After Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, four drivers will advance from the Round of 8 into the Championship 4 next week at Phoenix Raceway and four drivers will be chopped from the competition.
The latest odds to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup title are listed below and it appears to be a four-horse race.
NASCAR Cup Contender Odds
- Kevin Harvick +160
- Denny Hamlin +240
- Joey Logano +375
- Brad Keselowski +375
- Martin Truex Jr. +1700
- Chase Elliott +2600
- Alex Bowman +7500
- Kurt Busch +5000
Joey Logano is the only driver locked in by his Kansas win two weeks ago to kick off the Round of 8.
Kevin Harvick, who leads the series with nine wins in 2020, has a 42-point lead over the fifth-place driver.
NASCAR Cup Series
- Race:Xfinity 500
- Date: Sunday, November 1, 2020
- TV-Time: NBC, 2:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Martinsville Speedway
- Location: Martinsville, Virginia
Denny Hamlin, who has seven wins this season, has a 27-point lead, and Brad Keselowski has a 25-point lead. All three can advance if they don’t get involved in an early wreck, but things get dicier if one of the lower four drivers in points wins the race.
Martin Truex Jr. has won the last two Martinsville races and is 36-points behind the cutoff mark. If he is leading late, then it’s a likely battle between Hamlin and Brad Keselowski for the final slot which should be fun.
Same with Chase Elliott who is only 25-points out from the final spot.
NASCAR Cup Odds
Xfinity 500 Odds
Sunday, November 1, 2020
- Martin Truex Jr. +325
- Denny Hamlin +550
- Brad Keselowski +550
- Kyle Busch +850
- Chase Elliott +850
- Joey Logano +850
- Ryan Blaney +900
- Kevin Harvick +1000
- More NASCAR Futures
- (Odds Subject to Change)
NASCAR Cup Series
Here’s a look at the favorites to win the Xfinity 500, along with some others drivers to keep an eye on this Sunday at Virginia.
Drivers to Watch - Xfinity 500
#19 Martin Truex Jr. 3/1
He’s 31-points behind the transfer position to make the Championship 4 next week, but the reality is that he needs to win to advance unless Hamlin and Harvick wreck each at the start of the race. He’s won the last two on the flat half-mile paperclip layout, so why not another? Seven top-fives and 858 laps led between his 29 starts are really good.
Martin Truex Jr. captured the June race from Martinsville, Virginia and he's favored to repeat on Sunday. (AP)
#2 Brad Keselowski 11/2
His last nine races at Martinsville have been top-10s, and eight of those races are top-fives with two of them being wins. He has 10 top-fives in all between his 20 starts. Last spring he won both stages and led 446 of 500 laps before winning. He’s been third in his last two starts there. He’s a great match-up bet this week against almost anyone.
#11 Denny Hamlin 6/1
He might have had the best ninth-place finish of his career on Wednesday at Texas because he took a junk car and fought it all day until getting straight and maintaining a 47-point lead over the fifth-place driver. The Virginian has always run well and got some home-cooking at Martinsville which has helped him win five races, average a 9.9 finish, 15 top-fives, and lead 1,566 laps. He doesn’t have to win, but I can’t imagine him not trying to win in front of friends and family.
#22 Joey Logano 17/2
Team Penske has been the best with the 750 hp package and we knew it right way when he won at Phoenix, the first race using it in 2020 right before the pandemic shut down across America. His last race using it was at the Charlotte Roval where he finished second. He won the fall Martinsville race in 2018.
#9 Chase Elliott 8/1
I hate to say do or die with him while he sits in fifth place in the standings, 30 points below the cutoff number, but he has to win. He’s never won at Martinsville other than a Truck Series win in 2017, but this race package has been great for him with three wins (including non-points All-Star race). Three top-fives in 10 Cup starts, two of them in his last three starts.
#18 Kyle Busch 8/1
He finally got the 2020 monkey off his back and has now won in all 15 years of his Cup career by stretching a tank of gas at Texas Wednesday night. He’s not the type to be satisfied with one win and will race just as hard for this one. He had a run of eight straight top-fives at Martinsville, which included both his wins there, until finishing 14th last fall.
#4 Kevin Harvick 10/1
He saved the day Wednesday at Texas by just being lousy and not super lousy to maintain a 72-point lead over the fifth-place driver. Two of his nine wins this season came using this week’s race package, but it’s surprising to see him with only one Cup win coming in 2011. He can coast to the Championship 4.
#12 Ryan Blaney 10/1
Since coming to Team Penske in 2018 he’s had five top-fives in starts at Martinsville with a career-best of runner-up in the June race. He was fifth at the Charlotte Roval, the last race using the 750 hp race package.
#14 Clint Bowyer 25/1
He’s got two races left in his Cup career before going to the broadcast booth for Fox Sports, and this is a spot he can win at. He was contending most of last week at Texas, but this week he’ll be using the race package he’s been at his best. He’s led 572 laps at Martinsville, averaged a 14th-place finish, and has a 2018 win to his credit. He loves the flat tracks. I’m betting him in driver match-ups I can find.
#1 Kurt Busch 28/1
His only hope to advance to the final round of the playoffs is to win. He knows, everybody knows it. Despite a 20th-place average finish in 40 Cup starts at Martinsville, he does have two wins and 464 laps led.
#88 Alex Bowman 28/1
His best scenario to make the Championship 4 race is to win, and while it seems like a long shot, he did get a career-best at Martinsville in June with sixth-place. In his last race using this week’s race package, he was eighth at the Charlotte Roval.
#48 Jimmie Johnson 30/1
The legend will be making his final run at Martinsville and here’s where he stacks up among active drivers: he’s No. 1 in average finish (9.3), wins (9), top-fives (19), top-10s (25), and laps led (2,933). They give a grandfather clock as a Martinsville trophy. He’s got nine of them; noon must be wild in the Johnson home.
#24 William Byron 30/1
Jeff Gordon used to dominate in the No. 24 at Martinsville and Byron’s past two races there give a preview that he might be ready to take the next step and win. He was runner-up last fall and eighth in the June race.
#21 Matt DiBenedetto 60/1
In 11 Cup starts he has a 27th-place finish, but he came up big in the June race with a career-best seventh-place. The car he drives is for the famed Wood Bros. who are legends in Virginia. It’s an important race for the team.
#20 Erik Jones 60/1
In seven Cup starts at Martinsville he’s averaged a 21st-place finish with no top-fives, no top-10s, and no laps led. But he’s got Joe Gibbs racing equipment for two more races, so you have to respect the teammate of Truex, Hamlin, and Kyle Busch. However, his search for a ride is over as he’ll take over the No. 43 next season.
#6 Ryan Newman 150/1
I recommend that drivers don’t try to rattle him at the tight confines of Martinsville because he’ll be a burr in your saddle all day, and he never forgets. He has eight top-fives, which include a 2012 win.
#43 Bubba Wallace 200/1
Martinsville used to be the equalizer for drivers that didn’t have the best equipment at the larger tracks, but their skills could take over and the driver meant a bunch. Think Bobby Hamilton (1998), Ricky Rudd (1998), and John Andretti (1999) who all won there at high odds.
Andretti drove the No. 43 as well, and I had bets on them all after the first practice. Wallace has two Truck Series wins at Martinsville, and had his best finish (11th) in the June race. It’s his best remaining chance to give Richard Petty a win.
#42 Matt Kenseth 200/1
He went through virtually his entire career being less than an average at Martinsville even though his career-best was runner-up in 2002, but in his later stages he was always competitive and tied that runner-up in 2012 after leading 202 laps. He led 176 laps before finishing fourth in 2016. He was 23rd in the June race.
Top-5 Finish Prediction
1) #11 Denny Hamlin (6/1)
2) #19 Martin Truex Jr. (3/1)
3) #2 Brad Keselowski (11/2)
4) #22 Joey Logano (17/2)
5) #12 Ryan Blaney (10/1)
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