NASCAR 2020 Toyota 500 Odds, Picks and Info

The quick turn-around from Sunday’s 2020 The Real Heroes 400 to the Wednesday night race two days later leaves little time for Kevin Harvick to celebrate. The driver of the No. 4 Ford for Stewart – Haas Racing (SHR) won his 50th career Cup Series race. And, he is the favorite heading into the Toyota 500, which will also be held at Darlington Wednesday night.

Harvick, one of my picks for the Sunday race and the lone favorite at +350, did well for me as the winner as did Chase Elliott and Erik Jones. Elliott placed 4th while Jones finished in the 8th spot. Check out my complete article on the 2020 The Real Heroes 400 about the return to racing and Darlington for more information.


Kevin Harvick Wins The Real Heroes 400 | Darlington


Busch Not in Favor

One thing that I didn’t have heading into Sunday’s race was much faith in Kyle Busch, who was the favorite heading into the weekend. I just had not seen the results one would expect from a defending Cup Series Champion. And I was right.

The No. 18 team started with too many passes through inspection, which sent them to the back for the start of the race.

Then, Busch tagged the famed outside wall, earning him a “Darlington stripe”, as well as damage. Another problem sent Busch back to pit road under green flag racing which cost him a lap.

There is good news for Kyle Busch fans.

Until he went a lap down, towards the end, he was fast enough to head back towards the front. That might be why he’s right behind Harvick with a +700. Here are the top five favorites for the Toyota 500 (kilometers – not miles) with complete odds below.

Kevin Harvick                +350

Kyle Busch                    +700

Brad Keselowski           +750

Denny Hamlin               +800

Martin Truex Jr.             +850

2020 Toyota 500 at Darlington Info

Track: Darlington Raceway / Darlington, South Carolina

Type: 1.366-mile superspeedway

Banking: Turns 1 and 2: 25°, Turns 3 and 4: 23°

Race Distance: 229 laps / 500 Kilometers

Defending Track Winner: Kevin Harvick

TV/Radio: Fox / MRN

The race will once again be held without fans in the stands and will switch from FOX to Fox Sports One/FS1.

NASCAR Toyota 500 Notes:

The starting lineup has already been determined, and practice, etc has once again been scrapped for safety reasons to limit the number of people at the track. 

Here’s how the Toyota 500 starting grid will be determined per NASCAR.

- Starting lineup will use the May 17 finishing order as the starting point for the lineup.

- There will be a top 20 “inversion” of the field.

- The top 20 finishers from Sunday will be inverted for the start of the Wednesday race.

- Starting positions 21-40 will start from their finishing positions for the start of the Sunday race.

- Any new entries will start at the tail of the field.

- Ryan Preece will start on the pole with Ty Dillon in 2nd spot due to blind draw.

Best Picks for the 2020 Toyota 500

Kevin Harvick +700

I had Kevin Harvick as a pick this past Sunday and there is no reason to make a change.

He seemed to have Darlington dialed in and pulled away every time he was out front. Also, Harvick has won once this season and he’s finished in the top-ten in every race this year.

Alex Bowman +900

Alex Bowman has won as a Cup Series driver in his career and the driver of the No. 88 for Hendrick drove to a second-place finish on Sunday. Bowman has grown as a racer since taking over Dale Earnhardt Jr’s ride, and it’s paid off.

Bowman signed a contract extension with his team which means he does not have to worry about next season.

Jimmie Johnson +2500

Johnson may be considered a long-shot but I think he’s a stronger pick when betting NASCAR than many would think.

He had a fast car on Sunday, he was in the lead… until he wrecked coming to the checkered flag during the first stage. Yes, he wrecked, but he was so fast!

Johnson has more Darlington wins than any active driver and could add one more to the list Wednesday night.

Others I like to Win the 2020 Toyota 500:

Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski: First… I wanted to include Kyle Busch in this last paragraph. But, once again… he’s just having too many issues.

Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski were both in the battle for the front Sunday and they will be again under the lights this Wednesday. Either one of them could win the 2020 Toyota 500.

2020 Toyota 500 Odds

Kevin Harvick                      +350

Kyle Busch                         +700

Brad Keselowski                 +750

Denny Hamlin                     +800

Martin Truex Jr.                   +850

Alex Bowman                      +900

Joey Logano                       +900

Chase Elliott                        +900

Kurt Busch                          +1,400

Erik Jones                           +2,000

Ryan Blaney                       +2,500

Jimmie Johnson                 +2,500

Matt Kenseth                      +2,800

William Byron                     +3,000

Clint Bowyer                       +3,500

Matt Di Benedetto              +4,000

Aric Amirola                        +5,000

Tyler Reddick                     +6,000

Ryan Newman                   +6,600

Austin Dillon                       +8,000

Chris Buescher                  +12,500

Cole Custer                       +12,500

Christopher Bell                +15,000

John H. Nemechek           +15,000

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.          +15,000

Daniel Suarez                   +20000

Darrell Wallace Jr.            +25000

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.