On Saturday, May 11th, NASCAR will be live from Kansas City, Kansas, for the Digital Ally 400. This race is the first of two annual trips to the Kansas Speedway, with the second trip being in the fall. NASCAR holds this event on Saturday night, so that they don’t race on Mother’s Day this weekend. It’s an annual tradition for NASCAR to avoid racing on Mother’s Day.
With that said, Kyle Busch still sits on top of the NASCAR standings, and he’s this weekend’s odds on favorite to win according to most NASCAR betting sites. However, his rearview mirror is starting to fill up quickly as Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr. are on his bumper with two wins apiece.
The Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval track located in Kansas City, Kansas. It was built in 2001, with the first NASCAR race taking place in September of that year. Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race and is tied with Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick for the most wins at Kansas with three. The Digital Ally 400 breaks down as follows:
Total Miles: 400.5 miles
Total Laps: 267
Stage 1: First 80 laps
Stage 2: Second 80 laps
Final Stage: Remaining 107 laps
The Digital Ally 400 is set to begin at 7:30 PM ET and will air live on FS1.
What to Watch for at Kansas
In addition to all of the tributes that will be paid to the mothers in attendance and watching at home, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on in Kansas:
Can Kevin Harvick get his first win of the season?
Will we get another first-time winner of this race?
Will one of the six previous winners get their second spring Kansas win?
Will a new driver win a race this season?
Can Hamlin, Truex, or Keselowski tie Kyle Busch with three wins on the year?
The first spring NASCAR race held at the Kansas Speedway was in 2011, and it was won by Brad Keselowski. Prior to that, the races at Kansas were held in the fall only and they began in 2001. Since the inaugural race, nobody has won this spring Kansas event twice. Kevin Harvick is the defending champ of the Digital Ally 400. Out of the eight different drivers to have ever won this race, six of them will be competing in this Saturday’s Digital Ally 400. The following is a list of the previous winners:
Brad Keselowski in 2011
Denny Hamlin in 2012
Matt Kenseth in 2013
Jeff Gordon in 2014
Jimmie Johnson in 2015
Kyle Busch in 2016
Martin Truex Jr. in 2017
Kevin Harvick in 2018
NASCAR Digital Ally 400 Betting Odds
The following NASCAR betting odds for the Digital Ally 400 in Kansas are courtesy of BetOnline:
Kyle Busch +400
Martin Truex Jr. +600
Brad Keselowski +700
Kevin Harvick +700
Joey Logano +800
Chase Elliott +1000
Ryan Blaney +1000
Kyle Larson +1200
Clint Bowyer +2000
Denny Hamlin +2200
Aric Almirola +2500
Erik Jones +2500
Jimmie Johnson +2500
Kurt Busch +2500
Daniel Suarez +4000
Alex Bowman +6600
Austin Dillon +6600
William Byron +8000
Paul Menard +10000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +10000
Ryan Newman +10000
Tyler Reddick +10000
Chris Buescher +25000
Daniel Hemric +25000
Matt DiBenedetto +25000
Ryan Preece +50000
Darrell Wallace Jr. +100000
Michael McDowell +100000
Ty Dillon +100000
The Digital Ally 400 Betting Favorites
According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win this Saturday’s Digital Ally 400:
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch (+400)
Busch is still sitting on top of the NASCAR standings despite not having won a race in over a month. With that said, he still leads the sport with eleven Top 10’s and in playoff points. He’s also tied for the lead with six Top 5’s and five stage wins. Busch’s streak of Top 10 finishes on the season now sits at 11. He’s finished 10th or better in every race this year and continues to be the best driver on the track. However, the last two races haven’t been great for Kyle as he’s come across the finish line 10th in both of them. That’s not a bad result for 99% of the sport , but Kyle is the 1%. Additionally, the big problem is that he’s only led five total laps in those two races which means he hasn’t really been a factor.
In his 22 career starts at Kansas, Busch has one win, six Top 5’s, ten Top 10’s and an average finish of 16.3. He also has four DNFs. He doesn’t have as many wins at this track as Truex, Harvick, and Logano, but he has had a lot of success at Kansas over the last eight races. During that span, Busch has one win, six Top 5’s, and eight Top 10’s. It’s been five years since he’s finished outside of the Top 10.
Last year, Busch finished 10th in this race. However, he ran better in the fall Kansas race and finished second. It’s about time that Rowdy competes for another checkered flag, and I expect that to happen this weekend in the Digital Ally 400.
It took a little while, but Truex has come on strong over the last three races. Martin flirted with wins in Atlanta and Phoenix, but it wasn’t until Richmond three races ago that Truex finally took home a checkered flag. Truex didn’t waste any time getting another win on the season as he once again entered the victory circle this year by winning at Dover on Monday. Truex led 132 laps, which was second most to Chase Elliott. He also won the second stage of that race. Truex is fifth in the driver standings and fourth in playoff points.
Now, Truex comes to Kansas where he’s a legitimate threat to win again. For his career, Truex has two wins, eight Top 5’s, nine Top 10’s, an average finish of 14th and just one DNF. He’s done the majority of that over the last four-and-a-half years. During that span, Martin has had six Top 5’s and never finished worse than 15th. He’s also won two of the last four Kansas races when he swept both of them in 2017. Last year, Truex finished second in this race and fifth in the fall race.
I really like how Truex is heating up as we heading into the summer. He has a real chance at tying Kyle Busch for the series lead with three wins this season. Can Martin Truex Jr. get his third win in the last four races?
Brad Keselowski (+700)
Keselowski started off the season racing really well. He won the second race of the year, which was in Atlanta, and then followed that up with a second place in Las Vegas. A 19th place finish in Phoenix was quickly forgotten due to a third in California and a win at Martinsville. Unfortunately, since then, Keselowski has not performed well. His best finish was seventh at Richmond and his average finish of 17.2 over the last five races has been subpar for one of the sport’s top drivers. He currently sits sixth in the standings and fifth in playoff points.
Now, he comes to Kansas where Keselowski has been inconsistent at times. He finished 14th and sixth last year in the two races at this track, which was down from his second and 13th in 2017. He was even worse in 2016 with a 10th and 38th result. Brad hasn’t won at Kansas since 2011, and he hasn’t really been a factor in a race since 2015.
Out of the betting favorites, I have the least confidence in Keselowski. And that’s saying a lot because the next driver is someone that I recommend avoiding at all costs.
Kevin Harvick (+700)
Out of the top seven drivers in the standings, Harvick is the only one without a win. He’s currently in third place and that’s largely due to his eight Top 10’s and two stage wins this season. Otherwise, Harvick hasn’t been much of a factor in any race. He led 88 laps in Las Vegas during week three, but finished fourth. In fact, he has five fourth-place finishes this year. I don’t recall a season where a driver consistently finishes fourth. Last weekend in Dover, I picked Harvick to win. However, I did say if he fails to run well then it would be down to Elliott or Truex to win the race. Well, Harvick ended up fourth and Truex won.
This weekend, Harvick is a betting favorite due to the fact that he has three career wins at this track, which is tied for the most among all drivers. He’s had a phenomenal run at this track over the last five-and-a-half years as well. Since October 2010, Harvick has never finished below 16th. That’s a span of 17 races. Out of those 17, he has three wins, eight Top 5’s, and eleven Top 10’s. Over the last three years, he has had two wins and four Top 5’s. His worst finish was 12th and that came in last year’s fall race. However, he won this race in the spring.
Typically, these are numbers that would make me say Harvick is the man to beat on Saturday. But I have said that a few times this year already, and he has come up lame in those races. So, until Harvick actually wins, nobody can be confident in his chances.
Joey Logano is my “silent assassin” each and every week. He always seems to fly under the radar until the end of a race when he’s taking the checkered flag. This year, Logano has one win on the season, but he is tied with Busch and Hamlin for most Top 5’s at six. He’s also tied with Busch for most stage wins at five. Logano is ranked second in playoff points and second in the driver standings. Joey has finished seventh or better in the last four races. His worst sowing on the year was in Atlanta where he finished 23rd. However, he did lead 22 laps in that race and came back strong the next week at Las Vegas where he won the race.
With that said, I’m not 100% confident in Logano’s chances this Saturday night at Kansas. Over the last three years, he’s had three finishes outside of the Top 20 and two crashes where he didn’t even finish the race. Last year, he ran well with a third place finish in this race and an eighth in the fall. Logano does have two wins at Kansas in 19 starts, but both came in the fall race. And his last win came in the fall of 2015.
I believe Logano will be in the Top 10 and probably crack the Top 5. However, I feel that there are better options for potential winners on Saturday.
The Best Digital Ally 400 Betting Value
The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for this Saturday’s Digital Ally 400 at Kansas due to their current betting odds, their past success at this track, and their 2019 season so far:
Denny Hamlin (+2200)
Denny Hamlin is one of my sleepers for this weekend due to his odds being this high. With that said, I believe he offers tremendous betting value for Digital Ally 400. Hamlin has won at Kansas before, and he’s had a solid run over the last three races here: 14th, fifth, and fifth again. Hamlin also has respectable averages with an average start of 12.1 and an average finish of 15.7, which is the sixth best among active drivers with more than one Kansas start.
Another reason why I like Hamlin this weekend is because he is racing well this season. I’ve been high on Denny coming into 2019 and he’s been frequently slotted into my Top 5 drivers for each race. The last two races have not gone well for Hamlin as he crashed out of Talladega and came home 21st last weekend in Dover. I believe he will bounce back and have a strong showing on Saturday. Hamlin has six Top 5’s and eight Top 10’s on the year. He sits fourth in the driver standings and third in the playoff standings.
Kurt Busch (+2500)
Like Harvick, Kurt Busch is ranked high in the standings due to his consistent Top 10 finishes without having won a race this year. Kurt currently sits eighth in the driver standings with three Top 5’s and seven Top 10’s. He doesn’t have a stage win as of yet, but has been very competitive on the year. Other than 25th at Daytona in Week 1, Kurt hasn’t finished worse than 13th and that was last weekend in Dover.
At Kansas, Busch won’t knock your socks off with his career numbers, but he does impress me when looking at what he’s done in the last four years. Over the last eight Kansas races, Kurt has two Top 5’s and five Top 10’s. For his career, he has a 16.1 average finish in 26 starts. These are solid numbers.
Busch proved he can compete for a win when he finished second at Bristol. He could be a dark horse candidate to pull out the surprise win this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson (+2500)
There’s nothing “dark horse” about Johnson when it comes to Kansas. He’s tied with Harvick and Jeff Gordon for the most wins at this track. He’s also the active leader in Top 5’s with nine and the all-time leader in Top 10’s with 17. At one point in his career, he went 11 straight races with finishing ninth or better. Unfortunately, JJ hasn’t fared as well the last two years with an average finish of 19.0. That’s a far cry from his career-average finish of 10.5.
Johnson has been “average” over the last couple of races with a 14th at Dover, a 33rd at Talladega, and a 12th at Richmond. He does have four Top 10’s this year and one Top 5, which means he’s on pace to surpass last year’s abysmal numbers. And, he’s still the seven-time champ.
When JJ goes to a track he owns, you have to like his odds for a value pick. He might not be the best driver in the sport anymore, but he’s too good to be “average” for much longer.
Ryan Newman (+10000) is a frequent candidate for my longshot pick of the week. And, it’s largely due to his career success at a specific track. In Kansas, Newman does have a victory in his career. He also has seven Top 10’s. The unfortunate part is that he has three DNFs in the last four races due to crashes and car issues. That’s not all on the driver. Prior to that bad stretch of results, Newman had six straight races of finishing 12th or higher.
Last weekend, Newman finished 18th. It snapped a streak of three straight races where he finished ninth or better and a streak of four races where he finished 11th or better. On the season, Newman has seven Top 15 finishes in 11 races. He currently sits 14th in the Driver standings, which is up five spots over the last four races.
Digital Ally 400 Prop Bets: Driver Matchups
The following NASCAR prop bets require bettors to pick the winning driver out of head-to-head matchups at Kansas on Saturday, May 11th. These driver matchups and betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes:
Aric Almirola (-105) vs Denny Hamlin (-125)
This is a one-sided matchup in my opinion. For me, Denny Hamlin is the clear betting favorite. Almirola has never finished in the Top 5 and his best overall finish was eighth back in 2014. Furthermore, he’s only ever led a lap at Kansas just one time and that was the fall of 2012.
Almirola has three Top 10’s in his last three races at Kansas compared to Hamlin’s two Top 5’s and a 14th. Almirola also sits 11th in the driver standings this year and has seven Top 10’s on the season, compared to Hamlin sitting fourth with eight Top 10’s.
That’s where the closeness ends. Hamlin has won at Kansas before and has six Top 5’s compared to Almirola’s zero. Additionally, Hamlin has a better average finish and less DNFs in seven more races than Aric Almirola. Finally, Hamlin is racing better this year than Almirola as he’s already won two races and five stages. Almirola hasn’t been close to winning anything in 2019 yet.
At -125 odds, I believe Hamlin offers great betting value and he’s definitely my choice in this matchup.
Winner: Denny Hamlin (-125)
Erik Jones (-115) vs Jimmie Johnson (-115)
I’ve detailed Johnson’s illustrious career at Kansas already. When you compare his numbers to Erik Jones, it’s not even close. For starters, JJ has raced five times more races at Kansas than Jones and he has the same amount of DNFs. JJ has an average finish that’s half of what Jones has. JJ has eight more Top 5’s and fifteen more Top 10’s as well.
For the season, Jones sits 16th and Johnson sits 17th in the driver standings. Jones does have one more Top 5 result on the year. JJ has led more laps though.
When looking at the season numbers, Jones and Johnson are close, which is why NASCAR betting sites have paired them up in a head to head prop bet and given them the same odds. For me, I believe Johnson’s history of success at this track will be the difference. I’m taking Jimmie Johnson to win this driver’s matchup.
As mentioned above, I can’t go with Kevin Harvick to win this weekend despite his success at this track. Harvick has let us all down for most of the year and just burned me at Dover last weekend. Furthermore, I don’t see Keselowski or Logano winning this race either. But I do see each driver winning at least one more race this year.
I believe the winner is going to come down one of the Joe Gibbs drivers: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., or Denny Hamlin. These three drivers have won seven combined races on the year and have four career wins at Kansas. Furthermore, they’ve all been running really well over the last few years at this track with Truex running the best out of the trio.
With that said, I feel like it’s time for Kyle Busch to reassert himself as the best. It’s been over a month since he last won, and Kyle’s about due for a victory. I wouldn’t be surprised if Truex pulled out the victory or if Hamlin snuck in and won at the end. But, for me, I feel the most confident in Kyle Busch this weekend.
My Top 5 Drivers
Martin Truex Jr.
Digital Ally 400 Betting Recap
Winner:Kyle Busch (+400)
Denny Hamlin (+2200)
Kurt Busch (+2500)
Jimmie Johnson (+2500)
Longshot:Ryan Newman (+10000)
Jimmie Johnson (-115) over Erik Jones
Denny Hamlin (-125) over Aric Almirola
NASCAR Props Challenge
Every week, NASCAR releases 10 prop bets for fans to choose the right answers, earn points, and win prizes. This week, there are a few props that I really like and think you should go with:
Which Driver Will Finish Higher: Hamlin or Keselowski?
I’m not sold on Keselowski in Kansas. He’s been way too inconsistent over the last few years at this track. Additionally, he hasn’t been running well over the last few weeks this season. I like Hamlin’s last three trips to Kansas and his success overall in 2019. I believe both drivers can crack the Top 10, but I’m choosing Hamlin to finish higher.
Will Martin Truex Jr. Finish in the Top 5?
I’m going with “Yes” for this prop challenge. I actually think Truex has a great chance at winning the Digital Ally 400. He’s won two of the last three races this season and has a lot of momentum heading into a track where he’s raced really well over the last few years.
Over/Under 1.5 Drivers Leading over 80 Laps at Kansas?
This bet is closer than it appears at first glance. Over the last six Kansas races, it’s gone Over 1.5 drivers just twice. That means the Under has hit on four occasions. However, in those four races, a second leader was one to four laps off from hitting the 80 mark. This will be close on Saturday, but I’m going with Under 1.5 drivers. We will either get one driver dominating or a handful of drivers leading 30 to 50 laps each.
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. ...
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