Martin Truex Jr. (19) and Kevin Harvick (4) race on the front stretch during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Martin Truex Jr. (19) and Kevin Harvick (4) race on the front stretch during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. |Terry Renna | Associated Press
NASCAR

NASCAR opens its playoffs Sunday in Darlington with the Cook Out Southern 500 and The Eckel 4 have it covered

Not only are we picking the winner of Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500; we are also giving out predictions for the 2020 Cup Champion along with the Final 4 drivers

Mark Eckel

Not only are we picking the winner of Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 for BettorsInsider.com readers; we are also giving out predictions for the 2020 Cup Champion along with the Final 4 drivers.

First in Sunday’s race the group of four is split. Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski appeared on two of the four choices. After that six different drivers were mentioned.

So here is the consensus for Sunday from the group that includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis.

Kevin Harvick (7-2): Two of the four put him on top so he was an easy consensus choice to win for the eighth time this year and automatically advance to the Round of 12.

Brad Keselowski (11-1): One “expert’’ put Keselowski on top and another put him second. At these odds he’s not a bad bet. He won at Darlington in 2018 and came in fifth in this race a year ago.

Kyle Busch (10-1): Last year’s champ went the entire regular season without a win so maybe he was saving it for the playoffs. That must be “Tobacco Road’s’’ thinking.

Denny Hamlin (4-1): Throughout the season every time Harvick moved ahead of him wins, he found a way to eve things. Right now Harvick is ahead 7-6, so it seems like Hamlin might be a good bet this week.

Joey Logano (12-1): This is also a good price for a driver who has had his share of success in Darlington.

Longshot Plays: Kurt Busch (22-1); Erik Jones (18-1)

•••

Now the selections for the 2020 Cup Champ along with which drivers will make it to the Final 4 from the Eckel 4.

Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker

Final 4: Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch (shocking), Chase Elliott.

Champ: Hamlin

Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis

Final 4: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott.

Champ: Harvick


Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney

Final 4: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott.

Champ: Harvick


And my picks. . .

Final 4: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski.

Champ: Hamlin

Bettors Insider
www.bettorsinsider.com