On Sunday, October 25th, NASCAR will be live from the Texas Motor Speedway for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. This is the 34th overall race of the 2020 season, the 8th of the Playoffs, and the second race of Round 3.
Last weekend, Joey Logano surprised the field when he took the checkered flag and earned a spot in the Championship race. He’s also one of the favorites for this weekend’s event as well.
Kevin Harvick is the consensus choice for the odds on favorite to win this race according to most NASCAR betting sites. Joining Harvick and Logano are Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the Top 5.
Speaking of Harvick, he’s the defending winner of this race in 2019. In fact, he’s won this fall Texas race three straight years.
The Texas Motor Speedway is a quad oval track with a lap distance of 1.5 miles, four turns at 20 to 24 degrees, and an asphalt surface. Sunday’s race breaks down as follows:
Total Miles: 500 miles
Total Laps: 334 laps
Stage 1: First 105 laps
Stage 2: Second 105 laos
Final Stage: Remaining 124 laps
The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 is set to begin at 3:30PM ET and will air live on NBCSN.
What to Watch for at Texas
With all of the excitement heading into Sunday’s race, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on at Texas:
Can Harvick win for a 4th straight year?
Who will earn a spot in the Championship race with a win?
Can a non-Playoff driver win this race?
Will there be a first time winner?
Can Jimmie Johnson turn back the hands of time?
“The name of our bar? Puzzles. People will be like, ‘Why is it called Puzzles?’ That’s the puzzle.” – Barney Stinson
According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500:
Kevin Harvick (+275)
Top 3 (-155)
Top 5 (-265)
Top 10 (-910)
Harvick comes into this Texas weekend as the overwhelming favorite and it’s easy to see why. He’s won this race three straight years and has been the best driver other than Jimmie Johnson at this track.
In addition to those three wins, He has an impressive streak of 12 straight Top 10 finishes at Texas, which includes nine Top 5s. Harvick was 5th in the summer race at Texas and led 40 laps. He’s actually led laps in 10 of the last 12 laps as well.
Harvick has the 3rd best average finish among the field at 10.2 and leads all drivers in Top 10s with 23. He’s 4th in Top 5s with 12 and is tied with Kurt Busch for the most Texas starts among active drivers at 35.
Last weekend, Harvick was my pick to win the Hollywood Casino 400. He came up short as Logano beat him in the final laps. Yet, Harvick remains 1st in the points standings roughly 21 points ahead of Hamlin.
It’s hard to argue against Harvick this weekend. He’s certainly the man to beat. You can safely put him down for a Top 10, Top 5 and Top 3 finish. The question is whether or not anyone else can upstage Harvick on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (+475)
Top 3 (+125)
Top 5 (-143)
Top 10 (-560)
Just like he has done all season long, Hamlin is arguably the only man who can compete with Harvick at Texas this weekend. He also has three wins at this track with his last win coming in the spring of 2019.
Hamlin has seven Top 5s, 13 Top 10s, and a 14.0 average finish. With that said, I do have some reservations about the #11 car as he only has two Top 10s in the last seven Texas races. The other five finishes were 20th or worse. He was 20th in this year’s first Texas race.
Hamlin has two straight Top 15 finishes in the Playoffs, which has him sitting 3rd in the Playoff standings and 2nd in driver points. He’s just 20 points ahead of the cutoff line, which means he can’t afford to continue finishing outside of the Top 10.
The heat is on all of the drivers to try and advance to the final round of the Playoffs. As he’s done all season long, I expect Hamlin to defy his recent trends at this track and finish Top 10 and Top 5. However, a Top 3 finish is probably his ceiling.
Joey Logano (+600)
Top 3 (+200)
Top 5 (+200)
Top 10 (-335)
The 2018 NASCAR Cup champion pulled out a big win last weekend at Kansas where he edged out Harvick and earned a spot in the Championship race. He’s finished in the Top 2 for the last two races and has four Top 5s in the Playoffs so far.
Heading into Texas, Logano offers value with his Top 10 and Top 5 odds. He’s finished inside the Top 10 in 13 of the last 15 races at this track. Over that span, he’s also finished in the Top 5 on 10 occasions with a win in 2014.
Even the car declared itself P1!
Joey has a knack for finishing up front at the right time, and he does it again, clinching his spot in the Championship Four!
Logano was 4th in this race last year, 3rd in 2018, 7th in 2017, and 2nd in 2016. He finished 3rd in the first Texas race this season as well.
I really like Logano’s Top 5 odds and I believe he will be a Top 10 car that flirts with a Top 3 finish.
Chase Elliott (+800)
Top 3 (+245)
Top 5 (+115)
Top 10 (-305)
Elliott has three straight Top 6 finishes in the Playoffs including a win two weeks ago in the Charlotte road race. Last weekend, he was 6th at Kansas and led 48 laps. In seven Playoff races, Elliott has five Top 7 finishes and three Top 5 results.
Elliott is certainly racing well in the postseason, but I have to question why he’s such a high favorite this weekend with online betting sites.
Elliott’s 11.0 average finish is 5th best among the field, but he’s never won at Texas and his best finish overall was 4th in 2016. He has three straight finishes outside of the Top 10. Furthermore, he’s only led 44 laps at this track.
I do see Elliott cracking the Top 10 this weekend due to his strong consistency in the Playoffs so far. However, I don’t see a Top 5 result and I believe his odds are overvalued at this point.
Ryan Blaney (+900)
Top 3 (+275)
Top 5 (+135)
Top 10 (-265)
Ryan Blaney was already eliminated from the Playoffs, but he continues to be listed in the Top 5 odds on favorites with sports betting websites.
Blaney finished 7th last weekend at Kansas and 5th at Charlotte two weeks ago. That’s three Top 7 results in the last four Playoff races.
At Texas, Blaney has finished 8th or better in five of the last six races. He dominated at Texas earlier this year by leading 150 laps. Unfortunately, his car faded late in the race and he finished 7th overall.
In the fall Texas race, Blaney was 8th last year, 2nd in 2018, and 6th in 2017.
I like the #12 car to finish inside the Top 10 and to challenge for a Top 5 spot. However, I don’t see Blaney winning this race.
The Best Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Betting Value
The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 due to their current betting odds, their past success at the Texas Motor Speedway, and their 2020 season so far:
Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr (+1000)
Top 3 (+275)
Top 5 (+110)
Top 10 (-265)
Truex has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to make it to the Championship race. The 2017 NASCAR champ sits 7th in the driver standings and Playoff standings roughly 31 points below the cutoff line. He finished 9th at Kansas last weekend and 7th at Charlotte, but has fallen one spot in the standings.
In the last 11 Texas races, Truex has eight Top 10s and two Top 5s. He’s never won at this track, but his 16 Top 10 results and a 14.0 average finish give us some hope that the #19 car can pull out a solid performance on Sunday.
I see his Top 5 odds offering value although it’s a little risky. But, he was 6th in this race last year, 9th in 2018, 2nd in 2017, 3rd in 2016 and 8th in 2015. That’s a 5.6 average finish in the last five fall Texas races.
Kyle Busch (+1200)
Top 3 (+400)
Top 5 (+145)
Top 10 (-200)
Kyle Busch was eliminated from the Playoffs after the Round of 12, which meant he lost his chance at repeating as NASCAR Cup champion. Even more disappointing is the fact that Busch has yet to win a race in 2020. This drought is threatening his streak of 15 straight seasons with at least one win.
Texas is a track where Kyle Busch has had a great deal of success at. He’s tied with Harvick and Hamlin at three wins, but Kyle actually has the 3rd most Top 5s (13) among the field. His 11.3 average finish is 6th best among active drivers as well.
Since 2012’s fall Texas race, Busch has 11 Top 10s, nine Top 5s and three wins in 15 races. He’s finished inside the Top 20 for that entire stretch and has led laps in 12 of those events.
I think his Top 5 odds offer value. He was 7th in this race last year and 4th in the spring Texas race. That’s a 5.5 average finish over the last 2 races. He also has a 5.8 average finish in the last five Texas races and he has a 7.5 average finish in the last 12 Texas events.
Kurt Busch (+2500)
Top 3 (+400)
Top 5 (+325)
Top 10 (-200)
Kurt Busch surprised the field with a win at Las Vegas, which automatically advanced him to the Round of 8. Unfortunately, he had engine issues last weekend at Kansas which led to a 38th place result. He’s now 8th in the Playoff standings and needs a win to move on to the Championship race.
Surprisingly, Kurt Busch has had a good amount of success at Texas in his career. He does have one win at this track, but it’s his consistency over the last three years that makes him a potential value play this weekend.
In the last seven Texas races, Kurt Busch has finished inside the Top 10 for all of them. In fact, he’s second among the field for the most Top 10s with 22.
I believe Busch will be a Top 10 car on Sunday and could flirt with a Top 5 result if things go his way. His +325 odds are risky, but very appealing. Yet, it’s his Top 10 odds that offer small value.
The Top Longshot to Win the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Austin Dillon (+5000)
Top 3 (+1200)
Top 5 (+700)
Top 10 (+140)
Like Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon was eliminated from the Playoffs after the Round of 12. Yet, he’s pulled out an 11th place result last weekend at Kansas and has a raced well at Texas in his career.
Anybody looking for a Dillon Double? https://t.co/kkAqaksbP6
Dillon won at Texas earlier this year, which is how he got into the Playoffs. He has a 9.25 average finish over the last four Texas races and could be a value play with his +134 Top 10 odds. He’s a longshot to win or place inside the Top 5.
Avoid These Playoff Drivers
Avoid the following Playoff drivers this weekend at Texas:
Brad Keselowski (+1200) – Currently, Keselowski sits in 4th place, roughly eight points above the cutoff line. However, Texas hasn’t been a good track for the #2 car. In 24 starts, he only has five Top 5s and nine Top 10s with a 17.3 average finish. Furthermore, he has just one Top 10 in the last five races. In fact, three of those results were outside of the Top 30 with two crashes.
Alex Bowman (+2000) – Bowman has the worst average finish among Playoff drivers at Texas at 25.6. He has just one Top 5 and one Top 10 result which came in this race last year when he finished 5th. In 10 races at this track, Bowman has finished outside of the Top 25 in six of them with three DNFS due to crashes. He’s finished outside of the Top 10 in all, but one Texas race.
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Checkered Flag
My Top 5 drivers are:
Of the non-Playoff drivers (Blaney, Busch), I think Kyle Busch has the better chance of winning. With that said, until he wins, don’t bet on him other than a Top 5 or Top 10 result.
I’m also eliminating the Team Penske drivers of Logano and Blaney. Blaney has never won here and I just don’t see Logano winning two straight Playoff races.
The winner will come from Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Both men have three wins at Texas, but it’s Harvick who has won this race three straight years. And, after looking over the rest of the field, it’s hard to pick against the #4 car on Sunday.
Harvick’s run at Texas has been remarkable. Only Jimmie Johnson has had a better stretch at the Texas Motor Speedway than Harvick. That could change after this weekend as I predict Harvick will win this race from the pole.
My Top 5 Drivers
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Prop Bets
The following NASCAR prop bets are courtesy of the best online betting sites:
Car Number of Race Winner
Of my Top 5 drivers, four of them drive even numbered cars. Only Denny Hamlin’s #11 car is an odd. With that said, you have to go with the Even option for this race despite the lack of value.
Car Number of Race Winner –Even (-230)
Car Number of Race Winner
Over 10.5 (-148)
Under 10.5 (+110)
This is a tough one to pick. We can stick with Harvick and the value at Under 10.5 or we can hedge our bets and go with the Over 10.5 as there are plenty of options like Logano, Hamlin, Blaney and Kyle Busch.
For me, I’m going to roll the dice with Harvick and go with the Under also because of the better payout.
Car Number of Race Winner –Under 10.5 (+110)
Manufacturer of Race Winner
Three of my Top 5 picks all drive Fords: Harvick, Logano and Blaney. With that said, it’s best to stick with Ford for this race. Despite being the favorite, Ford still offers value at -112 odds.
Manufacturer of Race Winner –Ford (-112)
Team of Race Winner
Joe Gibbs Racing (+215)
Stewart-Haas Racing (+215)
Team Penske (+300)
Hendrick Motor Sports (+500)
Chip Ganassi Racing (+2200)
Any Other Team (+2200)
Richard Childress racing (+2200)
Roush Fenway Racing (+1000)
JTG Daughtery Racing (+12500)
This is where things get interesting. Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing are the co-favorites for this prop bet. Harvick drives for SHR while Hamlin and Kyle Busch drive for JGR.
Going with SHR for this prop is the safe play. Team Penske’s odds of +300 could be appealing to some with Logano, Blaney and Keselowski.
For me, I am going to hedge my bet and go with Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have a combined six wins at Texas. Busch has raced really well and is desperate for a win. Hamlin has defied the trends this year each time he’s gone to a track where he wasn’t expected to win.
Team of Race Winner –Joe Gibbs Racing (+215)
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Betting Recap
Martin Truex Jr (+1000)
Kyle Busch (+1200)
Kurt Busch (+2500)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …