Surprise Best Bet For Texas NASCAR Race This Weekend
After seeing how the NextGen car responds to various track types, this weekend will mark the first time it is used under the unique NASCAR All-Star format at Texas Motor Speedway north of downtown Fort Worth.
Saturday will feature qualifying rounds and an elimination qualifying format to determine the starting order for Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Open race.
The Open will have stages of 20, 20 and 10 laps, with the winners of each stage advancing to the All-Star race. The winner from the fan vote will also make the All-Star race.
Following the Open, the All-Star race will feature four stages of 25, 25, 25 and 50 laps with a pit stop competition held between the second and third stages.
The starting order of the final stage is determined by the winners of the first three stages and the pit stop competition. The stage one winner will start first, followed by the second and third stage victors. The team that wins the pit stop competition will start fourth.
With short runs, no points at stake and a $1 million cash prize for the winner, the All-Star race regularly has the potential to produce a lot of side-by-side racing. Tire and fuel management are out the windows, meaning top-end speed is the key for success with this type of format.
Hendrick Motorsports has had the most success recently at all-star races. Chase Elliott won the event in 2020 at Bristol, while Kyle Larson was victorious last year at Texas.
Hendrick is at the top of the odds board with Larson as the overall favorite (+600) at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Elliott is tied with Kyle Busch with the second-best odds (+700), while William Byron has the third-best odds (+900).
Alex Bowman (+1400) isn’t far behind with the sixth-best odds at DraftKings.
Best Bet Pick To Win
It would be difficult to fault anyone for picking any of the Hendrick drivers given their recent form. Larson appeared poised to win last week at Kansas before a late pass by Kurt Busch.
Byron has won twice, and Elliott and Bowman have each won a race this season.
I’m going to go a little bit further down the odds board with Tyler Reddick, who has displayed plenty of top-end speed this season. He is +1200 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Reddick has four top five finishes and qualified second last week at Kansas. But debris got stuck on his grille and forced him to hit the wall and suffer a flat tire, resulting in a 30th-place finish.
Reddick finished second at Texas in his Cup Series debut in 2020. He also won a stage during the 2021 All-Star Race at Texas and followed that up with a ninth-place finish in the 2021 fall event. Since the 2019 season, his 8.7 average finishing position at Texas is third-best among active drivers.
From the non-Hendrick crowd, Reddick projects as one of the top contenders.
Long Shot Pick
In his last five races at Texas, Kevin Harvick has an average finish of seventh with one win and three top fives. His three wins are the second-most of active drivers at Texas, trailing only Kyle Busch (four).
With the short stages where strategy and other external factors are thrown out in favor of driver ability, Harvick is one of the drivers further down worth taking a flier on.
My long shot pick is Kevin Harvick +3500 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
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