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Shriners Children’s 500 Predictions: Kyle Larson Seeks West Coast Double

Written by: Reid Spencer
Published March 8, 2024
8 min read
  • Defending winner William Byron hopes for a drama-free race on Sunday.

  • Joey Logano hopes to find a semblance of redemption at Phoenix.

  • Kyle Larson needs a little more speed to sweep West Coast Swing.

Shriners Children’s 500 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click odds in the table below and claim up to $1,000 No Sweat First Bet at DraftKings.

Driver Odds
Kyle Larson +550
Ryan Blaney +600
William Byron +700
Ross Chastain +900
Denny Hamlin +900
Christopher Bell +900
Martin Truex Jr. +900
Kyle Busch +1000
Joey Logano +1200
Tyler Reddick +1400
Chase Elliott +1400

Our Picks for the Shriners Children’s 500

Shriners Childrens 500 Predictions

Shriners Children’s 500 Predictions

Defending Race Winner William Byron Hopes for a Drama-Free Race

In last year’s March race at Phoenix Raceway, William Byron took the checkered flag in his second straight event, having won the week before at Las Vegas.

Byron has shown consistent speed at the one-mile track in the Sonoran Desert. In the Championship 4 event last November, the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet started from the pole and finished fourth, earning the third spot in the final NASCAR Cup Series standings.

Byron started the current season with a dramatic win in the season-opening Daytona 500 but came home 17th the following week at Atlanta. Last Sunday in Las Vegas, his Chevrolet was the victim of an unprecedented catastrophe.

In windy conditions, a large trash bag blew across the track and stuck to the front fascia of Byron’s car, sending his water temperatures skyrocketing to 350 degrees.

After losing a lap while his crew removed the trash bag, Byron fought back for a 10th-place finish. It wasn’t until the race was over that his crew discovered that the trash bag had contained a beer can—which had lodged in the air filter.

Though we don’t expect that sort of incident to be repeated at Phoenix, and though we expect Byron (+700 via DraftKings Sportsbook) to have a strong car there, he’s not our first choice to find Victory Lane on Sunday.

Joey Logano Must Convert Qualifying Speed into Race Performance

Running one lightning-fast lap in time trials hasn’t been an issue for Joey Logano this season.

The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500. He qualified second for the Atlanta race and was back on the pole for last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Unfortunately, Logano’s speed in time trials hasn’t translated into quality results in the first three races of the season. His hard-fought ninth-place run last Sunday at Las Vegas followed 32nd- and 28th-place disasters at Daytona and Atlanta.

That said, Logano is a three-time winner at Phoenix, tied with Kyle Busch for most among full-time active drivers. Two years ago, he secured his second Cup Series title with a victory at the track.

Though we’re not convinced Logano will win on Sunday, his +1200 price via DraftKings is hard to resist. Hence, we like him as a hedge bet, but bet early on this one. If he’s fast in qualifying again, the odds won’t be as favorable.

A Little More Speed Could Mean a West Coast Sweep for Kyle Larson

In last year’s Championship 4 race at Phoenix, Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet wasn’t quite fast enough to get past the Ford of Ryan Blaney, who won the series title with a runner-up finish.

But Larson has a strong record at the one-mile track. He has finished in the top nine in his last 10 starts, with the lone exception a result of an engine failure.

In 2021, his first year with team owner Rick Hendrick, he won the Championship 4 race from the pole.

Last week, we picked Larson to win at Las Vegas and he did just that, sweeping the first two stages and leading 181 of 267 laps.

This week, our picks are identical: Larson to win at +550 on DraftKings and Logano to win as our attractively priced hedge bet at +1200.

Let’s just hope history repeats itself as Larson completes a sweep of NASCAR’s West Coast Swing.

How to Watch the Shriners Children’s 500

  • What: Shriners Children’s 500 NASCAR Cup Series Race

  • Where: Phoenix Raceway

  • When: Sunday, March 10, 3:30 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FOX

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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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