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Food City 500: NASCAR Preview, Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 4/7/19

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR makes their first of two scheduled trips to Tennessee for the Food City 500, an event that debuted in 1961 and is quite popular with drivers. This has been one of the longer races the past few years and took almost three and a half hours to complete last year, so it’s far from a quick cash grab. Our winning streak came to an end last week, but Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones, two guys with monster odds, finished inside the top five. We’re in quite the zone right now and seem to have all the drivers figured out.

Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. 

Kurt Busch, +1600 - Kurt Busch won this race four times from 2002-06 and won the last race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch has finished fifth or better in four of his last nine appearances at this track and has top-10 finishes in nine of his last 19 trips overall. Busch has ben a bit of an afterthought and hasn’t won a race since August, but he’s quietly finished ninth or better in five of his last six races, so he’s in pretty good form. There’s reason to think Busch can taste victory lane for the first time this year.

Kyle Busch, +260 - Kyle Busch had his worst finish of the year last week, but he’s still averaging a finish of 3.7 and has finished no worse than 10th in each of his last nine races. Busch has won this race four times and has won two of his last three races overall at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch has also won multiple races on this track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Don’t let last week knock you off the Busch hype train. There’s still meat left on this bone.

Jimmie Johnson, +2600 - After all of the times we’ve included Jimmie Johnson on these cards knowing he wasn’t going to win but saw value, he finished fifth last week at +6600 odds. The ultimate tease and something I didn’t appreciate. The good news is this is easily some of the best driving Johnson has done in over a year, so there’s reason to give him another chance. Johnson has won this race twice, most recently in 2017, and he’s finished inside the top-10 in seven of his last nine appearances at the Bristol Motor Speedway. In fact, Johnson is averaging a finish of 6.2 in his last five trips at this track and is averaging a finish of second in his last two trips at this particular race. If only…

Kevin Harvick, +1350 - Kevin Harvick has been the best driver this season without a win, as he’s produced six straight top-10 finishes. Harvick won this race back in 2005 and has several wins at the Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as well. Harvick has finished no worse than 10th in his last seven appearances at this track and is averaging a finish of 5.4 during that stretch. Harvick is due for a victory, and his consistency is strong in Bristol. I like his chances.

Joey Logano, +800 - Joey Logano has never won this particular race, but he’s a two-time winner at the Bristol Motor Speedway during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and is averaging an eighth place finish in his last three appearances here. Logano has finished no worse than 10th in nine of his last 13 appearances at this track overall and has a pair of wins at this track during the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Logano has been boom or bust pretty much all season long, but there’s enough history here that suggests a breakout performance after two rough showing these past weeks.

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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