2020 Pennzoil 400 Race Preview & Odds

2020 Pennzoil 400 Race Preview & Odds

Written by on February 20, 2020

After a crazy season-opening Daytona 500 that was delayed until Monday and won by Denny Hamlin but which will always be remembered for Ryan Newman’s terrifying crash at the end, NASCAR’s top series heads to Las Vegas this weekend for the 2020 Pennzoil 400. The race is unique in that its winner receives a championship belt rather than a trophy. It’s the first of two trips to Vegas this year. There are co-favorites on the Mybookie NASCAR odds.

2020 Pennzoil 400 Race Preview & Odds

Pennzoil 400 Drivers & Odds

  • Kevin Harvick +450
  • Kyle Busch +450
  • Martin Truex Jr +500
  • Brad Keselowski +600
  • Joey Logano +800
  • Denny Hamlin +900
  • Kyle Larson +1200
  • Chase Elliott +1400
  • Ryan Blaney +2000
  • Erik Jones +2500
  • William Byron +2500
  • Alex Bowman +2800
  • Kurt Busch +2800
  • Clint Bowyer +4000
  • Jimmie Johnson +4000
  • Aric Almirola +5000
  • Matt Dibenedetto +6600
  • Christopher Bell +8000
  • Austin Dillon +10000
  • Cole Custer +10000
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr +10000
  • Tyler Reddick +12500
  • Chris Buescher +15000
  • Darrell Wallace Jr +25000
  • John Hunter Nemechek +25000
  • Michael Mcdowell +25000
  • Ryan Preece +25000
  • Ty Dillon +25000
  • Corey Lajoie +30000
  • Brennan Poole +50000
  • Quin Houff +50000
  • Ross Chastain +50000

Denny Hamlin is +900 to win a second straight week after he took the Daytona 500 for a third time in his career and second year in a row. He became the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win “the Great American Race” in consecutive years.

Hamlin’s margin of victory of 0.014 seconds over Ryan Blaney was the second closest in race history, after only Hamlin’s win over Martin Truex Jr. in 2016. That margin of victory was 0.01 seconds. Monday’s triumph was the third Daytona 500 win for Toyota, all by Hamlin. Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs now has four Daytona 500 victories as an owner. Hamlin joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. He tied Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison.

Can Hamlin keep it going this weekend at Vegas? He is yet to win there and has one just top 10 in his last four races and 18 total laps led in his career.

Newman will not be racing this week after that terrifying crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Newman was leading when contact from Ryan Blaney sent Newman spinning into the wall, and his Ford went airborne before being hit by Corey LaJoie in the driver’s side door. Many thought Newman might have died, but amazingly he was released from a hospital on Wednesday. Roush Fenway Racing has not announced who will drive the No. 6 Ford at Las Vegas this weekend.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are +450 favorites this week at Mybookie. Harvick was one of a handful of big-name drivers to muster a solid finish in the Daytona 500 with a fifth. The 2014 Las Vegas champ won this race two years ago and led a race-high 88 laps last year.

Busch once again came up short in his quest for a Daytona 500 crown, and hasn’t won in his hometown of Las Vegas since 2009. However, Busch has led a lap in all but four races since in Vegas.

Joey Logano is +800 to repeat in Vegas. In a pitched battle between teammates, Logano held off Brad Keselowski on the final lap for the win. Pennzoil sponsored both the race and Logano’s car. Keselowski had a huge run through Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap, but Logano was able to clear his teammate off the final corner – with inches to spare – straighten his No. 22 Ford and head for the checkered flag.

In seasons past, NASCAR would have made the short trip to Atlanta following the Daytona 500, However, the 2020 schedule reformat has NASCAR going to Las Vegas first. Las Vegas falls into the category of an “intermediate track” at 1.5 miles.

Keselowski is +600. No active driver has a better winning percentage (23.08 percent) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway than Keselowski. In just 13 career races on this track, Keselowski has already won in Sin City three times. Keselowski has also won the Pennzoil 400 twice before (2014, 2016). Beyond a proven history of taking the checkered flag here, Keselowski has finished in the top 5 53.85 percent of the time at Las Vegas (7-of-13).

TRACK FACTS (Includes both races annually in Las Vegas)

  • Number of previous races: 24.
  • First Cup race: March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin.
  • Last Cup race: September 15, 2019, won by Martin Truex, Jr.
  • Won from pole: 1, by Kyle Busch in 2009.
  • Won from top-5 starting position: 8 times in 24 races (33%).
  • Won from top-10 starting position: 12 times (50%).
  • Won from 21st or worse starting position: 5 times (21%).
  • Worst starting spot for race winner: 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
  • Most laps led: 219, by Jeff Gordon in 2010.
  • Fewest laps led by a race winner: 1, by Jimmie Johnson in 2006.
  • Fastest race: 154.849 mph by Joey Logano in 2019.
  • Fastest qualifying speed: 196.328 mph by Kurt Busch in 2016.
  • Most lead changes: 28 in 2007.
  • Closest finish: Jimmie Johnson’s .045 second margin over Matt Kenseth in 2006.
  • Most caution flags: 14 in 2009.
  • Victories by manufacturer: Ford 12, Chevrolet 7, Toyota 4, Dodge 1.
  • Victories by owner: Jack Roush 7, Rick Hendrick 5, Roger Penske 4, Stewart Haas Racing 3, Joe Gibbs 3, Chip Ganassi 1, Barney Visser 1.

2020 Pennzoil 400 Expert Pick

Ryan Blaney at +2000. Across his seven career performances here, Blaney has clocked three top-5 finishes and finished outside the top-20 spots only once.