Kyle Busch favored as NASCAR returns at Darlington
After a 10-week suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the drivers are finally back in action as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway this Sunday for The Real Heroes 400.
Defending series champion Kyle Busch is the +550 favorite to win at "The Lady in Black," with Joe Gibbs teammate Denny Hamlin close behind at +650. The current favorite to win the 2020 NASCAR championship, Kevin Harvick, holds third-choice status for The Real Heroes 400 at +700.
Our betting preview for this race, which kicks off NASCAR’s modified schedule featuring a demanding four-races-in-10-days sequence, is below. Bear in mind that there will be no traditional qualifying procedures for Sunday’s race, so take the eventual starting positions with a grain of salt.
Odds to win the Real Heroes 400
|Driver||Real Heroes 400 Odds|
Denny Hamlin is the tepid top selection for The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington. He is one of only two active drivers (the other being Jimmie Johnson) to have multiple wins at "The Track Too Tough to Tame," taking the Southern 500 in 2010 and 2017.
The No. 11 driver has led 562 laps over 14 races at Darlington, trailing only Kevin Harvick (581, 23 races) and Kyle Busch (716, 15 races) among active drivers in that department. Hamlin also boasts five additional Top 5's at Darlington, so he’s proven his affinity for this oval.
Hamlin had an up-and-down start to the season, but posted a Daytona 500 victory, the third of his career.
"The Lady in Black" has been kind to Brad Keselowski recently, as his average finishing position over his last five races there is 6.4. That includes his victory in the 2018 Southern 500 at the South Carolina circuit. Keselowski led 289 laps over those five events.
The No. 2 driver was in good form prior to the suspension of the season, with an average finishing position of 7.67 over his last three races.
Erik Jones has demonstrated a remarkable fondness for such a tricky course considering his age (23). He’s never been outside the Top 10 in three starts at Darlington, and won last year’s Southern 500 for his second career NASCAR victory. Jones is hard to leave out of the discussion at +1600 at BetAmerica.