NASCAR Betting Preview: Denny Hamlin Could Go Back-to-Back

NASCAR Betting Preview: Denny Hamlin Could Go Back-to-Back
© USA Today

Predicting NASCAR races has been challenging enough with the new NextGen car. Now, there’s an added level of difficulty with the Cup Series heading to a track it has never raced at before.  

The World Wide Technology Raceway will be the host of Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 and is not the niche sort of addition we’ve recently seen NASCAR add to its schedule. The track isn’t a dirt circuit or a road course, but instead, a 1.25-mile egg-shaped track that is flat with corners banked at 11 and nine degrees. 

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“It’s a very technical racetrack, meaning that both corners are way different,” Kenny Wallace, retired NASCAR driver and St. Louis native told Spectrum News. “The track is not symmetrical. Turns one and two are very tight – got a little banking – and turns three and four are very wide and very flat. It’s an exciting track.” 

World Wide Technology Raceway has hosted NASCAR Truck Series and Xfinity races when it was also known as Gateway Raceway, but I’m not sure how much you want to weigh those events when handicapping this weekend. Kyle Busch did win an Xfinity race in 2009, but I’m ready to break the bank based on a race that happened 13 years ago.  

Due to the unpredictable nature of the event, sportsbooks are keeping the top of the odds boards packed. At DraftKings Sportsbook, Kyle Larson is the favorite at +800, and he’s one of five drivers at less than +1000. In total, there are 13 drivers better than +2000 to win. 

 

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Best Bet 

Denny Hamlin to win +900 FanDuel Sportsbook 

Hamlin was on the fortuitous end of last week’s dramatics at the Coca-Cola 600. Chase Briscoe spun out while pushing for a pass on leader Kyle Larson, bringing out a late caution. A pileup later ensued on the next green flag lap. Hamlin made it through the wreckage, then held off Kyle Busch for the thrilling victory.  

Hamlin also has the potential to make it back-to-back wins, but this time a bit more on merit rather than luck.  

When looking at NASCAR tracks of intermediate length, similar to World Wide Technology Raceway, Hamlin ranks second in driver average finishing position (8.6) over the last 16 races at these types of tracks and is tied for the most wins during that span with two. He’s also led the most laps (791).  

All-time, among active drivers, Hamlin has the second-most wins at intermediate tracks with nine. He’s also already won at a shorter, flat track this season. In April, he recorded his first win of the season at Richmond. On Sunday, he could tally his third.  

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Longshot 

Daniel Suarez +4000 DraftKings Sportsbook

Few drivers have had as unfortunate luck this season as Suarez. Whether it’s getting caught up in a wreck or a pit stop mistake, Suarez has had many strong runs derailed by outside factors.  

It happened again last week at the Coca-Cola 600.  

He routinely made his way through the field, led 36 laps and was a legitimate contender to win. Then he got caught up in a wreck, which was the result of being further back in the field due to a pit stop error. Suarez wound up finishing 25th.  

TrackHouse Racing has proved they have fast cars all season. Teammate Ross Chastain has already won twice, and it could be a matter of time before it’s Suarez’s turn. At a track where everyone will be learning as they go this weekend, perhaps Suarez can figure out his issues and finally breakthrough.  

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