Bet on Busch: ‘Rowdy’ the early favorite at Dover

Kyle Busch is the early betting favorite at Dover.

DOVER — Kyle Busch is the early betting favorite to win Sunday’s Gander RV 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, with 3-1 odds to reach victory lane.

That’s really no surprise, considering Busch comes to Dover’s high-banked, one-mile oval atop the points standings after winning three of the first 10 races this season. He has also been remarkably consistent, finishing among the top 10 in all the races thus far, becoming the first driver to accomplish that feat since 1990.

Busch said his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team just needs to keep its eyes on the prize — which is a gold Monster Trophy in honor of the Monster Mile’s 50th anniversary season. After all, he has won three Cup Series races at Dover.

“We just need to keep executing as a team like we’ve been doing pretty much every week,” Busch said. “Dover has been a good place for me. We ran up front all day (at Dover) last fall and have won some races there in the past but, in the spring races recently, we’ve had some bad luck get us.

“I know Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and all the (shop) guys are working hard to have a good car off the truck and get us off to a strong start this weekend. And, hopefully, we can finish off a strong run there this time and keep our early season momentum going.”

Busch’s last Cup Series victory at Dover came in October 2017 when he made a dramatic, late-race pass of Chase Elliott.

Overall, the 33-year-old driver from Las Vegas, Nevada, has the trio of wins, 12 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s and has led a total of 1,209 laps in 28 career Cup Series starts at Dover. His average finish at the track is 14.8.

Busch’s race team certainly isn’t lacking for confidence.

“I don’t think complacency is in my vocabulary or Kyle’s vocabulary or anybody on this team that I’ve hired,” said Stevens. “I can tell you that.

“If there’s a trophy and a checkered flag, we’re working 80 or 90 hours a week, away from our families for three or four days a week, we don’t come out here to ride around. We get paid to win. Coach (Gibbs) gives us the equipment to win. We have Kyle Busch driving our car. That’s what we intend to do.”

Busch enters Sunday’s race with 54 career victories in the Cup Series, tying him for 10th on the all-time wins list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty.

“Definitely Dover is an interesting track, it’s definitely fun and challenging,” Busch said. “You should ask Jimmie Johnson (a record 11 wins at Dover) about how to get around there. He’s pretty good there, I heard. We’ve won there a couple of times, so it’s nice to have a little collection of monster trophies going.”

To bolster Busch’s Dover dominance, he has also recorded five Xfinity Series victories and four Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins at the Monster Mile. He will not be competing in either the trucks or Xfinity races this weekend.

One could say that he’s due to enter Dover’s victory lane again, especially considering his fondness for the challenging race track.

“I love that place,” said Busch. “It’s fun to race there and it’s a place I’m looking forward to going to. I went there when I was 18 to race in the Xfinity Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you race there. You carry so much speed at that racetrack and, for it to be a mile in length and for it to be concrete – concrete surfaces that we race on, anyway – are a little bit slick.

“It’s definitely a rollercoaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place. There are two ways about it – you can probably be really, really good there, or really, really bad there. Some days are going to be better than others, obviously, with how you can get your car set up compared to the competition.”

Las Vegas oddsmakers foresee Kevin Harvick as another favorite to capture a Dover victory with 4-1 odds, followed by Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski, all at 8-1, and Elliott and Clint Bowyer at 12-1.

But it’s Busch who stands alone early on top of the handicapping chart for Sunday’s race. It’s one that he is looking forward to.

“It’s definitely a fast racetrack. It’s a fun racetrack, too,” Busch said, of Dover. “It makes it interesting when you get to traffic, when you have to pass guys, when you’re kind of falling down into the hole and jumping back up out of the hole to the straightaways. It’s a good place to race. It’s a competitive racetrack and, when the rubber gets laid down, it definitely changes the whole atmosphere and the whole way you run around that place.”

Busch certainly likes a challenge, so that will definitely make him one of a handful of favorites to win after the checkered flag waves on Sunday afternoon on the Monster Mile.

Looking to place a bet at Dover?

Race fans looking to wager on their favorite drivers at Dover International Speedway will have the convenience of placing their bets on the Gander RV 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on-site on Sunday.

A sports betting station will be set up at the Delaware Lottery display, not far from the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Winning tickets after the race can be cashed at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino’s Sports Book or sent in via U.S. Mail to the address on the back of the ticket.

Expected action will include odds on the race winners and season championship winner, as well as head-to-head matchups featuring two drivers and different car manufacturers. Odds will likely not be available during practice sessions and qualifying rounds.

All other sports wagering, including baseball, basketball, hockey and MMA will also be offered. You must be 21 or older to place a wager.

Reach staff writer Mike Finney at 302-741-8230 or mfinney@newszap.com.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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