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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
There’s no doubt that AJ Allmendinger is the class of the field when he chooses to run a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on a road course.
Naturally enough, he’s a prohibitive favorite as the series visits Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for Saturday’s Road America 180.
There’s plenty of justification for that status. Eleven of The Dinger’s 17 Xfinity wins and both his NASCAR Cup Series victories have come on road courses. Road America was the site of his first-ever NASCAR triumph, back in 2013.
The strange thing is that Allmendinger is foregoing practice and qualifying of his Cup car to race at Road America, even though he is on the bubble for the Cup Playoffs in his full-time ride.
The problem at Road America is that Allmendinger is posted at -105 via DraftKings Sportsbook—worse than even odds. With 38 drivers entered in the race—perhaps 15-20 of whom are capable of winning—we can’t justify picking Dinger for such short money.
Not to brag, but we’ve ridden a horse named Austin Hill to a succession of correct picks this season.
Why? Because we think Hill and his No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team have been consistently underrated on certain tracks, despite the four victories Hill has posted in the first 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races.
In the last 10 events, Hill has scored eight top fives, the latest a victory at Pocono last Saturday. Pocono is a 2.5-mile track with three distinct corners and the way it drives bears similarities to a road course.
Hence, we’re picking Hill to finish in the top three once again at a nice, healthy +450 via DraftKings. We’ll keep riding the horse until he throws us.
For a driver who’s currently on the outside of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, Parker Kligerman certainly is exuding confidence.
Kligerman hasn’t won a race this year, but his road course skills are well-known, and he should be a factor in Saturday’s Road America 180.
In his last two road course starts, Kligerman finished fifth at Sonoma and ninth on the Chicago Street Course. He was in the mix for the win at Portland earlier in the season before he changed Turn 1 on the final restart.
He’s on the record saying he can lead practice, win the pole, and take the checkered flag this weekend.
Road America is a sprawling layout of more than four miles, and it’s unlikely we’ll see the same sort of congestion that typified the race at Portland.
We’re picking Kligerman (+1400 DraftKings) for the same reason we’re rejecting Allmendinger—value.
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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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