Buschy McBusch Race 400 (Cup Series) Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Is this finally Kevin Harvick’s time to win his first NASCAR Cup race of the season?
- The circle of success at Kansas Speedway is a small one indeed.
- Denny Hamlin looks for a rebound after a mistake-riddled run at Talladega.
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Buschy McBusch Race 400 Odds
|Denny Hamlin||+550 |
|Kyle Larson||+600 |
|Martin Truex Jr||+650 |
|Brad Keselowski||+850 |
|Chase Elliott||+900 |
|Kevin Harvick||+900 |
|Joey Logano||+900 |
|Ryan Blaney||+1000 |
|Kyle Busch||+1200 |
|William Byron||+1600 |
|Alex Bowman||+1800 |
|Christopher Bell||+2500 |
|Kurt Busch||+3500 |
|Matt DiBenedetto||+5000 |
|Austin Dillon||+6000 |
|Aric Almirola||+6600 |
|Cole Custer||+10000 |
|Erik Jones||+10000 |
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With the chaos of Talladega Superspeedway behind them, NASCAR Cup Series drivers are venturing to Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s Buschy McBusch Race 400 (sponsor Busch beer let fans pick the name in an Internet promotion). There are eight formers Kansas winners in the field for the 11th Cup event of the season, led by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano with three victories each at the track.
Sunday’s event will be contested over 267 laps (400.5 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 80 and 160 laps. Hamlin is the defending winner of this race. Logano took the checkered flag last October in the most recent event at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway.
How to Watch Buschy McBusch Race 400
|Buschy McBusch Race 400 Information|
|What||Buschy McBusch Race 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race|
|When||Sunday, May 2, 3 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
After Lackluster Start to Season, Kevin Harvick Looks for Breakthrough Win
In the first 10 races of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the efforts of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 team—and of the Stewart-Haas Racing organization in general—have been underwhelming, to say the least. A nine-time winner last year, Harvick hasn’t finished better than fourth so far this season, a result he achieved at both superspeedways, Daytona in the season opener and Talladega last Sunday.
Harvick is one of three triple Kansas winners who entered in Sunday’s Buschy McBusch Race 400. He’s last driver to win from the pole at the 1.5-mile track (May 12, 2018). Harvick also paces the Cup Series in laps led at Kansas with 959—41 more and he’ll notch his sixth track with at least 1,000 laps led, joining Atlanta, Bristol, Dover, Phoenix and Richmond.
“We’re just a little bit off on the speed side of things,” says Harvick, who is tied with Chase Elliott and Joey Logano for oddsmakers’ fifth choice on Sunday at +900. “We just have to methodically work through the problems and get the cars back to where they need to be. It’s a long year.
From our standpoint, we’ve been the dominant car, we’ve been the not-so-dominant car, we’ve been good, we’ve been bad, we’ve done it perfectly, and we’ve made mistakes. This is not a scenario that we’ve not been in before. You just have to make sure you dot all the ‘i’s’ and cross all the ‘t’s’ and make sure you get the most out of the weekends right now, so you don’t dig yourself into a hole you can’t get out of during the first 26 weeks.
Will the Small Circle of Success at Kansas Speedway Remain Unbroken?
As noted above, there are eight former Kansas winners in the field for Sunday’s Buschy McBusch Race 400. Collectively, those eight drivers have posted 16 victories at the track—Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano with three each; Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. with two each; and Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Newman with a single victory each.
Newman is making his 700th Cup Series start this weekend. Only two active drivers have more—Kurt Busch with 730 and Harvick with 728. But don’t expect Newman to celebrate his milestone in Victory Lane. His lone win at Kansas came in 2003, and the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford isn’t stout enough to contend for the victory on Sunday. His current odds (+15000) reflect that.
A much better choice is reigning series champion Elliott (+900), who is seeking his first victory of 2021. With his triumph at Kansas in 2018, Elliott became the youngest winner at the track at age 22, 10 months, 23 days. The strength of the Hendrick Motorsports equipment makes the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet an excellent choice on Sunday. All three of Elliott’s teammates already have posted wins this year.
After a Disaster at Talladega, Denny Hamlin Looks for a Return to Excellence
Before last Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Denny Hamlin had scored eight top-fives in the first nine NASCAR Cup Series races, with an 11th-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway the worst result on his 2021 record.
That changed at Talladega after Hamlin led three times for a race-high 43 laps. A pair of pit road speeding penalties and central roles in two wrecks relegated the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to a 32nd-place finish, three laps in arrears. Nevertheless, Hamlin left Talladega maintaining a sizable lead in the series, 87 points ahead of second-place Martin Truex Jr., his JGR teammate.
Because of the Talladega result, Hamlin will start 20th in Sunday’s Buschy McBusch Race 400, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent. The oddsmakers agree, having established him as the favorite to win at +550. We agree. Hamlin has been too strong so far this season not to have won a race. On Sunday, he gets it done.
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association.
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