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Southern 500 Gambling Picks/Preview

2009 Southern 500 Predictions – Betting Preview + Picks + Odds

Race: The Southern 500 – Darlington Raceway
Date: Saturday, May 9, 2009
Time: 7:35 PM EST (scheduled Green Flag)
TV: 7:00 PM EST on FOX

Preview:  Darlington Raceway is a venerable NASCAR venue in the heart of stock car racing’s traditional southeastern home base.

The Southern 500 used to be a Labor Day mainstay on the Cup schedule, but the date was moved to November in 2004 and was then discontinued when NASCAR cut the track to one race a year.  The name is the same this year, but it is Mother’s Day rather than Labor Day weekend. There are 45 cars on the entry list and the weather forecast calls for high temperatures in the 90s.  The two scheduled practice sessions will take place on Friday, as will qualifying and the Nationwide Series race, with the Cup race Saturday night under the lights. 


Safe Bets:

1. Kyle Busch (+550):  Busch is coming off an impressive win at Richmond last weekend and has already won three of the first ten races this year.  In addition, Busch is the reigning winner of this race – he found Victory Lane in dominant fashion last year, leading a race-high 169 laps. 

2. Jeff Gordon (+650):  Having won seven races at Darlington already, it’s hard not to consider Gordon one of the favorites here.  Though five of those wins were before the year 2000, he has won twice since then – in 2002 and 2007.  He also leads all drivers in points accumulated at Darlington over the last five races and in overall laps led.   

Dark Horse:

1. Jeff Burton (+3000):  Burton’s average finish of 11.5 is third-best among active drivers behind Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson.  He’s won twice here and, although both wins came in 1999, there’s no question he can get around this racetrack – from 1997 to 2000, he had a string of eight straight top-5 finishes. 

Summary:  Darlington was repaved in 2007 and the fundamental character of the track was changed.  Last year’s race was the first since the repaving and was won by Kyle Busch.  Greg Biffle had a strong car last year and led 95 laps before suffering an engine failure – he won here in 2005 and 2006. 

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Becca Gladden is a freelance writer and race handicapper specializing in NASCAR.


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About Becca Gladden

Our resident Nascar Capper is back for another season making free racing predictions! Becca Gladden is a freelance writer and race handicapper specializing in NASCAR.