It’s the last race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series before the Championship run at Homestead-Miami. Eight eligible drivers enter the NASCAR Bluegreen Vacations 500 race weekend but after Sunday only four will be still in the hunt for the Cup Series crown. Intertops Sportsbook Review has looked things over and, like last week, place several drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) toward the top of the favorites list.

Auto Racing Glance: BLUEGREEN VACATIONS 500

According to Intertops, JGR teammates Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Denny Hamlin are among the drivers favored to win outright at Phoenix. Kyle Busch is the favorite coming in at +325 with Truex and Hamlin both at +500. Just like last week, Toyota claims three of the five spots with Chevrolet and Ford filling the other two on the odds list. Here are the odds below +1000 according to Intertops with a full odds list posted below.


Kyle Busch+325Toyota
Kevin Harvick+450Ford
Martin Truex Jr+500Toyota
Denny Hamlin+500Toyota
Chase Elliott+850Chevrolet


Manufacture Wins

Toyota has won three of the last five Phoenix races but Chevrolets take over when going back ten races which include the tracks recent reconfiguration. One factor that Top Rated Online Sportsbooks consider when setting odds is how many wins a manufacturer has at the track. 


2014Kevin HarvickChevrolet
2015Kevin HarvickChevrolet
2015Dale Earnhardt, Jr.Chevrolet
2016Kevin HarvickChevrolet
2016Joey LoganoFord
2017Ryan NewmanChevrolet
2017Matt KensethToyota
2018Kevin HarvickFord
2018Kyle BuschToyota
2019Kyle BuschToyota


Predicting the Bluegreen Vacations 500

Top-Rated Online Sportsbooks take stats into consideration and the number of wins at a track is worth considering when making picks. Especially this week as Phoenix is last playoff race before the four remaining eligible Championship drivers hit the track in Florida next week.

The eight drivers still eligible are Truex and Harvick with wins followed in points order by Kyle Busch and Joey Logano above the cut line. Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, and Chase Elliot are all below the cutline so a win is their ticket to the final race. Here’s the stat for wins at Phoenix among active drivers. 


Kevin Harvick9
Jimmie Johnson4
Kyle Busch3
Ryan Newman2
Kurt Busch1
Denny Hamlin1
Joey Logano1


Kyle Busch has not been a factor to win during the last two months and that’s something to note when considering the driver of the No. 18 Toyota. However, he’s won the last two Phoenix races and has shown strength there over his career in every series. Busch enters with a points cushion for making the Championship round but that could fade if his woes continue and somebody else takes the checkered. He needs the win. 

Martin Truex Jr. won at Martinsville two weeks ago so he’s locked into Homestead. Phoenix has not been his best track but he has shown that he can make fast laps around the new configuration. But, being locked in for the Championship could allow Truex to sit back and watch. If the opportunity presents itself he’ll go for the win. If his car does not have what it takes to win this weekend then expect him to race for a decent finish while banking next week.

Kevin Harvick is strong at Phoenix with nine wins at the track in both a Ford and a Chevy. He’s a bit more aggressive than Truex so he’ll be racing for win number ten with Homestead still on the horizon. This weekend will be about setting his name in the Phoenix record book.

The spoilers for this weekend are Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Ryan Blaney. The three, over the last ten races among active drivers, have logged the most laps out front. Note, that’s aside from the drivers mentioned above or other Championship eligible drivers of which Bowman is not. Elliott has led 156 laps at Phoenix while Blaney has led 106. The shocker is Bowman who has led 194. All three could pull an upset but Harvick, Busch, Truex, and Hamlin will have to make mistakes.

Intertops odds to win the Bluegreen Vacations 500.


Kyle Busch+325
Kevin Harvick+450
Martin Truex Jr+500
Denny Hamlin+500
Chase Elliott+850
Kyle Larson+1200
Ryan Blaney+1200
Brad Keselowski+1400
Joey Logano+2000
Erik Jones+2000
Kurt Busch+2200
Clint Bowyer+2800
Aric Almirola+4500
William Byron+4500
Alex Bowman+5000
Daniel Suarez+6600
Jimmie Johnson+6600
Matt Dibenedetto+20000
Ryan Newman+20000
Paul Menard+30000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr+30000
Austin Dillon+30000
Chris Buescher+40000
Daniel Hemric+50000
Landon Cassill+50000



About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.

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