Saturday night NASCAR moves back to the Daytona International Speedway for the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race. TNT televises the 400 mile NASCAR race on Saturday night. Tony Stewart is the defending champion with Kyle Busch the runner-up. Stewart has actually won the past two Pepsi 400s. Jeff Gordon has also had success in this NASCAR race as he has won three times including in 2004.
Last season, Tony Stewart held on to defeat Kyle Busch under the caution to win the NASCAR Nextel race. Stewart led six times for a race-high 86 laps, as he became the first back-to-back champion in 32 years. In 2005, pole sitter Stewart dominated this NASCAR race, leading 151 of the 160 laps. Stewart has led 498 laps in the past seven NASCAR races at Daytona. From 2004 to 2006, Stewart recorded six consecutive top-10 finishes, his only non-top-five during that span a seventh place in the 2005 Daytona 500 NASCAR Nextel race. His streak ended in this year's Daytona 500 when a crash with Kurt Busch resulted in a last-place finish.
Jeff Gordon was on the pole in 2004 and won by less than a second over his teammate Jimmy Johnson in the NASCAR racing game. Chevrolet has dominated at Daytona, winning three straight NASCAR racing games and five of the last six Pepsi 400s.
There are only nine NASCAR races remaining before the Chase for the Nextel Cup begins. This year, NASCAR changed the point’s formula to reward drivers for winning NASCAR racing games in the first 26 weekends. So far, only three of the drivers currently 12th or higher in the standing have failed to win. Winning is the only thing that matters to most of the teams in the top 12. Last week’s winner Denny Hamlin used a two-tire strategy late in the event that propelled him to a victory. This week it is not about strategy as restrictor plate races are rarely decided by fuel or pit strategy.
The NASCAR betting contenders in the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race this week are obviously Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon along with Jimmy Johnson, Kevin Harvick and even Dale Earnhardt Jr. who used to dominate restrictor races. Stewart dominated Daytona in 2005 and 2006 with finishes of seventh or better in four races and back-to-back victories in the Pepsi 400. Johnson is the only other driver in the field to record a better than 10th-place average running position at 9.7 and is a serious NASCAR betting contender. Since the beginning of 2004, he's earned one victory and five finishes of sixth or better in seven races. Earnhardt has scored only two top-10s in his last seven restrictor-plate races, but is still a threat to win as you look to bet on NASCAR races. His teammate Martin Truex Jr. is also a real threat at the NASCAR race track this weekend.