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NASCAR Alsco 500K Picks, Betting Preview and Predictions


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Editor's Note: This race was scheduled for Wednesday night but was postponed due to inclement weather.

NASCAR Cup Series
Alsco 500K Picks

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2020
Venue: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Television-Time: FS1, 7:00 p.m. ET

I’m going to get addicted to these Wednesday specials NASCAR is running due to the pandemic and I don’t think I want to go back to the old and tired format spread across a weekend and I’m sure the drivers would love an extra break of two in what amounts to the longest season or any pro sports league.

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Racing February to late November, running almost every weekend, is for the birds.

The cool thing about Wednesday’s Alsco 500K at Charlotte Motor Speedway that is far different from Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 -- NASCAR’s longest race -- is that drivers can’t wait around for six hours for their cars to come around.

It’s a marathon, and I love it, but the urgency of a short race creates so much more intensity throughout.

The Alsco 500K is essentially 208 laps around the 1.5-mile high-banked track, almost half the distance they ran in Sunday’s long-distance event.

NASCAR Cup Odds - Charlotte

  • Martin Truex Jr. +500
  • Kyle Busch +600
  • Chase Elliott +600
  • Alex Bowman +800
  • Kevin Harvick +900
  • Jimmie Johnson +900
  • Brad Keselowski +900
  • Joey Logano +1000
  • Denny Hamlin +1300
  • Ryan Blaney +1600
  • More NASCAR Futures
  • (Odds Subject to Change)
“It’s definitely going to be more of a sprint race with our M&M’S Fudge Brownie Camry,” said Kyle Busch of the shorter format. “Thankfully, my guys are really, really, really good on pit road and they probably passed the most cars Sunday night on pit road – more than I did. It’s definitely beneficial when you can come down pit road 15th, 10th, eighth, seventh, whatever it is, and those guys are going to get you five or six spots. I’m not too upset about where we have to start. We certainly saw that track position was a big deal on Sunday night, so we want to work our way to the front and stay there if we can. I know I’m up for it and the guys on pit road are up for the task, too, with how well they performed on Sunday night.”

Busch ended up fourth Sunday, a far better position than the car probably deserved, but it’s part of the reason that makes Busch a two-time Cup Champion. It was his second consecutive race using the 550 horsepower race package where he finished in the top-five but didn’t lead a lap. He’s still looking for a win in 2020 after seven races and his aggressive driving style makes him one of the top candidates to win which is why he’s a co-favorite at 6/1 odds.

NASCAR Betting Analysis - Charlotte

Busch will start from the 17th position Wednesday night. The top-20 finishers from Sunday will be inverted to create the starting lineup. No practices or qualifying, either so we’ll have to rely on what we saw Sunday as the main source of information after crew chiefs surely gained some valuable race notes. They want to be fast right off the hauler and recreate when they were fastest on Sunday as a set-up. It’s all at night -- no changing conditions like Sunday -- and the race goes by super fast.

My plan of attack is first identifying who has been consistently fast in the three races since coming back -- Darlington 1, Darlington 2, and Charlotte 1. All three races used the same race packages. And then I'll include Las Vegas and Fontana -- races before the season stoppage -- because they used the 550 horsepower race package there as well. After that I’ll mix in some recent history on the track and come up with my top candidates to wager on to win.

Of course, I also factor in the betting price for where it should be and where it is to determine any value which is why Alex Bowman and William Byron are more attractive to me than Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick, all of whom deserve to be considered the co-favorites.

Here’s who I got this week:

#88 Alex Bowman (10/1) - I can’t tell you if he’s going to use the same car again, but I can tell you he’ll be my top wager in odds to win, and it’s not just because this is a short race and Bowman won the first two stages of the 600. The main reason is that he’s fast everywhere with this race package and this is a good track for him to excel at. He finished 19th Sunday but led a race-high 164 laps. He’ll start from the second position Wednesday night.

#24 William Byron (20/1) - His late spin out cost lots of people some money who had Chase Elliott to win the 600. But he’ll be starting from the pole and open-air has always seen him at his best. It’s a short race and he’ll have a fast car, and his crew chief Chad Knaus also has the most Charlotte wins among actives. This could be his breakthrough moment, shop around for best prices.

#19 Martin Truex Jr. (6/1) - He’s been sixth or better in eight of his last nine starts at Charlotte, which includes three wins. Sunday he finished second in the first two stages and led 87 laps. He’s going to win a race soon.

#18 Kyle Busch (6/1) - His fourth-place Sunday was his fourth straight top-five in the Coca-Cola 600 with his only Cup win there ever coming in 2018. I expected Chase Elliott to take care of business and retaliate but Busch smoothed it over during the week. I still believe Elliott does a payback. He has to or all the other drivers will punk him as well in the future. Be cautious of a bet on Busch.

#9 Chase Elliott (8/1) - He should be happy with tying a career-best at Charlotte with a runner-up, but he was pissed at the end wondering why they pitted after showing they had the fastest car in the final stages of the race. That’s two weeks in a row he’s had his first win of the season ripped away from him, and I’m sure the guy he didn't want consoling him Sunday was Kyle Busch who wrecked him Wednesday at Darlington.

Enjoy the midweek show!

Alsco 500K - Top-5 Finish Prediction

1) #88 Alex Bowman (10/1)
2) #24 William Byron (20/1)
3) #19 Martin Truex Jr. (6/1)
4) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
5) #9 Chase Elliott (8/1)

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