The Cup Series takes a quick break Sunday as the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway is technically an exhibition race with no points on the line. While there may not be any implications with the standings on the line, drivers will be racing for $1 million. Here’s everything you need to know about the All-Star race. Let’s check the latest news, stats, reports, and NASCAR odds. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Last month, NASCAR made the decision to alter some of the rules from last year’s All-Star race. The race will be 125 laps divided into four stages, with the first three stages being 25 laps each. The winner of Stage 1 will start on the pole in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 2 and Stage 3.
The winner of Stage 2 will start second in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3, while the winner of Stage 3 will start third in the final stage. In between Stage 2 and Stage 3, there will be a pit crew competition, and the team that finishes the fastest will start fourth in Stage 4.
Are the Favorites Worth It?
Kyle Larson enters as the betting favorite (+600) to take the checkered flag. It’s easy to see why, as Larson won last year’s All-Star Race, as well as the playoff race in October He also took the checkered flag in the 2019 All-Star Race.. While he’s far from the active leader in average finish on this track at 18.4, we’ve seen enough from him recently here to warrant the number.
Kyle Busch (+800) has done well historically at Texas. He hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 since 2018 and has a win in 2020 as well as a win in the 2017 All-Star Race at Charlotte. Busch’s average finish is 10.9 and is easily one of the best active drivers on this track. In 31 career Cup Series races, Busch has 18 top-10 finishes, 14 top-five finishes and four wins and is the active leader with 1,069 laps led.
A trio of Chevys William Byron, Chase Eliott and Ross Chastain enter each at +1000 with the third-lowest odds. Byron has run seven times at Texas Motor Speedway and has finished in the top 10 three times and the top five once.
Chastain has become one of the darlings of the NASCAR season. He has never finished better than 18th at Texas, but with the improbable season Chastain is having, one certainly can’t count him out.
As for Elliott, he’s run at Texas 11 times in his Cup Series career with an average finish of 11.5. He has six top-10 finishes and two top-five finishes.
Best of the Rest
It’s hard to overlook drivers who have won at a particular track in the past. Denny Hamlin at +1200 might be a gift. He’s tied for second-most wins at Texas among active drivers with three and has seven top-five finishes as well. That doesn’t include when Hamlin took the checkered flag in the 2015 All-Star Race in North Carolina.
Kevin Harvick also has three Cup Series wins at Texas and is the only active driver to have multiple All-Star Race wins. In 37 Cup Series races, he’s finished in the top 10 24 times, with 13 finishes in the top five. However, Harvick hasn’t won since 2020, which is why he enters at +4000 odds.
Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell have each done well in their limited races at Texas. Reddick (+1600) finished second in his first-ever Cup Series race at Texas back in 2020. He also finished ninth in last year’s race in October. Bell (+1400) is in a similar boat, as he has started three Cup Series races here and has finished third twice.
Joey Logano and Kurt Busch are a couple other big names to take into consideration. They both have wins at Texas in the Cup Series, as well as the All-Star Race. Logano’s All-Star victory came back in 2016 while Kurt Busch won back in 2010. Busch also took the checkered flag at Kansas in the last race. Both enter at +2000.
All-Star Race picks
For this race, and with so many drivers with similar odds, look for value while looking at outrights.
Logano is hot coming off the win at Darlington two weeks ago and has six top-10 finishes and four top-five finishes this season. He’s at +2000.
Denny Hamlin at +1200 is on my card as well. He simply has run too well here to not take a flier on him at over 10/1 odds. There are not many other drivers that would be as cutthroat as Hamlin if it came down to it.
Lastly, Chastain and Harvick. Chastain might be one of the most consistent drivers in the sport. As for Harvick, his longshot odds of +4000 is too appetizing to not throw a third or a quarter of a unit on.
Joey Logano +2000
Kevin Harvick +4000
Ross Chastain +1000
Denny Hamlin +1200