The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series makes the first of two stops to Kansas Speedway this Saturday night for the running of the Digital Ally 400. Former race winner Kyle Busch opened as the favorite on NASCAR odds.
2019 Digital Ally 400 Odds, Preview & Expert Prediction
- When: Saturday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Kansas Speedway
- TV: Fox Sports 1
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
About Kansas Speedway
Officials broke ground to build Kansas Speedway in Kansas City on May 25, 1999, and the first race the track ever hosted was an ARCA RE/MAX (now ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards) series event on June 2, 2001. The first Monster Energy Cup Series race there was Sept. 30, 2001, with Jeff Gordon.
Lights were installed from mid-2010 to early 2011, and thus NASCAR gave the track a spring race as well. Digital Ally 400 has only been around since 2011. Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval and there are 267 laps broken up into stages of 80, 80 and 107.
It’s still early in the season and only three races have been run on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. Atlanta Motor Speedway went to Brad Keselowski. Joey Logano won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Denny Hamlin winning at Texas Motor Speedway. None of those drivers have swept the top 10 on this track type.
Another Kansas Win For Busch?
In 2016, Kyle Busch won this race and he opened as the +330 favorite at Mybookie.ag to become the first driver to take this race twice. Last week, Busch finished 10th in the Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway to earn his 11th consecutive top-10 to open the 2019 season. In doing so, Busch tied a 29-year old record set by Morgan Shepherd who started 1990 with 11 consecutive top-10s.
Busch’s expletive-riddled assessment after Monday’s rain-postponed race in Delaware in years past likely would have drawn a fine. But NASCAR let Busch’s criticism go unpunished. With 750 horsepower and more downforce, the new NASCAR rules package is designed to increase side-by-side racing and manufacture competition. However, drivers have complained passing has become too difficult this year, and Busch blasted the rules after Monday’s race.
The 1.5-mile tracks like Kansas have been very kind to Busch. From the beginning of last year, Busch has earned top-10s in all but one of 14 races on them. His worst finish was a 17th last Fall at Texas and his average of is 5.2 is buoyed by three wins. At Kansas, he’s been just as strong with an eight-race, top-10 streak that boasts an average of 5.1.
Martin Truex Jr. is the +450 second favorite. He’s has won back-to-back weeks at Richmond Raceway and Dover International Speedway. Truex Jr. was forced to go to the back of the pack to start the Gander RV 400 at Dover after failing inspection, but he came through the field to win. Truex got his first career victory on this track in 2007. He won again in 2016. Truex swept the two races at Kansas in 2017 and had top-fives in both events last year. In 2012, he posted back-to-back second-place finishes.
Kevin Harvick is +600 and he’s the defending champion – the race was called the KC Masterpiece 400 in 2018. Harvick was sixth on what turned out to be the night’s final restart but charged to the front of the field at the drop of the green flag. He caught Truex Jr. and the two put on a battle for the lead until Harvick got by with one lap to go and went on to win. Harvick has three Kansas wins and scored two in the last five races. Over the past six races there, he’s earned the most points and scored the most stage points last year.
Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski are both +700. Logano has two Cup wins at Kansas. He also earned the second-most points and third-most stage points here last year. At Kansas, Keselowski has one career win as well as the sixth-most points in the past four races. On 1.5-mile tracks, Keselowski has 10 top-10s in his last 14 races.
Chase Elliott is +1000 and Kyle Larson +1200. Larson led a race-high 101 laps last year after starting in the back of the field from a qualifying lap spin and change of tires. He finished third. Elliott won the 2018 fall race last year at Kansas. He’s generally been stronger in the fall than spring. Last year, Elliott finished 12th. In 2017, he was 29th in this race.
Track Facts (All Kansas Races)
- Number of previous races: 26
- First Cup race: September 30, 2001, won by Jeff Gordon
- Last Cup race: October 21, 2018, won by Chase Elliott
- Won from pole: 6, last time by Kevin Harvick in 2018
- Won from top-5 starting position: 12 times in 26 races (46%)
- Won from top-10 starting position: 15 times (58%)
- Won from 21st or worse starting position: 2 times (8%)
- Worst starting spot for race winner: 25th, by Brad Keselowski in 2011
- Most laps led: 197, by Jimmie Johnson in 2011
- Fewest laps led by a race winner: 5, by Tony Stewart in 2006
- Fastest race: 152.057 mph by Chase Elliott in 2018
- Fastest qualifying speed: 197.621 mph by Kevin Harvick in 2014
- Most lead changes: 26 in 2009
- Closest finish: Joe Nemechek’s .081 second margin over Ricky Rudd in 2004
- Most caution flags: 15 in 2013 and 2017
Expert Pick for NASCAR 2019 Digital Ally 400
Kyle Larson wins.