NASCAR Betting Guide: NASCAR All-Star Weekend
Modeling for the NASCAR Cup Series' All-Star Race is a brute because this weekend is a bit of an odd duck.
It's the only time each year where we get gimmicky stuff such as short segments and incentives for winning stages, which does throw in extra chaos.
This year's event is less wild than 2021, though. Specifically, there won't be any field inversions from one stage to the next. Instead, the winner from each stage will simply get to start near the front on the final stage, assuming they don't crater in subsequent stages. So, it's more straightforward than what we've had in the past.
That allows me to have faith in what my numbers are saying, and they are showing some value right now based on the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Let's dive into where that value lies prior to the weekend. Then, as more markets go up and more data comes in, we'll circle back and add on for what should be a fun weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. to Win (+1200)
In 2021, Martin Truex Jr. struggled on the low-wear 1.5-mile tracks. That's the category Texas falls into.
The shift to the Next-Gen car seems to have given him a jolt of life, though.
We haven't had a true low-wear race yet, but we have seen Truex in two races on non-drafting 1.5-mile tracks. In Las Vegas, he could have won the race if not for a late caution.
Last week in Kansas, Truex finished just 6th and had a 10th-place average running position. But, you have to remember that he had two separate pit-road speeding penalties and still rebounded for a quality day. That's a super impressive result.
Finally, we know Truex's long-term track record on tracks like this is phenomenal. He is a three-time winner in Charlotte and has been runner-up three times in points-paying races at Texas. With this being Truex's age-42 season, he's not too far past his prime to where we should discount those results.
My simulations have Truex at 10.1% to win this race, up from his implied odds of 7.7%. I have enough faith in the numbers to buy into what they're saying and back Truex here.
Post-Qualifying Addition: Ryan Blaney to Win (+1000)
I went into the weekend being super skeptical of Fords. They had no speed last week. And -- for the most part -- they still didn't have speed Saturday.
Ryan Blaney was the one exception, and I'm in on him at +1000.
Blaney actually led both practice sessions (for the Open and the Main) in five-lap average while ranking fourth in single-lap speed and third in the opening round of qualifying. His pit crew helped earn him a spot on the front row.
This isn't a surprise given Blaney's history at Texas. He has had a top-six average running position in six of the past nine races here, making it one of his better tracks. My simulations have Blaney winning 10.9% of the time, up from his implied odds of 9.1%, making him the best value currently on the board.
Post-Qualifying Addition: Ryan Blaney Over Ross Chastain (-112)
Most of the thoughts above translate into backing Blaney over Ross Chastain here.
It's worth noting that Chastain was also fast in practice. He was fourth in five-lap average and had the sixth-fastest qualifying time in the opening round. He certainly wasn't slow.
Last week, when the Fords were slow, Blaney and Chastain were on relatively even footing. Blaney had an eighth-place average running position compared to Chastain's seventh-place mark. The gap between these two, specifically, wasn't big.
We don't have data on Chastain in his current form on this track type yet, so it could wind up being a plus for him. Most track types have been, frankly. But we know it is for Blaney, and he proved that in practice Saturday.
This is an alternative if you're wary of a Blaney outright, but I am also okay double-dipping and betting him in both.