Cash or Pass: Darlington is the first in a series for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. This guide is for fantasy ‘cash-ins’ and ‘pass-on’ with best and worst bets, sleepers, and wild cards.
With the NASCAR playoffs getting underway, it’s only fair that the pressure ramps up on the track. That pressure also gets higher in the sportsbooks, well, for everyone except Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin that is. Harvick (+325) and Hamlin (+350) have far and away the best odds to win the CookOut Southern 500 at Darlington.
Race Breakdown: Chase Elliott was oh-so-close to claiming victory at Darlington earlier in the season, but was involved in a pretty well-known wreck with Kyle Busch. Elliott sits on the pole for the first playoff race, and he’ll get his vengeance by starting the Round of 16 with his third win of the season. Harvick, Hamlin, and Kurt Busch all put together solid top-five finishes, with Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola, and Kyle Busch all finishing in the top-ten. Ryan Blaney loses his engine early and does not finish the race.
Post-Daytona Road Course Power Ranking is for the NASCAR Cup Series after their inaugural race the Go Bowling 235 on the road course at Daytona International Speedway.
As if 2020 isn’t already unpredictable enough, imagine how Kevin Harvick was feeling leading the field into the sharp left-handed first turn at the Daytona Road Course on Sunday. While the race didn’t necessarily bring the insanity people were expecting after wreck-filled Xfinity and Truck Series races, the track did give an exhibition of driver skill in its first Cup Series Daytona Road Course event. Chase Elliott grabbed a huge win, his second of the season, and a few drivers picked up some big points in the race as well.
Post-Michigan Power Ranking for the NASCAR Cup Series gives a perspective of drivers and how they are doing as the 2020 regular season winds down.
At this point in 2020, there isn’t anything too peculiar about running back-to-back races at the same track in one weekend. There also isn’t anything unusual about Kevin Harvick finding himself in victory lane. Despite that, it was a bit unfamiliar to watch the same Harvick car win two straight races, both for points, on the same track, on two straight days. Harvick picked up his fifth and sixth wins at Michigan, dominating two races on the two-mile track. The Cup Series playoffs are now just three weeks (four races) away, and the field is beginning to take shape.