The Favorites: 2 to 1
Chandler Smith & Stephen Nasse
Smith came up short by just a few inches in a thrilling battle with Jeff Choquette one year ago. Teamed up with five-time Winchester 400 winning team Kyle Busch Motorsports, Smith will be tough to beat. Nasse has three victories on high-banked ovals this season, including two at Winchester Speedway during Labor Day Weekend. Given how fast he’s been on the high banks of Bristol and Winchester, he has a great chance to get to Victory Lane.
The Contenders: 5 to 1
Donnie Wilson, Johnny VanDoorn, Steve Wallace & Travis Braden
Don’t be surprised at all if one of these four drivers raise the Winchester rifle on Sunday afternoon. Wilson has had fast race cars all year long and the former All-American 400 winner knows how to get it done in big races. VanDoorn has had strong cars during previous versions of the race and is recognized as one of the strongest competitors in the region. Wallace is only running a limited amount of races these days but the former Snowball Derby winner still knows how to run up front, as is evident by his third-place finish last year in the Winchester 400. Braden is a former Winchester 400 winner who is chomping at the bit to add another Winchester rifle to his collection.
In the Mix: 7 to 1
Corey Heim, Dalton Armstrong, Jack Dossey III, Josh Brock & Justin Haley
Heim is a rising star in the sport but has focused much of his attention this season on the ARCA Racing Series. Strapping back in a Super Late Model, the youngster from Georgia will likely be in the mix when the green flag waves. Armstrong, a former Redbud 400 winner, is making one of his limited starts of the season and will be paired up with the successful Richie Wauters Motorsports team. Dossey III and defending ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Josh Brock are the favorites to claim the championship at Winchester; however, it’s possible that they may take a conservative approach if the championship is within reach. Haley, a NASCAR Cup Series winner earlier this year at Daytona, has the talent to contend for a win but this will be his first Super Late Model start in quite some time. It would surprise us if he’s able to come right out of the gate swinging and hit a home run against some of the best in Super Late Model racing.
Good Picks: 10 to 1
Brandon Watson, Cody Coughlin & Hunter Jack
Watson is one of the best Late Model racers in Canada; however, that success has yet to translate into race wins south of the border in the United States. He’ll look to change that this weekend at a race track that he’s familiar with. After three years competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, former ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Cody Coughlin has returned to Late Model competition in 2019. Coughlin has two career ARCA/CRA Super Series wins at Winchester and would like nothing more than to add a Winchester 400 win to his resume. Jack is another championship contender who will be looking for a strong run at Winchester. Thus far, luck hasn’t been on his side at the Winchester 400 as he has not finished the race in three previous attempts.
Worth the Money: 15 to 1
Brandon Oakley, Dan Leeck, Eddie Van Meter & Kyle Crump
This group of drivers could certainly contend for a top-five finish if things go well and might be worth the money if you’re a gambling man. Oakley has made a whopping 22 career starts at Winchester, Leeck is a former JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion, Van Meter has a history of running well at the track and Crump is already an ARCA/CRA Super Series winner this year.
Under the Right Conditions: 20 to 1
Jon Beach, Billy Van Meter, Greg Van Alst & Trevor McCoy
This group of drivers would need a lot to go right in order to be standing in Victory Lane. But, as we’ve seen time after time in sports, anything can happen. Winchester is a race that is all about survival. Be around at the end of the race and you’ll have a chance at a strong finish.
Would Pay Off Well: 25 to 1
Bob Varney, Brandon Varney, Jaden Crabtree & Zach Stacy
If you’re looking for a small risk and a big reward, this would be the group of drivers to look at. Everyone loves an underdog story, and we’ve certainly seen stranger things happen over the years.
-Text by Speed51 Staff
-Photo credit: Speed51photos.com