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2009 Auto Club Betting Preview + Odds

Auto Club 500 Betting

NASCAR heads west for the next two weeks starting with a Sunday evening affair at Auto Club Speedway.

Note we have a contest for this race: Enter the Sportsbook.com ‘Dash for the Cash’ and we’ll add $1,000.00 to your account if you can correctly pick the Top 3 finishers in this weekend’s Auto Club 500.

This race is always somewhat anti-climatic following the hype and hoopla of the Daytona 500, but rest assured, the drivers realize that in the grand scheme of point racing, the Auto Club 500 means every bit as much.

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Series leader Matt Kenseth won this event in both 2006 and 2007 before Carl Edwards halted his chance for three in a row. Jimmie Johnson is the most recent winner at this track, having won last year’s Labor Day race which has now been moved to fill one of the 10 spots in this year’s Chase.

In all, 11 different drivers have won at Auto Club Speedway’s 17 previous Cup races, with Jeff Gordon and Johnson, each three time winners, the only drivers to reach victory lane more than twice.

Not coincidentally, both of those guys hail from the state of California and each stakes claim to this being his “home track”. Another California driver, Kevin Harvick, also comes into this week’s race with high hopes, sitting second to Kenseth in the point standings after one race.

A quick look at the overall stats for Auto Club Speedway finds Johnson at the top of most categories, including average finish (5.9), Top 5’s (8), and laps led per start (43.6).

He has run 12 prior races here heading into Sunday. Gordon boasts nearly as strong of stats in 17 starts, and leads in average starting position (6.7). Carl Edwards (6.7), Matt Kenseth (9.6), and Kyle Busch (9.9) are the only drivers besides Johnson to be under 10.0 in average finish.

Kasey Kahne boasts seven Top 10 finishes among his 10 prior Cali starts, and Mark Martin and Tony Stewart have compiled that same number in 15 starts each. Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Michael Waltrip, and Joe Nemechek are the only drivers to have started every prior race in Fontana.

There are a few drivers who should be given strong consideration in race matchup wagers and/or prop offerings this week. The odds are reflective of their prospects.

Johnson is the favorite at 4-1, but Edwards, 9-2, and Kyle Busch, 5-1, are just behind. Those are the only drivers that break the 10-1 barrier. Incidentally, Kenseth is 10-1.

The success of Roush Racing in California makes virtually every one of their five drivers worthy of consideration. In which case, Greg Biffle (10-1), David Ragan (25-1), and Jamie McMurray (40-1) are a few others to watch.

One other true longshot would be A.J. Allmendinger at 100-1. He is coming off a strong 3rd place Daytona finish in his first race for the new Petty Motorsports and is actually 5th best among active drivers in average finish at California Speedway, 10.7.

Check out all the Auto Club 500 odds at Sportsbook.com and place your bet.


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