My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas (Xfinity Series) - Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Kyle Busch is back for his next-to-last Xfinity start of the season—rendering almost everyone else a long shot.
- Austin Cindric got his first oval win at Kentucky. A day later, he got his second. The driver of the No. 22 Ford doesn’t want to break the habit at Texas.
- After a fistfight in the garage at Kentucky Speedway, Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson will take their rivalry to the Lone Star State.
|What||My Bariatric Solutions 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Where||Texas Motor Speedway|
|When||Saturday, July 18, 3 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||NBCSN|
Hot, hot, hot. With the weather forecast featuring bright sun and 97-degree temperatures on Saturday, the My Bariatric Solutions 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is likely to be the hottest of the year so far, with track temperatures in the 130-degree Fahrenheit range.
Hot, hot, hot also is an apt description of Austin Cindric, after back-to-back victories last weekend at Kentucky Speedway. But Cindric didn’t have to beat full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers in either of those two events. That won’t be the case on Saturday when Kyle Busch defends his victory from a year ago.
The race whose name no one understands (until they google it) is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles) at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway, with stage breaks at 45 and 90 laps. Chase Briscoe enters the Texas weekend as the series leader with a 19-point edge over Noah Gragson in second.
NASCAR Xfinity Series at Texas Odds
The odds for the My Bariatric Solutions 300 are provided by bet365
Move Over, Xfinity Series Regulars; Kyle Busch Is Back
For a respite of nine races, the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars haven’t had to deal with Kyle Busch, the all-time series leader with 97 victories. Limited to five Xfinity appearances per season by NASCAR edict, Busch hasn’t raced in the series since winning the May 25 Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But Busch (-139) returns at Texas for his fourth start of the year, hoping to make cannon fodder of the full-time Xfinity drivers, as he often does. The oddsmakers certainly think he’ll do just that, having installed the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as a prohibitive favorite—justifiably so since Busch has converted nine of his 21 Xfinity starts at Texas into victories.
The extra track time should also help Busch in his NASCAR Cup Series car. Fresh from a second-place finish in Wednesday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch will be trying to end a 17-race Cup winless streak at Texas on Sunday during the double-duty weekend.
Austin Cindric Hopes to Win Third Straight Oval Race
Known as a road-course ace, Austin Cindric had never claimed a victory on a NASCAR oval until he won on July 9 at Kentucky Speedway. Cindric enjoyed the experience so much that he went to Victory Lane again at Kentucky the following night, becoming the first driver to win on consecutive days in the same series since Richard Petty triumphed in back-to-back Cup events at two different tracks in 1971.
Cindric (+600) has a commendable record at Texas, though the sample size is small. In four starts at the 1.5-mile track, he has finished third twice and ninth and 11th once each. But the speedway shares something in common with Kentucky, in that the opposite ends are distinctly different. Turns 1 and 2 at Texas are flatter and more challenging to negotiate. Turns 3 and 4 are higher-banked and carry higher speeds.
The track sets up well for Cindric—and not so much for series leader Chase Briscoe, who has finished fourth, 11th, and 22nd in three starts at the track. So if Kyle Busch is off his form, Cindric has a fighting chance at a third straight Xfinity victory. But that’s a big “if.”
Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton Take Their Rivalry to Texas
There was plenty of action on the track. There was more in the garage after the fact. During the second race at Kentucky on July 10, Noah Gragson’s Chevrolet slid up the track into Harrison Burton’s Toyota, damaging both vehicles. Burton got the short end of the exchange, finishing 12th to Gragson’s seventh.
After the race, Burton confronted Gragson in the garage, shoving him twice. Gragson responded with a haymaker to Burton’s left eye. Crew members quickly broke up the fight. Burton (+1600) said later that the rivalry started at Charlotte, where he felt Gragson drove into a corner too hard, with a similar result.
But when the time comes to race on Saturday, it will behoove both drivers to pay more attention to the task at hand than to each other. That’s especially true of Gragson (+1200), who is second in the series standings, just 19 points behind Chase Briscoe.
Kyle Busch (-138)—Given Busch’s record at Texas, it would be foolish to bet against him, even if the payday is on the small side. The second choice is Austin Cindric at +600.
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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.