NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 preview and upset picks

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

October 16th, 2020

The NASCAR Cup Series playoff field has been whittled down to eight drivers: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch. This Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2:30 p.m., NBC) from Kansas Motor Speedway is the antepenultimate race before the Championship event at Phoenix, so the stakes could not be much higher.

Harvick was installed as the +350 betting favorite, but we’ll go looking for some value with a trio of upset selections for the Hollywood Casino 400 this Sunday.

Nascar Cup Series: Hollywood Casino 400 2020 - Winner

Sun, October 18 2020, 6:30 PM

Kevin Harvick


Denny Hamlin


Martin Truex Jr.


Chase Elliott


Brad Keselowski


Joey Logano


Kyle Busch


Ryan Blaney


Alex Bowman


Kurt Busch


Martin Truex Jr. (+450)

Sitting as the third choice in the wagering behind Harvick and Hamlin (+400), Martin Truex Jr. appears to be offering some value at Kansas based on his recent performances.

Truex has the best average finish of any driver at Kansas (5.29) over the last seven races at this oval. That figure includes his back-to-back victories at Kansas in 2017, the year he won the NASCAR Championship. His 285 laps led in that span trail only Harvick (315).

Truex finished third when the Cup Series raced here back in July, an event that started a hot streak for the No. 19 driver. He’s hit the Top 10 in 11 of his last 14 races, recording an average finishing position of 7.50 in that span. He’ll begin his day in fifth place. 

Chase Elliott (+550)

Fresh off his fourth consecutive road course victory at the Charlotte Roval, Chase Elliott will try to keep the momentum going at Kansas, a track he’s done well over in the past.

In his last seven visits to Kansas, Elliott has an average finishing position of 9.14 with a respectable 93 laps led. He took the checkered flag here in October of 2018.

Elliott has four Top 10s in his last five races. He’ll roll off the grid in the pole position for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400.

Joey Logano (+1000)

One of the longer shots on the board among playoff drivers, Joey Logano has a decent chance at the upset on Sunday afternoon.

Logano has two wins at Kansas – one in October in 2014 and the other in October of 2015 – but has been somewhat snake-bitten in recent trips to this track. The best he’s done in his last nine races here is third (twice). Logano has been unlucky to crash out of the race three times in that span, including last time out in July. However, two stage victories and 141 laps led in that span suggest he still likes racing on this oval.

Logano will start alongside the pole-sitting Elliott when the green flag drops.