Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have been dominating the NASCAR Cup Series the last six weeks, but that could change this Sunday at the Quaker State 400. The race, held at Kentucky Speedway, has shut out Hamlin and Harvick over their careers.
Sportsbooks, however, believe the two can triumph at the Quaker State 400. DraftKings has Harvick and Hamlin, with Kyle Busch, as the 5/1 favorite. But while Busch has won twice at Kentucky, Harvick and Hamlin are winless. Harvick’s best finish is fifth in 2018, while Hamlin’s best is third in 2012 and 2015.
Harvick and Hamlin have combined to win five of the last seven. Harvick has three of those five wins.
Odds to Win Quaker State 400
|Martin Truex Jr.||8/1||13/2||8/1|
Harvick told reporters this week that he has enjoyed battling with Hamlin.
“You have to sort of smile about it because it’s two teams performing at a tremendously high level,” Harvick said. “It has cycled around to the two of us for several weeks now. I think as you look at that, it makes it fun.”
So who could be the one to snap the stranglehold Harvick and Hamlin have on the sport? We take a look at some drivers that could win this week, and others who won’t.
Drivers to Consider at Quaker State 400
Kyle Busch (5/1)
Not only has Busch won the Quaker State 400 twice, he has finished second two times as well. He hasn’t won at all this year, but he’s too good not to win at some point, and this could be the place where he breaks out of the slump.
Brad Keselowski (8/1)
The Ford driver has won here three times, most recently in 2016. Keselowski also six finishes in the top 7 in nine appearances. He also has two victories this season. With no qualifying or practicing here this week, his experience should go a long way.
Aric Almirola (40/1)
There is no more confident driver than Almirola right now. He has a streak of five races where he has finished fifth or better. He told reporters this week that he is certain he’ll be in victory lane soon.
“We’re in a position now to where we can gamble a little bit, and we can be a little more aggressive,” Almirola said. “We can be less conservative and not worry about points. Not that we’re going to throw caution to the wind, but we can certainly be more aggressive. A win is coming.”
Drivers to Avoid
Kurt Busch (18/1)
It is true Busch is the defending champion, nipping his brother Kyle at the Quaker State 400 last year. But ever since finishing in the top 10 in eight of his first 11 races this season, Busch hasn’t had a finish better than 13th in his last three.
Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin (5/1)
While they are the hottest drivers in NASCAR, Kentucky might just douse them with a cold bucket of reality. Neither has won here, and that trend should continue on Sunday.