NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum Betting Analysis and Prediction

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NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum Betting Analysis and Prediction
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The Los Angeles Coliseum will be the site of the first NASCAR event of 2022 on Sunday. As strange as it sounds, it’s not the first time the country’s premier motorsport has visited a football stadium.

In 1950, NASCAR started racing at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem, North Carolina, on a 0.25-mile track. Bowman hosted 29 cup races from 1950 to 1971 and marked the last time the Cup series raced at a 0.25-mile track. Soldier Field also hosted a 100-mile Cup event in 1956.

Here’s an overview and betting preview of Sunday’s Busch Light Clash exhibition, with some suggestions on how to wager your NASCAR betting money.

Track, Format for Busch Light Clash

The Los Angeles Coliseum has hosted the Olympics, the Super Bowl and World Series games and will now be the home of NASCAR’s Busch Light Clash. Drivers will race on the quarter-mile track constructed inside the stadium and compete under a format with heats and the feature race, including 23 cars.

Four 25-lap heat races will set the field, with the top four finishers in each heat automatically qualifying for the 150-lap main feature. The starting grid for the heats will be determined by qualifying on Saturday.

The final seven spots for the main feature will be determined through two Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ), with each LCQ lasting 50 laps. The top three finishers from both races will go to the feature, while the final 23rd spot will be awarded to the driver with the best points finish from the prior year that isn’t already secured a spot into the feature. Under this rule, last season’s NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson is the only driver guaranteed a spot in Sunday’s feature.

New Car Debuts for Busch Light Clash

This weekend will mark the debut of the Next Gen cars. The cars feature larger tires, bigger brakes, composite bodies and an independent rear suspension. This is their first competitive debut after offseason testing at Daytona, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.

Expect all of the marquee drivers to participate in the exhibition. All 36 chartered entries were offered to compete in the Busch Light Clash.

Betting Odds, Pick for Busch Light Clash

Educated guesses are about as much as you can make before you consider sports betting on the Busch Light Clash. There is a new car being debuted at a new track and it’s all being done under a different format with heats and the feature. This leads to plenty of uncertainty.

The familiar names are atop the odds board, with both Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. both favored at +600, with Chase Elliott (+650), Joey Logano (+750) and Kyle Larson (+750) rounding out the top five.

The only real way to handicap this event is to look at the history of how drivers fared on short and flat tracks. Martinsville, New Hampshire and Richmond would fit this criteria the most with their flat surfaces. Martinsville and Richmond hosted two races last season, while New Hampshire had one.

Of those five races, Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman (+1800) each won twice with both drivers each winning at Richmond and Martinsville. Aric Almirola was victorious at New Hampshire and is +4500 to win the Busch Light Clash. Almirola has been a popular pick with his odds opening at +10000 and falling to +4500 after bettors pounced.

Given Bowman’s success last season winning at Richmond and Martinsville, I’d feel comfortable backing him to win the Busch Light Open at a better number than the favorites. In addition to his recent short-track success, Hendrick Motorsports has consistently been one of the top teams in motorsports, and if there’s a group I’d feel comfortable backing with a new car and regulations, it would be Hendrick.

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Bryce Derouin

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