NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS Odds, Picks, Preview: Kyle Busch Emerges As Early Season Best

NASCAR is heading to another speedway race this weekend for the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch is the betting favorite after his win last week at Fontana.

Bosh and Chase Elliott are the joint favorites to win the Cup Series championship, both with a margin of +600. Kyle Larson is right behind him at +700.

Las Vegas is a 1.5-mile course that Busch won in 2009. Of the drivers in this year’s field, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano won twice in Vegas.

Jordan Bianchi and Jeff Gluck, the athleteMotorsports Reporters, have reviewed the race that will take place this weekend in Las Vegas and made predictions for the winner of the race.

Kyle Busch (550+) is the favorite this week. Is last week’s win enough to justify him as the favorite for season one?

Bianchi: A win at an intermediate track like Auto Club Speedway is a good measure of a team’s potential for the rest of the season since speed there is transferable to speed on tracks like Las Vegas. So to think Busch will be a factor this Sunday is not a stretch at all; In fact, it should be a frontrunner when you take into account that it’s a previous winner here (2009), has the highest 10 and the third best average. Nor does he lack motivation because he’s a Las Vegas native.

glock: To underscore Jordan’s point, Busch was in position to win the Vegas race one year early until a caution came out with a few laps to go and Hendrick Motorsports’ tire strategy beat him in overtime. Busch has been fast every week so far this season (Clash at the Coliseum, Daytona 500, Fontana), so it’s clear the team is already on top of its game. Even if you wouldn’t tell me Busch is probably the favourite, I would have said he was the one who beat entry this weekend.

Last season, Chase Elliott had the most wins, led the most laps and finished the regular season with the most points. Even after finishing second last week, he’s +1,100 to win this weekend, behind five drivers. Is it undervalued?

Bianchi: While all of these stats are noteworthy, when you dig deeper you realize Elliott hasn’t had much success lately on intermediate tracks – hence his (for him) excited reaction last week after finishing second to Busch. Another thing to note is that Las Vegas has historically not been Elliott’s best track since in 12 starts he has only had three finishes and five top ten finishes. All that said, he’s an elite driver with an elite team and they’re capable of winning anywhere in any given week, so if you can get him at +1100, that’s tremendous value.

glock: I’m cooler at Elliott in Vegas than I am in Jordan. Last fall, to open the third qualifying round, the No. 9 team struggled in Vegas and finished 21st with no apparent mechanical issues. Elliott said afterwards that it was “a whole poor effort on my behalf”. The odds are that low for a reason. However, I certainly wouldn’t discount his chances of winning the college. It’s just that if they figure it out and end up in victory lane, it would be quite a turnaround from less than five months ago.

Is Las Vegas Motor Speedway close enough to last week’s track at Fontana that we could see similar cars in the mix?

Bianchi: Even though it’s only two races into the season – one of which was super fast – it sure looks like we have a pretty good idea of ​​who the guys will be this year, at least during the early part of the season. As it currently stands, the drivers within this group are: Busch, Elliott, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman.

glock: The Chevrolet cars finished 1-2-3-4 at Fontana, the opening statement for the first real race of the season. I was leaning towards the Chevy again on Sunday, whether it was Busch or Chastain or one of the Hendrick drivers. It’s too early for such a leap, but if Chevy flexes its muscles again this week, it will send Ford and Toyota scrambling for answers before the West Coast Swing is complete.

Which long strokes do you think have a chance in this race?

Bianchi: Austin Cindric at 80-to-1 is interesting when you consider that Team Penske usually brings fast cars to Las Vegas. Another name is Brad Keselowski (40-1), whose three Las Vegas victories tie Logano for the best in track racing and who had a fast car in ACS and rallied to finish seventh after contact with another car dropped him on a lap.

glock: People will ignore Austin Dillon (+4000) in the early part of this season, but that’s wrong. Busch would continue to raise the bar for the Richard Childress Racing program, and by working closely with Dillon, Childress’ great-grandson could hop on and take some wins. Dillon had a quiet Top 10 last week in Fontana and has finished no worse than 13th in his last four starts in Vegas. If he and Team No. 3 can put together a strong day, he may be in contention after all.

Who would you choose to win the race?

Bianchi: Martin Truex Jr. (+1200) is long overdue getting back on track to victory in the points race for the first time since September 11, 2021. Las Vegas is a good track for him to do it: his Joe Gibbs Racing team has the speed on the intermediate tracks, it’s a two-time winner There he has the second best average finish among active drivers.

glock: Are we just going to pretend Chastain (+800) doesn’t exist? He had one of the two fastest cars last week in Fontana and his 2022 Vegas car was third and second respectively. He also drove 151 laps between the two Vegas races last season. If people are somehow still asleep on Chastain, I don’t know what to tell them.

Benzyl 400 possibilities

driver Prospect

Kyle Bush


Kyle Larson


Joey Logano


Ross Chastain


Ryan Blaney


Chase Elliott


Denny Hamlin


Christopher Bell


Martin Truex Jr


William Byron


Kevin Harvick


Alex Bowman


Tyler Reddick


Daniel Suarez


Bubba Wallace


Austin Dillon


Brad Keselowski


Chase Briscoe


Eric Jones


Ty Gibbs


Eric Almirola


Noah Gragson


AJ Alminder


Austin Cendrick


Chris Bucher


Ricky Stenhouse Jr


Ryan Preece


Justin Haley


Harrison Burton


Michael McDowell


Corey Lajoie


Ty Dillon


Todd Gilliland


PJ MacLeod


Cody Ware


JJ follows


(Photo by Kyle Bush: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


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