NASCAR at Darlington 2020: May 20 Odds, TV Schedule, Live Stream and DriversMay 19, 2020
Kevin Harvick has been the most consistent driver through five races of the 2020 NASCAR season, and on Wednesday, he faces the toughest task yet to extend his lead in the points standings.
The 44-year-old and the other racers face the grueling physical test of racing twice in four days at Darlington Raceway.
The driver of the No. 4 car has to fend off challenges from some teams that looked strong Sunday and find a way to reach first from the 20th starting position, which is not easy to do at the South Carolina circuit.
Wednesday's starting grid was inverted from the top-20 finishers from Sunday's race, so Ryan Preece, who ended up in 20th, sits on the pole.
The second half of Wednesday's starting lineup was determined by finishing position, which means William Byron and Jimmie Johnson will begin the race in 34th and 37th, respectively.
Toyota 500 Information
Date: Wednesday, May 20
Start Time: 6 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSports.com or Fox Sports app
Kyle Busch (+500; bet $100 to win $500)
Kevin Harvick (+500)
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Denny Hamlin (+700)
Alex Bowman (+800)
Chase Elliott (+800)
Brad Keselowski (+1,000)
Odds obtained from Caesars Sportsbook.
Harvick will return to Darlington with the car he won Sunday's race in.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver did not suffer much damage to his vehicle because he was out in front for 159 of the 293 laps.
Harvick's crew chief Rodney Childers confirmed the decision to NBC Sports' Dustin Long.
"Bringing the same car back," Childers said. "Not even taking springs and shocks off the car. Just taking it like we ended but will fix a few things."
Harvick's toughest competition Sunday came from the four Hendrick Motorsports cars.
Johnson was in line to capture the first stage before an accident took him out of the race, Byron took the Stage 1 victory before suffering damage, Bowman ended up second overall, and Chase Elliott finished fourth.
Elliott and Bowman have the best chances to win from that quartet since they start within the top 20.
Only two drivers who started from positions No. 30-40 Sunday finished in the top 20, and it could be tougher for Byron and Johnson to achieve that with 64 fewer laps in Wednesday's 500-kilometer race.
Given the shorter race length and complexities of passing at Darlington, more pit strategies could be utilized to move up the grid.
Kyle Busch may join Byron and Johnson as drivers who try a different pit sequence to reach the front.
Busch entered Darlington with a pair of top-five and top-10 finishes, but a start from the back of the field and a few other issues kept him from extending that streak.
At the front of the field, Brad Keselowski may be in the best position to control Wednesday night's race.
The No. 2 car led 80 laps—the second-highest total behind Harvick—but dropped back to 13th after struggling in the final stage.
If Keselowski's team makes the proper adjustments, he could surge forward from eighth and set the pace.
His Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano, could have an extended spell up top as well, as he begins the race in third.
Logano is the only driver with two wins this season, and he could benefit from running in the front alongside teammates Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, who starts fifth.
Rookies Tyler Reddick (+6,000) and John Hunter Nemechek (+20,000) could be the best long-shot bets for Wednesday after they both finished in the top 10.
Reddick was a consistent fixture in the top 10 Sunday, and Nemechek used a late push to end up in ninth.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90
Statistics obtained from NASCAR.com