The NASCAR Cup Series season was beginning to settle into a rhythm. Chase Elliott would win the road course races and Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch would battle it out for the speedway races. However, last week, Kurt Busch turned the season on its head with a win in Atlanta, paying off at +3500 and edging out little brother Kyle.
The win puts Kurt Busch into the playoff as one of the 12 race winners, where previously he was teetering on the bubble. Four positions remain and only five races are left, ramping up the pressure for the drivers hoping to qualify on points alone. Get that victory, or face the probability of missing the playoffs.
NASCAR heads to Loudon, N.H., this weekend for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Favorites to Win Foxwoods 301
- Kyle Larson (+350)
- Kyle Busch (+550)
- Denny Hamlin (+600)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (+650)
- Chase Elliott (+800)
- Brad Keselowski (+900)
- William Byron (+1000)
- Kevin Harvick (+1100)
- Joey Logano (+1200)
- Alex Bowman (+1200)
- Ryan Blaney (+1600)
Kyle Larson hasn’t won since Nashville four weeks ago, but the four-time winner this season remains the top favorite. He’s gone three straight races without leading a lap, finished 18th last week at Atlanta, and he’s never won in New Hampshire. As the lowest potential payout at Foxwoods on Sunday, he’s probably worth passing on this week.
Such a great battle! 🤘 https://t.co/FipkVzWRmL
— New Hampshire Motor Speedway (@NHMS) July 14, 2021
Martin Truex Jr. is another multi-winner who has already punched his ticket for the playoffs, and he’s paying +650 as a potential winner this weekend. Truex hasn’t won since May in Darlington, but he’s coming off a third-place finish in Atlanta and is sure to be in the mix this week.
As for the drivers on the favorites board who have yet to win a race and are still hoping to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, Denny Hamlin is in the best position. Despite not winning a single race in 2021, Hamlin is the current points leader. He’s led 770 laps, second only to Larson, and his 11 top-five finishes are tied for the season series lead.
Kevin Harvick is also in the playoffs if things stay as they are. He’s ninth in the points standings, ranking him second among the drivers without a win. He finished second in Kansas and had fourth-place finishes at Daytona, Talladega, and Pocono, but the nine-time winner in 2020 has yet to reach victory lane this season.
“It would be a huge momentum builder,” Harvick said in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader of the upcoming race.
Longshots to Consider
If you want to gamble on one of the drivers well on the outside of the playoffs, Matt DiBenedetto is a good option. He’s paying +6600, which is great value for someone who has finished in the top 10 in each of the last two weeks and inside the top six in each of his last two starts in New Hampshire.
DiBenedetto has never won a Cup Series race, but he’s driving like a man who is ready to break that drought. He’s also a driver who has to win a race if he wants to be in the playoffs.
Tyler Reddick is also a driver that is much further down the favorites board than he should be. The +5000 he’s paying makes no sense when you consider his resume. He was the sixth-place finisher at Atlanta last week, and he’s been in the top 10 in 11 races this season.
Reddick is the last man in the playoffs with a 96-point lead over Chris Buescher. So not only is Reddick running well heading into this weekend’s race, he has all the motivation in the world to get a win and lock up a playoff berth.
Don’t forget to take a look at our news section before making your online bet.