The Cup Series continues Sunday at the NASCAR Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in only the second dirt race since 1970. The race will be run at 7 p.m. on Sunday. While the race was run during the day last year, drivers complained of visibility issues with the sunlight hitting the kicked-up dirt. So this one goes at night.
Will Backgrounds be a Factor?
If you truly follow the sport, it comes to the surprise of few when defending Cup Champion Kyle Larson opened as the betting favorite for the NASCAR Food City Dirt Race (+450). Larson made his name on dirt tracks racing sprint cars, but competing in a heavy stock car on the dirt surface will be quite different.
Right behind Larson in terms of NASCAR odds is Christopher Bell (+800). Bell was up there with Larson in last year’s dirt race as well, but an early collision sidelined Bell for the rest of the day and put Larson two laps down.
Joey Logano, last year’s dirt race winner, has quite the background in dirt racing from his youth in Connecticut, and has the third-best odds for Sunday at +900.
If that’s the wave you choose to ride, Chase Briscoe (+1400), Tyler Reddick (+1400), Alex Bowman (+1600), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+2200) and Austin Dillon (+4000) are a few others who have roots in dirt racing.
Under the Dirt, it’s Still Bristol
Under all of the dirt at the NASCAR Food City Dirt Race, it’s still the same old Bristol Motor Speedway. While it’s been awhile, Kyle Busch had success with legend-car racing on dirt in his mid-teens. He finished 17th on the dirt last year, but has an average finish of 6.4 in his last five races at Bristol. He knows this track, he’s succeeded on this track, and +1600 seems like good value.
Despite not having a dirt racing background, Denny Hamlin fared well in last year’s race, finishing third. That gave Hamlin three top-10 finishes, two top-fives and a win in his last seven races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
If we’re going to consider Kyle Busch at +1500, we almost have to talk about his brother Kurt at +5000. Kurt finished one position ahead of his brother in the dirt race last spring and has had success in previous runnings at Bristol. While he’s cracked the top-15 just once in the last four runnings, he’s had four consecutive top-10 finishes from August 2018-May 2021.
Get While the Getting’s Good
Betting on NASCAR races can be challenging. Trying to pick an outright winner from such a big field is difficult, but always look for value. Odds are almost guaranteed to change after qualifying, so if you’re looking to place a wager, look for big value early in the week.
Daniel Suarez checks that box at +2000. While he didn’t have the best day at Martinsville last weekend, another short track, he did have a successful running in the dirt race last year. He finished fourth and also led for about a fifth of the race.
Stenhouse’s dirt racing experience includes finishing second in the dirt race last season. Odds of +2200 for last year’s runner-up seems like great value
Lastly, Austin Dillon’s Food City Dirt Race odds of +4000 seems like good value as well. He’s had experience running on dirt in the Truck Series and is planning on doing the truck race this weekend. Considering this race is in just its second year, it’s relatively new and reps will matter.