People who analyze the NASCAR odds know that Carl Edwards, who leads the Sprint Cup standings, may not be able to stretch his lead this week, as his history at Talladega is not sensational.
He is part of the lineup for the Aaron's 499, which wil take place at 1 PM ET on Sunday, televised by FOX. Talladega, of course, is known as the track "Too Tough To Tame," but Mark Martin did just that 14 years ago. He is +2500 to win this week, while Edwards is at +1200. The favorite in the NASCAR odds is Kevin Harvick at +600.
To Win Aaron's 499
- Carl Edwards +1200
- Clint Bowyer +1200
- Dale Earnhardt Jr +900
- Denny Hamlin +1200
- Jamie McMurray +1200
- Jeff Burton +1200
- Jeff Gordon +1200
- Jimmie Johnson +1200
- Kevin Harvick +600
- Kurt Busch +1000
- Kyle Busch +800
- Matt Kenseth +1500
- Tony Stewart +1000
- Field (Any Other Driver) +2000
Carl Edwards, who is on top of the Sprint Cup standings, has three top ten finishes at Talladega, but he has not finished higher than eleventh in his last eight appearances there. He has also not started any better than tenth during that period. Edwards leads Kyle Busch by nine points and is priced at +1200 this week in the NASCAR odds.
Paul Menard has found a lot of success with his new team (Richard Childress Racing) and his old sponsor (his family). Menard bounced back from a non-finish in Martinsville (due to overheating) to come fifth in the Samsung Mobile 500. He has been in the top twenty in six of his seven races, and he cruises into Talladega in a position where if the season ended today, he'd be in the Chase (11th place). Menard has had only one top ten finish at this venue, but it was a pretty good one, as he was the runner-up in the fall race in 2008. He may not be a bad value at +800 in the NASCAR odds to finish in the top three.
Bill Elliott may be 33th in the points standings, but the perennial fan favorite has quite a history at Talladega. Elliott has won the pole a record eight times at the track, and recorded one of the more memorable efforts when he came from two laps down to win the race in 1985. Elliott would be part of the "Field" bet in NASCAR odds at +2000.
Speaking of the "old-timers," the all-time record for the fastest 500-mile race was set at Talladega, and it was turned in by Mark Martin in 1997. Martin went 188.354 miles an hour, as he easily rolled to his second Talladega win. Martin is +2500 in the NASCAR odds to win his third Talladega race this Sunday.
If you're talking about Talladega, you're talking about restrictor plates. And if you're talking about restrictor plates, you have to include Jamie McMurray in the conversation. McMurray won the fall race at Talladega in 2009, and was the runner-up in the Aaron's 499 last year. His best finishes all came without the benefit of a real good starting position. Maybe this is the kind of jump start McMurray needs; he has finished in the top ten only once so far, and he didn't do a good job in defending his Daytona 500 championship, finishing 18th. Of course, that was on restrictor plates.
McMurray is priced at +1200 in the NASCAR odds to win this week's race.
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