnson isn't a prohibitive favorite to win is the #48 team's performance over the last month. He's got five top five finishes over the last ten Chicago races and has led over 20% of the laps, far and away the highest total. Does the team have a switch to pull to turn it on for the Chase? We should find out quickly. If the team qualifies well and leads laps like he's done here in the past, everyone will quickly forget the string of poor finishes that led up to the Chase.


Driver: Mark Martin

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Odds of Winning: 45-1

Like Johnson and Gordon, Martin will be driving Hendrick Motorsports equipment in Sunday's race. He also has the “benefit” of both not being in the Chase and not being a part of the penalty discussion after Richmond. Finally, Martin has run well here. He has one win in the last ten events at the track and has led nearly 8% of the laps. Martin has had a few weeks to get settled in at SHR and this is a good place for him to show he still has what it takes to win races.

Martin has had success in Chicago before.
Martin has had success in Chicago before.
Unlike former teammate Keselowski, Kurt Busch hasn't had much luck lately at Chicagoland
Unlike former teammate Keselowski, Kurt Busch hasn't had much luck lately at Chicagoland

The Suckers Bets:

Driver: Paul Menard

Team: Richard Childress Racing

Odds of Winning: 500-1

Menard's early season run in the top ten in points is nothing but a faded memory at this point. The team was eliminated from Chase discussion before the green flag fell at Richmond and there's no reason to believe their fortunes turn around at Chicago. He's run six events here and failed to lead a single lap over those races. His average finish at 24.7 is over nine spots below his qualifying spot. What's worse is that Menard isn't running well then crashing out; he's finished five of the six races and been on the lead lap for four of them. He's just at the very tail end of that lead lap and that's not a recipe for victory.


Driver: Kurt Busch

Team: Furniture Row Racing

Odds of Winning: 200-1

Despite having four top ten finishes in the last ten races at Chicago, Kurt Busch is a very poor bet to win on Sunday. His average finishing of 20.5 is the worst among Chase competitors. That average finish also says that when Busch is bad here, he's very bad; those four top tens hide some incredibly poor runs by Kurt over the years. Busch has worked several miracles to get as far as he's gotten at Furniture Row Racing but the odds say he isn't starting off their first Chase with a win.


Driver: Kasey Kahne

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 100-1

Like Busch, Kahne is a Chase entrant with a fairly poor record at the Chicagoland Speedway. His average finish of 19th is 6.6 spots below his average start. To be fair, the equipment he's driven here in the past has been uneven at best- from a disintegrating Gilette-Evernham team to the lame-duck ride at Red Bull, he's had to make the best of below-average equipment here before. He'll have Hendrick power at his disposal Sunday and he'll need every drop of it to improve on his prior finishes at Chicago.

Unhappy with the real Chase? Race your own with NASCAR the Game!

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Now it's your turn!

Who do you think will win the Geico 400?

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