Bet Sunday NASCAR: The Eckel 4 pick the Drydene 400 from Dover, like Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, more
Drydene 400, Dover, Del. 2 p.m. TV: FS1
This probably will not happen, because sooner or later Denny Hamlin is going to win a race.
Perhaps even Sunday when NASCAR heads to Dover for the Drydene 400.
Just imagine, however, Hamlin being NASCAR’s regular-season points leader and not making the playoffs.
With one-third of the season over Hamlin, with 529 points, has a comfortable lead over second-place Martin Truex Jr. (454). Hamlin has not won a race yet and 10 other drivers have. If Hamlin fails to hit Victory Lane over the final two-thirds of the season and six more drivers do, he’s out.
It could happen. Just don’t bet on it.
Here’s who you should bet on Sunday according to “The Eckel 4’’, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis.
Martin Truex Jr. (7-2): Truex is the only multiple race winner this season, with his third win coming a week ago in Darlington. The New Jersey native was the pick of three of “The 4’’ and the other one put him second. Truex has won three times at Dover, including his first-ever win. He’s also finished in the top eight in his last nine races here. It’s no wonder he’s the favorite.
Kyle Larson (9-2): “Tobacco Road’’ likes Larson slightly ahead of Truex, while two of the other “4’’ put him just behind MTJ. Larson’s five top five finishes this season are tied for second best. He’s also had success at Dover with a win and four top five finishes in his last six races here. He should be in the mix.
Denny Hamlin (5-1): He’s going to win one of these weeks, so don’t get left out when he does. Hamlin has finished in the top five in nine of the 12 races this season, despite not getting to the top. Is this the week he gets there? Three of “The 4’’ think he has a shot.
Longshot Plays: William Byron (16-1), Alex Bowman (16-1): Byron has 10 straight top 10 finishes and is quietly in third place in the standings (behind only Hamlin and Truex). …Bowman finished fifth here last year and third in 2019, so he knows the track well.