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Kevin Harvick Driver To Beat At NASCAR Duck Commander 500
After taking Easter weekend off, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is back at it on Saturday night for the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and to little surprise the Bovada betting favorite at 4/1 is Kevin Harvick. This event marks a temporary break in the spring, short track part of the schedule.
For those drivers who do well on the intermediate ovals and looking for a boost in the standings, it's time to strike. Texas Motor Speedway has the trademark characteristics of the "D-shaped" tri-ovals on the circuit. This facility has 24-degree banking in the turns and very high speeds similar to that of the oval in Atlanta.
Harvick Poised To Break Through
Though Harvick is the only driver to win more than once this season, he’s never won at Texas, sporting four top-fives and 12 top-10s. In 18 Texas spring races, there have been 14 different winners. Only Greg Biffle (2005, 2012) and Matt Kenneth (2002, 2011) have won it more than once.
“I think that the biggest goal for us is to try to win at Texas,” Harvick said in a Team Chevy press release. “It has been a race track for me that hasn’t been my strongest over the past several years. But I think when you look back at last year we had two really good race cars there.
“I know the first one doesn’t show the results but I think when you look at what happened and where we were running when it all happened. I think when you go back this time of year hopefully we have a chance to run well again.”
Harvick's top-two streak came to a close at Martinsville, but he now has a streak of nine straight top-10s, not to mention an amazing 2.7 average finish on the season. "The Closer" has been the second-best closer at Texas in the loop data era, gaining 40 spots over the last 10 percent of the race.?
The Other Favorites
Jimmie Johnson (5/1): Three of Johnson’s four Texas victories came in the past six races on this track. He also finished second in the spring 2012 event and sixth on one other occasion, but that was not enough to keep him out of trouble in the 2014 Duck Commander 500. He was hit by debris from a Dale Earnhardt Jr. accident and fell two laps off the pace to 25th.
Kurt Busch (6/1): Busch got a delayed start to the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season when he was suspended by NASCAR for the season’s first three races after a Kent County (Del.) Family Court commissioner issued an opinion in which he found Busch had committed an act of domestic violence against his former girlfriend. In the three races Busch, 36, has been back, he has scored the fourth-most points of any driver (113). Only Brad Keselowski (129), Harvick (129) and Joey Logano (116) have scored more, and all three are already safely locked in this season’s championship Chase with victories. Busch won this race in 2013.
Keselowski (10/1): Texas is the site of his infamous move last November to squeeze past Jeff Gordon to try to get to the front. A move that not only infuriated the four-time champion but also sparked a melee on pit road after the race. Despite having an average finish of 18.2 at Texas, Keselowski has scored top-10s in four of the past five races there.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (10/1): Junior He won his first Cup race at the 1.5-mile track in 2000 but has led only two laps in his past nine races there. His 43rd-place finish at Texas last spring produced a lasting image after the back of his car caught on fire following an early wreck into the Turn 1 wall.
Logano (10/1): The defending Duck Commander 500 champion, he currently sits in second place in points and is riding high off a Martinsville weekend where he won the pole, took the checkered flag in the trucks race and placed third in the STP 500 Sprint Cup race. He’ll try to be the first driver to win back-to-back spring races at Texas.
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