The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course is set for Sunday, August 15 at 1:00 PM. Tune in on NBC Sports, MRN radio, or SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 to catch Sunday’s action.
NASCAR is heading to another road course this weekend as the Cup Series will make its debut at the Indianapolis Road Course. The 14-turn, 2.439 mile road course offers a lot of challenges for which drivers will have to prepare. Turns 1-2 shall be interesting each time the race resumes under green. Drivers will be carrying a head of steam the opposite direction down the front stretch, launching into Turn 1 which comes just before the exit of oval Turn 4. They will be heavy on the brakes to make the sharp right-hand turn, the first of a couple heavy braking zones on the road course. The drivers are then greeted with a left-hand Turn 2. Best place to pass besides Turn 1 and 2? Turn 7. Drivers will launch out of Turn 6 and fly down the backstretch of the road course, which is nearly as long as the front stretch. It will be a drag race into this turn down the straightaway, setting up for the best passing zone on the course. They will be heavy on the brakes going into this sharp left-hand corner, which is equivalent to the heavy braking zone into Turn 1. Sunday’s race will be the final event at IMS as the Cup Series wraps up the joint event between NASCAR and IndyCar. Both IndyCar and the NASCAR Xfinity Series will run Saturday on the Indy road course.
Season Article Best Value Bets- 13-16: - 4 ½ Units
Best Bet Recap- Watkins Glen International
Article Best Value Bet: 1-0: +1 Unit
Denny Hamlin (-105 DraftKings) vs. Joey Logano- This matchup played out kind of how I thought it would. As the race wore on, Logano faded and Hamlin looked very strong. Hamlin ran 14 of the fastest laps (3rd most) while Lugano only had 2 of the fastest laps. Final result was 5th and Logano 22nd. We will take another win!
Drivers to Look Out For
Chase Elliott (+180 FanDuel)- Well, he didn’t win last week at Wakins Glen, but he came darn close. He finished 2nd and with a few more laps, Elliott might have been able to get the win. He’s still the man when it comes to road courses, so don’t let that 2nd place finish let you think he’s lost his touch. Out of the last 9 road courses, he’s won 6 of them, came in 2nd twice and had one poor finish (21st) at the Daytona Road Course because of a late race wreck.
Kyle Larson (+280 FanDuel)- Who was the driver that beat Elliott in his two of the road courses this year, including last week? Kyle Larson. Larson led the final 27 laps of the 90-lap event at Wakins Glen to take home the victory. In five road course races this year, Larson has two wins and a third place finish. He has two finishes outside the top 10. At Daytona Road Course, he had a late race wreck and at Road America, he was turned by his teammate Alex Bowman. Interesting stat: Last week marked the eighth Hendrick Motorsports victory in the last 11 races and the fourth time Larson and Elliott have finished 1-2 — the third time at a road-course event.
AJ Allmendinger (+2400 FanDuel)- I put Allmendinger in here because he is a road course specialist and he has race experience at this track. Allmendinger raced here last year in the Xfinity series, finishing 4th. In three Cup Series road course races this year, he finished 7th at Daytona Road Course, 5th and Circuit of the Americas and 29th at Road America. At Road America he had a hose come off of his helmet and ran into several other obstacles. I expect him to be a top 10 contender, but I would not be surprised if he was able to steal the win away from a full time Cup driver.
Best Value Bet
Kurt Busch (-134 FanDuel) vs. Brad Keselowski- Kurt Busch has quietly been putting up some fine results at road courses this year. The opposite could be said about Brad Keselowski. The two most comparable tracks to IMS Road Course would be Road America and Watkins Glen. Busch finished 4th at Road America and 13th at Watkins Glen. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski finished 13th at Road America and 35th at Watkins Glen. Even better news, Kurt Busch has finished ahead of Brad Keselowski in every road course race this year, except for Circuit of the Americas, the infamous rain race where drivers could not see where they were going. Ever since Ganassi Racing’s collaborative partner Hendrick Motorsports issued an apology for all of the mechanical failures after the Coca-Cola 600, Ganassi cars have been running very well. I also expect Keselowski to push too hard since his team owner, Roger Penske, owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he wants to get that special win for The Captain. Well, I wouldn’t count on Keselowski even coming close.