In a season that has produced a series of surprise winners, some of NASCAR’s biggest stars will be looking to score their first win of 2021 on Sunday in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are both still seeking their first victories, and come into Las Vegas as the +550 co-favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Truex Confident Ahead of Pennzoil 400
Truex has won twice in Las Vegas, with victories in 2017 and 2019. While he has yet to find his form in the 2021 season, he remains a leading contender in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship, and says he likes what he’s seen at the start of the season.
“I feel good about our team and where we’re at. We had a really strong run in Miami last weekend and led some laps,” Truex said in a statement from Joe Gibbs Racing. “Everyone is doing a great job, so that gives me a lot of confidence going to Las Vegas this weekend. It’s a place we’ve had some success at and, hopefully, we can continue that on Sunday.”
Harvick hasn’t grabbed a win yet either this year. But the 45-year-old has three top-10 finishes to start the season, and earned the pole position in the Pennzoil 400 based on the formula NASCAR is using in lieu of qualifying runs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harvick has finished in the top 10 in each of his last four races in Las Vegas, and won there in both 2015 and 2018.
“Las Vegas has a lot of tire fall off, so it’s important to have a good-handling race car,” Harvick said, via Motorsport.com. “It’s also a track where you’re constantly moving around trying to find the right grip.”
A Big Bet on Bilicki
A group of four notable names rank just behind Harvick and Truex to win the Pennzoil 400 at FanDuel, with Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano all fetching +800 odds. All four are looking for their first wins of the season as well. Kurt Busch comes in as the last driver to win in Las Vegas, having captured the South Point 400 last September, but sits at +1800 to repeat that performance.
Of course, in a year that has so far produced Christopher Bell, Michael McDowell, and William Byron as race winners, some bettors are looking deep for the next longshot to pay off. Dollar Loan Center CEO Chuck Brennan made a $10,000 bet at Circa on driver Josh Bilicki to win the Pennzoil 400 at +100000 odds, a wager that will pay $10 million should it cash. Bilicki stands at +50000 at FanDuel.
|Pennzoil 400 Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Kevin Harvick: +550||Martin Truex Jr.: +550|
|Chase Elliott: +800||Denny Hamlin: +800|
|Brad Keselowski: +800||Kyle Larson: +800|
|Joey Logano: +800||Ryan Blaney: +1200|
|Kyle Busch: +1200||William Byron: +1600|
Dollar Loan Center sponsored Bilicki’s car. The bet serves as a hedge against a company promotion that will pay loans for Nevada customers if Bilicki wins the race.
As those odds suggest, Bilicki would be an extremely unlikely winner. The 25-year-old has never finished in the top 20 in 38 career NASCAR Cup Series races, and hasn’t cracked the top 10 in 68 Xfinity Series races, either.