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How do you know that the NASCAR Cup Series is racing at a superspeedway? One look at the odds will tell you all you need to know. How? There’s no clear favorite, and the odds for the highest-rated driver (Joey Logano) start at +1000 via DraftKings Sportsbook, rather than the usual +500 or +600.
There’s no argument that Chevrolet drivers—and in particular, those at Hendrick Motorsports—have owned the early season in the Cup Series this year. Chevys have won six of nine races, and Hendrick has four of those victories, with Kyle Larson and William Byron each winning twice.
No other organization has more than one win so far this season. But which Chevy driver has the best shot at winning the GEICO 500 at Talladega on Sunday? If you’re partial to the Bow Tie Brigade, we suggest Byron (+1400 at DraftKings), who has shown consistent speed on the superspeedways.
Hendrick’s Chase Elliott (+1200 at DraftKings) has won two of the last eight Talladega races, including the Playoff event last fall, but this will be Elliott’s first appearance at a big track (and second overall) since returning from a broken left tibia, the result of a snowboarding accident.
Byron isn’t our first choice to win the race, but we do like him beat defending winner Ross Chastain head-to-head at -110 via DraftKings. Chastain has finished ninth and 13th in the two superspeedway races this season (Daytona and Atlanta).
More often than not, you’ll find 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace in the mix for the win at the end of a superspeedway race. That’s an accomplishment, given that half the field typically is wiped out in multicar wrecks.
In 12 races at Daytona, Wallace has four top fives, including three runner-up finishes (two in the Daytona 500). He claimed one of his two career Cup victories at Talladega in a rain-shortened race in 2021.
In last Year’s GEICO 500, Wallace won the first stage before falling victim to a last-lap crash and finishing 17th.
Wallace has the speed and the savvy to negotiate close-quarters superspeedway racing. Though we don’t think he’ll win on Sunday (+2000 at DraftKings), he’s a good bet to finish in the top three at +550.
In the ninth race of 2009, driving the No. 09 Chevrolet fielded by James Finch and supported by Hendrick Motorsports, Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega.
That was Keselowski’s only victory to date in a car other than the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. Keselowski picked up his sixth Talladega victory, most among active drivers, in 2021—and hasn’t won in 71 starts since then.
After the 2021 season, Keselowski moved to Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing as a co-owner/driver, and he’s still seeking his first win in the No. 6 RFK Ford.
Talladega is the perfect place for a breakthrough. The organization has shown improved speed this year, and Keselowski has a knack for racing and blocking at the front of the field on superspeedways.
That’s why we’re going with Bad Brad to win on Sunday at Talladega. The +1500 price via DraftKings is a bargain, too, no matter how unpredictable this race might be.
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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]More info on Reid Spencer
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