NASCAR Sunday: The Eckel 4 pick the Verizon 200 road race, as Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon seek playoffs
Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis, 1 p.m. TV: NBC
Three races, two drivers, one likely playoff spot.
That sums up Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard.
NASCAR heads to the Indianapolis 2.5-mile road course for race No. 24 on the season. That means there are just three races left before the start of the playoffs at Darlington, Sept. 5.
Unless there is a wild card winner in the next three races the final playoff spot appears to be coming down to Richard Childress Racing teammates Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon.
Reddick, who has four top 10 finishes in his last five races, holds a 15-point lead over Dillon, is the hotter driver and has a big advantage this week.
On road courses this year Reddick has three top 10 finishes, which is three more than Dillon, who has also failed to finish in the top 10 in his last eight races.
Here’s how The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis see Sunday’s race.
Chase Elliott (2-1): You can’t ignore Elliott when it comes to a road course and none of The 4 did. “Left Turn’’ and the Doc both put him on top as he looks for his third road course win of the season. The odds are short, but again leave him out at your own risk.
Kyle Busch (10-1): These are pretty good odds for one of only four drivers in the race with a win at Indy and the best of those four on a road course. Busch is getting hot at the right time which could make him dangerous when the playoffs begin.
Kyle Larson (3-1): The second favorite in the race is looking for his sixth win of the season. His five wins this season are the most of any driver, while his 12 top 5s and 16 top 10s share the lead. “Left Turn’’ thinks he goes back to back after winning last week at Watkins Glen.
Martin Truex Jr. (11-2): None of The 4 picked the New Jersey native, but two put him second. He should be in the mix if you use him in your fantasy leagues.
Longshot Plays: Alex Bowman (33-1); Kurt Busch (25-1)