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Shriners Children’s 200 Predictions: Challenge for NASCAR Xfinity Veterans at Watkins Glen

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated August 18, 2023
11 min read
  • NASCAR Cup Drivers Invade Xfinity Series Ranks at Watkins
  • Cole Custer should be good on the high-speed road course in New York
  • Justin Allgaier seeks a breakthrough win against the Cup Series big boys

Shriners Children’s 200 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook


Kyle Busch


Ty Gibbs


Alex Bowman


Justin Allgaier


Cole Custer


Sam Mayer


Sheldon Creed


John Hunter Nemechek


Austin Hill


Sammy Smith


Parker Kligerman


Our Picks for the Shriners Children’s 200

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Shriners Children’s 200 Predictions

Shriners Children’s 200 Predictions

NASCAR Cup Drivers Are Invading Xfinity Ranks at Watkins Glen

With the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs a mere four races away, the is one of the last chances for NASCAR Cup Series drivers to compete in the junior series.

Naturally enough, the top three favorites for Saturday’s Shriners Children’s 200 are moonlighting from the premier division—Kyle Busch (+185 at DraftKings Sportsbook), Ty Gibbs (+260) and Alex Bowman (+600).

Though Gibbs won this race in 2021, and though Kyle Larson took the checkered flag last year as a double-duty driver, we plan to look elsewhere for the winner of this race.

Cole Custer Is Consistently Underrated on NASCAR Road Courses

Cole Custer has 21 career starts on road courses in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Fifteen of those starts have resulted in top-10 finishes.

Two of those 15 top 10s are victories, both coming this season—at the Chicago Street Course in the rain and at Portland.

The bottom line? Custer’s road course credentials are indisputable. Though he’s a tempting proposition this week at +1000 via DraftKings Sportsbook, we just don’t think he’ll win Saturday’s race against the competition he’ll be facing.

As you’ll see below, we’re looking elsewhere.

Justin Allgaier Has the Numbers at Road Courses—Particularly the Glen

NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Justin has an impeccable record on road courses this season. He has scored top-five finishes in four of six races on road courses, including a runner-up result at Portland.

In addition, Allgaier ran seventh at Sonoma Raceway and 18th at Road America, the latter a deceptive result in a race he dominated, leading 42 of 49 laps before he spun off course on the next-to-last circuit.

In 11 starts at Watkins Glen, Allgaier has posted seven top 10s and four top fives, with a best finish of third in 2018 and 2019.

We like Allgaier to beat the Cup regulars and cash in on his road course success this season. At +850 via DraftKings, he’s a much more attractive proposition than favorite Kyle Busch at +185.

We also like John Hunter Nemechek to finish in the top three at +400 via DraftKings. Nemechek and Austin Hill have been trading the series lead all season long, and this week, it’s Nemechek’s time to shine.

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How to Watch the Shriners Children’s 200

  • Race: Shriners Children’s 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race
  • Location: Watkins Glen International
  • Time: Saturday, August 19, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: USA 
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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