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The LiUNA! Predictions: Austin Hill Goes for Three Straight Wins

Written by: Reid Spencer
Published March 1, 2024
8 min read
  • Chandler Smith eyes a strong finish on first open-motor track of 2024.

  • Riley Herbst looks for a second straight Xfinity victory at his home speedway.

  • After winning two superspeedway races, Austin Hill is riding a wave.

The LiUNA! Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click on the odds in the table below to place your bets at DraftKings.

Driver Odds
John Hunter Nemechek +300
Justin Allgaier +500
Cole Custer +500
Chandler Smith +800
Riley Herbst +800
Austin Hill +900
AJ Allmendinger +1100
Sheldon Creed +1400
Aric Almirola +1400
Sammy Smith +1600
Sam Mayer +1800

Our Picks for The LiUNA!

The LiUNA NASCAR Xfinity Predictions

The LiUNA! Predictions

Chandler Smith Looks for First Victory with Joe Gibbs Racing

Without a doubt, Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of Chandler Smith’s best tracks.

In last year’s spring race, Smith led 53 of the final 55 laps, only to lose the lead to eventual winner Austin Hill in the late going. Smith was third at the checkered flag.

In the fall, he backed up his previous success with a fourth-place run. Smith also boasts a 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series victory at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway.

This year, Smith arguably is enjoying an upgrade in equipment with his move to Joe Gibbs Racing, and he exudes confidence as the return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway approaches.

“Last year, Las Vegas was a really good track for me,” Smith said. “I feel confident there – I had two solid races last year and came so close to winning in the spring.

“The 81 team has good momentum coming off top-fives the past two weeks (at Daytona and Atlanta). We should have a good car this weekend to go out there and compete for the win.”

At +800 via DraftKings Sportsbook, Smith is a decent bet for Toyota aficionados, but he’s not our first choice in this race.

Riley Herbst Looks for Second Straight Victory at Home Speedway

In last season’s Playoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sin City native Riley Herbst finally got the NASCAR Xfinity Series victory he coveted.

The win was more than a flash in the pan. It was the second race in a series of five straight top-four finishes to end the season.

Herbst has shown excellent speed so far this year in the two superspeedway races that preceded the trip to Las Vegas. He was battling for the lead last Saturday at Atlanta when he ran out of fuel with three laps left.

“I know people are going to be watching and seeing what we do this weekend just because of how fast we were last year,” Herbst said. “We can only do the best that we can do, but obviously we’ve had a strong intermediate program the past few years, especially in 2023.

“Obviously, you hope to see that same success, but nothing is guaranteed. I’m excited to go home, though, and see what we’ve got this year. Like I’ve said before, I’ve never been so excited for a season, and intermediate tracks like Vegas are where the season really gets started.”

Like Chandler Smith, Herbst is offered at +800 via DraftKings, but again, he’s not our pick to win this week.

Austin Hill Goes for Third Straight Victory to Open Xfinity Season

No other driver defends a victory more effectively than Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Hill.

In the Feb. 19 rain-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Hill won the race for the third straight time.

A week later, he triumphed at Atlanta Motor Speedway after RCR teammate Jesse Love ran out of gas on an overtime restart. Love led 157 of the 169 laps before his fuel cell went dry.

Hill now comes to Las Vegas as the defending winner of The Liuna!, a 300-mile race with stage breaks at 45 and 90 laps.

For the first time this year, Hill is priced attractively at +900 via DraftKings—quite generous for a defending winner.

Hence, we’re recommending Hill this week and expect him to find Victory Lane for the third straight time. We also like Love to finish in the top three at +450.

How to Watch The LiUNA!

  • Race: The Liuna! NASCAR Xfinity Series race

  • Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

  • Time: Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FS1

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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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