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NASCAR Cup Series Supermarket Heroes 500 Race Guide and Betting Preview

After rain postponed the midweek race at Charlotte an extra day, the NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams are facing another quick turnaround this weekend. The action shifts to Bristol Motor Speedway, with the annual running of the Food City 500 on deck. This year, Food City is billing the race as the Supermarket Heroes 500 as a gesture to those working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is the betting preview for Supermarket Heroes 500.

The action is always fast and furious at “The Last Great Colosseum.” Bristol provides NASCAR fans with intense short-track racing like no other course on the series circuit. Sunday promises to bring more of the same. Even in the absence of fans at the tracks, NASCAR has done a great job of returning and providing some form of sport for all to enjoy.

Supermarket Heroes 500 Betting Info

Location: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN
Date: Sunday, May 31st
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
Length: 500 laps, 266 miles (428 kilometers)
Stages: Stage 1 Laps 1-125; Stage 2 Laps 126-250; Stage 3 Laps 250-500
Pole Sitter: Brad Keselowski
Defending Champion: Kyle Busch

Kurt Busch
Credit: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / LAT Images

Supermarket Heroes 500 Driver Stats

No driver had been more snake bit this season than Chase Elliott. Thursday’s installment of the Alsco Uniforms 500 finally put his 2020 struggles to bed. He passed Kevin Harvick for the lead with just under 30 laps remaining and pulled away for his first Cup Series win of the season. The second night of Cup Series racing at Charlotte in five days saw its fair share of wild action throughout. After winning Stage 2, Alex Bowman would drive into the wall while racing Kevin Harvick for the lead shortly after the restart, effectively eliminating himself from contention. Then Harvick himself slowed down the stretch, passed first for the lead by Elliott and ultimately by eight other drivers as well on his way to a 10th place finish.

In terms of race statistics, Harvick led the field with 63 laps led. Bowman (51), Elliott (28), William Byron (11), and Matt DiBenedetto (10) were the other four drivers who led double-digit circuits. Elliott got the win for Hendrick Motorsports, the team’s second of the season to go with Bowman’s triumph at California. Another stat of note is that three of the top 5 and half of the top 14 finishers were in cars manufactured by Chevrolet, including the victorious Elliott.

Below is an updated list of several notable driver statistics as they stand heading into Sunday’s race at Bristol.

Top 5 Finishes in 2020

5 – Kevin Harvick

4 – Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin

3 – Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski

2- Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

1 – 8 Drivers Tied

Laps Led in 2020

  1. Kevin Harvick-391
  2. Alex Bowman-369
  3. Chase Elliott-280
  4. Brad Keselowski-226
  5. Joey Logano-207

Average Finishing Position in 2020

(Drivers with full time Cup Series status)

  1. Kevin Harvick-5.4
  2. Denny Hamlin-10.1
  3. Joey Logano-10.4
  4. Brad Keselowski-10.5
  5. Kurt Busch-12.1
  6. Chase Elliott-12.4
  7. Matt DiBenedetto-12.8
  8. Ryan Blaney-14.0
  9. Aric Almirola-14.1
  10. Kyle Busch-14.4

Average Finishing Position at Bristol

(Drivers with 4+ starts at the track)

  1. Chase Elliott-11.5
  2. Daniel Suarez-13.0
  3. Jimmie Johnson-13.3
  4. Kyle Busch-13.4
  5. Matt Kenseth-13.6
  6. Kevin Harvick-13.8
  7. Clint Bowyer-14.1
  8. Kurt Busch-14.2
  9. Denny Hamlin-14.4
  10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.-14.4

Driver Rating in 2020

Bristol Motor Speedway Supermarket Heroes 500 Driver Ratings
Credit: Motor Racing Network

*The Driver Rating formula combines Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps and Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum score per race is 150 points*

Bristol Motor Speedway Overview

If you are looking for the epitome of short-track racing, look no further than Bristol Motor Speedway. Compared to superspeedways, pace is lower, congestion is greater, and cautions are higher in frequency. You can expect plenty of contact and tight racing on this half-mile track. Where Bristol separates itself from other short tracks on the NASCAR circuit is in its high level of banking, roughly 30 degrees to be exact. This leads to racing speeds greater than those at tracks such as New Hampshire and Martinsville and is the basis of the track’s nickname as the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”. 

Bristol Motor Speedway Betting Trends

Premium short track racers unsurprisingly tend to make out best at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt, sit atop all active drivers in total wins at “The Bullring” with 8 and 6 respectively. Longtime Cup Series veteran Matt Kenseth also has a fine history racing at Bristol with 4 victories, to go along with 15 top-5 finishes and 22 top-10s, both of which are numbers that lead all active drivers. Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson are two other veterans who have done well at Bristol, while Joey Logano has been one of the most consistent drivers at the track in recent years. Neither Clint Bowyer or Ryan Newman have ever won at Bristol, but with 34 top-10s and nine top-5s between them, they likely hold the most sleeper value of any drivers in Sunday’s field.

Supermarket Heroes 500 Best Bets

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Race Winner: Kurt Busch | +1800

The 18-1 odds on Busch to win at Bristol Motor Speedway where he already has 6 career victories is nothing short of a bargain price. While it is true that five of them came in the year 2006 or earlier, Busch remains a solid short track racer and a real contender at Bristol specifically. He has finished inside the top-10 in four of his last five starts at the track, with three of those being top-5 finishes as well, including a runner-up result just last year. Busch has only led 54 laps on the season, but with 3 top-5 finishes and an average finishing position of 12.1 (5th in the Cup Series), he has been no slouch thus far in 2020. While you have to love Kyle Busch to win the race as well, the fact that he sits as the odds-on favorite at +300 leads me to seek the bigger payday with older brother Kurt as my pick. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Other Picks

Top 5 Finish: Joey Logano Yes | +120

Top 10 Finish: Ryan Newman | +175

Best Finishing Position Matchup: Kurt Busch (vs. Ryan Blaney) | +105

Manufacturer of Winning Car: Chevrolet | +200

Best Finish Group B: Kevin Harvick (vs. Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney) | +225

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