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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Martin Truex Jr.||+450|
|Shane Van Gisbergen||+500|
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AJ Allmendinger’s prowess on road courses is the stuff of legend, but his Kaulig Racing NASCAR Cup Series cars haven’t been up to the level of his talent this season.
Allmendinger could use a turnaround on Sunday. Allmendinger currently is 24 points out of a Cup Series Playoff-eligible position, but a victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course would lock him into the postseason.
As a part-time Cup driver, Allmendinger won on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit two years ago, and he’ll certainly be a contender in Sunday’s Verizon 200.
Though we don’t think he’ll win the race, we do believe his talent will carry him to a finish of third or better and recommend a bet to that effect at +400 via DraftKings.
Road Course races in the NASCAR Cup Series tend to attract drivers from a variety of locales and motorsports disciplines who think their road course skills will carry them to success in full-bodied stock cars.
That was certainly the case with Shane Van Gisbergen, who won on the Chicago Street Course in July in his first-ever NASCAR start.
Van Gisbergen is back for another bite at the apple in Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Indy Road Course, and oddsmakers have given him enormous respect, as his +550 odds at DraftKings clearly indicate.
The field will also include former Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi, former F1 champion Jenson Button, and Supercars star Brodie Kostecki, as well as sports car standout Mike Rockenfeller and “regular” ringer Andy Lally.
DraftKings has Kostecki at +2000. The others are posted with much longer odds.
Frankly, we don’t think Van Gisbergen will duplicate his victory at Chicago. Those were special circumstances—a wet track and a street course on which no Cup regulars had ever raced.
The Cup veterans know the Indy Road Course and they’ll be much more competitive on Sunday. The other ringers? No shot.
Driving for Richard Childress Racing last year, Tyler Reddick earned the title “King of the Road” with victories at Road America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
After jumping ship to 23XI Racing this season, he won on the road course at Circuit of the Americas.
Bottom line? In the Cup Series, since the introduction of the Next Gen car in 2022, no other driver has displayed the prowess on road courses that Reddick has.
We expect him to back up his victory with a second straight win in the Verizon 200—with one significant proviso: his pit crew must perform like professionals, not like Keystone Kops.
At Michigan last week, Reddick had the speed to run up front, but mistakes on pit road cost him two extra stops and deprived him of any chance to win.
Because of his skill on road courses with the Next Gen Cup car, we’re picking Reddick to win on Sunday at +500 via DraftKings—and we’re crossing our fingers that the pit crew gets its act together.
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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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