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Goodyear 400: Coming to One of His Best Tracks, Hamlin Is on a Major Roll

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated May 12, 2023
11 min read
  • After two unfortunate weeks, we’re off the Kyle Larson bandwagon.
  • In a down year for Legacy Motor Club, there’s no love for Erik Jones.
  • Coming to one of his best tracks, Denny Hamlin is on a major roll.

Goodyear 400 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Kyle Larson


Denny Hamlin


Martin Truex Jr.


William Byron


Tyler Reddick


Kyle Busch


Ross Chastain


Christopher Bell


Joey Logano


Kevin Harvick


Chase Elliott


Our Picks for the Goodyear 400

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Goodyear 400 Predictions

Goodyear 400 Predictions

After Two Unlucky Weeks, We’re Off the Kyle Larson Bandwagon

Two weeks ago, at Dover Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson’s race ended early with a crash not of his making on Lap 80 of 400.

Last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Larson spun off Ross Chastain’s bumper five laps into the race. Larson recovered to take the lead but finished second when Denny Hamlin roughed him up on the final lap.

Larson was the betting choice at both Dover and Kansas and despite his misfortunes at those tracks, he’s once again the favorite for Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway (+500 via DraftKings).

Given that Larson has never won a race at the Lady in Black—either in the NASCAR Cup or Xfinity Series—we’re abandoning ship this week and going with another choice.

Somehow, Some Way, Erik Jones Always Shows Up at Darlington

Ask a NASCAR fan to name the biggest disappointment of the 2023 Cup Series season, and chances are the performance of Legacy Motor Club will top the list.

During the offseason, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson bought into the team previously known as Petty GMS Racing and rebranded the organization.

But the new structure hasn’t clicked for drivers Erik Jones and Noah Gragson, the latter a Cup rookie this season. Jones is 24th in the series standings. Gragson is 32nd.

That means little with Darlington the next stop on the Cup schedule. Jones had but two top fives in 26 races when he arrived at the 1.366-mile speedway last fall. All he did was win the race.

In fact, the win in the 2022 Southern 500 Jones’ second unpredictable victory at the Track Too Tough to Tame. So when we saw the driver of the No.43 Chevrolet listed at +5500 via DraftKings, we took notice.

Jones is offered at +1800 to finish in the top three and +650 to run top-five. Those propositions seem irresistible to us.  

Denny Hamlin Is on a Roll Coming to One of His Best Tracks

Toyota drivers suffered through a sluggish start to the 2023 season, and Denny Hamlin was no exception.

Hamlin’s fortunes and the speed in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Camrys have taken an upturn of late, culminating in last Sunday’s victory at Kansas Speedway.

Now Hamlin comes to Darlington Raceway, where his four wins are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.

“It’s a tough track mentally and physically,” Hamlin said. “It’s a driver’s track because the driver can make a difference at Darlington. You can manipulate the way your car is handled based on the line you choose to run.

“There’s something about it that has always matched my style of driving no matter what type of car we’re racing, so I anticipate we’ll have a really good shot at contending this weekend.”

In other words, the track plays right into Hamlin’s strengths. That’s why we like him to win the race at +600 via DraftKings.

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How to Watch the Goodyear 400

  • What: Goodyear 400 NASCAR Cup Series race
  • Where: Kansas Speedway
  • When: Sunday, May 14, 3 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: FS1
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

218 Articles

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]

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