The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series will take a break this coming weekend to give way for the annual Monster Energy All-Star race. Last year, Kevin Harvick ruled the event, and he’ll be hard-pressed to repeat as only one driver, Jimmie Johnson, has won this event in consecutive fashion. Will Harvick defy the odds and notch his second All-Star title in a row? Or will any of the drivers we’ve listed below will end up taking first place?
Betting Preview for the Monster Energy All-Star Race Running on May 18 2019 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte NC
When: Saturday, May 18, 2019, green flag at 8:00 PM ET
No one’s going to question you if you said that Kyle Busch is a driver to watch at the All-Star race in Charlotte. The man has been sensational this season despite a dip in performance of late. After winning three times in five races during a hot stretch from March to April, Busch has cracked the top 10 just once in four starts. In his most recent race, Busch has had his worst finish of the season, placing just 30th in Kansas last week despite starting at the No. 8 position. Still, Busch is going to be a big threat any race he participates this season. He’s showing some slowing down, but he has a great opportunity to regain momentum in Charlotte, where he has finished inside the top six in three of his last four races there. That includes a win at last year’s Coca-Cola 600 race. Busch, who has three wins in 12 starts this season, won the 2017 edition of the Monster Energy All-Star Race. Going into the race, Busch has +250 odds to claim the 2019 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Championship.
Keselowski is chasing Busch for the top spot in the NASCAR Cup standings, though, he has some catching up to do. Busch has 469 points, while Keselowski has 421. That lead is manageable, especially with Busch trending down of late. Keselowski will head into the All-Star race riding a wave of momentum from his win in Kansas last week. It was his third win of the season and his second top 10 finish in four races. Keselowski has won just one race in 18 tries at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but finished fourth the last time he burned rubber there during last year’s edition of the Coca-Cola 600. He also had a five-race streak of top nine finishes there that stretched from 2015 to 2016.
Hamlin has two wins on the season. He topped the field at Daytona 500 back in February then waited for a bit before following that victory up with another in Texas late last March. Since then, he had a pair of top five finishes and three outside of the top 15, including last week’s 16th place in Kansas. Hamlin hasn’t also won a non-All-Star race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he has always performed well there. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has nine top nine finishes with 17 top 10s and 21 top 20s in 26 career races at the said track. He seems to be long due for a victory in Charlotte, especially when you consider that he has finished no worse than a fifth place in any of his last three races there.
Johnson is in a precarious spot in the NASCAR Cup standings, as he is only a point above the playoffs cut off, with Austin Dillon breathing down the legend’s neck. And part of Johnson’s legend is his success at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Johnson is the all-time winningest driver in Charlotte with eight wins there in 34 career races. He also has 16 top 5s and 21 top 10s at the track. Johnson, who has four All-Star victories, has yet to win a race this season, but he is coming off a strong sixth-place finish in Kansas.
Jones is still searching for his first win this season, but he’s eligible to race at the 2019 Monster Energy All-Star race since he won a race in 2018 – the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway. Jones has a short and mediocre resume at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, cracking the top 10 once (seventh at the Coca-Cola 600 in 2017) and missing the top 15 twice in three career races there. If anything, he’s on some kind of momentum, having finished sixth in Dover and third in Kansas over his last two races.
Brad Keselowski takes home the crown.
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