Food City 300 Predictions, Odds & Picks (Xfinity Series)

Food City 300 Predictions

  • Going for three straight Xfinity wins, Noah Gragson shouldn’t be such an underdog.
  • Sure, Justin Allgaier won at Thunder Valley, but that was more than a decade ago.
  • The real drama on Friday revolves around the Xfinity regular-season championship.

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Friday’s Food City 300 is the regular-season finale for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and there are still three Playoff spots on the line.

But there’s very little suspense involved, given the overwhelming probability that the three drivers who currently occupy the last three positions on the Playoff grid will still be there when the smoke clears at Bristol.

The only way for a driver below the cut line to supplant even one of those three drivers—Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones or Riley Herbst—is to win the Food City 300. We consider that a pipe dream.

Accordingly, we can predict the entire Playoff grid after Friday’s race, which will be contested over 300 laps (159.9 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 85 and 170 laps. Chase Briscoe won last year’s fall race at Bristol, but he’s not in the field.

Noah Gragson Is on a Roll, So Please Give Him Some Love

This one’s a no-brainer. Noah Gragson turned a lackluster season around with victory at Darlington on Sept. 4. He followed that with a victory last Saturday at Richmond.

Gragson is the most recent winner at Bristol Motor Speedway competing in Friday night’s Food City 300. He won the spring race at Thunder Valley last year.

So, understandably, we like the Las Vegas driver to win a third straight race—especially since he’s listed at +1000 via PointsBet Sportsbook.

Gragson runs well at the high-banked concrete track. In four starts there, he has a seventh and ninth in addition to his win and an average finish of 8.5.

We got the win during our first visit last season and then ran seventh at this race last year, Gragson says. (Crew chief) Dave (Elenz) and the No. 9 team have been unloading fast Camaros all year, and we are really trending in the right direction with the two wins we have had in the last two races. Hopefully, we can make it a third win this weekend and enter the playoffs on a high note.

We believe that the third win is in the cards and encourage a bet on Gragson.

So Why Have Oddsmakers made Justin Allgaier This Week’s Favorite?

Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson are teammates at JR Motorsports, and they have one victory each at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Allgaier has a much larger body of work at the track—20 starts, 12 of which have ended in top-10 results—but Allgaier’s win at Thunder Valley came back in 2010 when he was driving for Team Penske.

Yes, Allgaier has led at least 126 laps in each of his last four starts at Bristol, but he hasn’t won any of those races.

So in the spirit of “What have you done for me lately?” we still like Gragson, who has been outrunning his teammate of late. Not only that. You won’t get rich even if Allgaier wins, given his line at +340 via PointsBet Sportsbook.

All the Suspense on Friday Involves the Regular-Season Championship

If the Playoff field is all but set, the same is not true of the regular-season championship, which is worth 15 Playoff points to the winner, with second place getting 10.

With a late-season surge, AJ Allmendinger has wrested the top spot in the standings from reigning series champion Austin Cindric and comes to Bristol leading by five points.

Allmendinger (+900 via PointsBet Sportsbook) ran better than expected last Saturday at Richmond, though he faded to 18th at the finish. We expect another strong performance on Friday, though the driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet has raced only once in the Xfinity Series at Bristol.

Cindric (+460) was third (and trending up) in last year’s fall race, and he should finish ahead of Allmendinger on Friday. But neither driver is a good bet to win, so stick with Gragson.

Though he’s running a limited schedule, rookie Ty Gibbs (+360) is a better bet than either Allmendinger or Cindric. Gibbs is fresh from a victory in Thursday night’s ARCA race at Bristol. The grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs has three wins and eight top-fives in 13 Xfinity starts this season.

How to Watch Food City 300

Food City 300 Information
Race Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race
Location Bristol Motor Speedway
Time Friday, September 17, 7:30 p.m. ET
How to Watch NBCSN

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Reid Spencer

Expert on NASCAR

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]