It’s Time for Darlington
Some of the best NASCAR drivers have yet to leave their mark in the 2022 season, but they still sit at the top of NASCAR odds for this weekend, which makes perfect sense. More so than any other track, Darlington remains a domain of the greats, and it rarely produced surprise winners.
But will it retain its tag as such, or will the shock results the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced continue Sunday as the world’s best NASCAR drivers head to Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, for the 2022 Goodyear 400?
Let’s check the latest news, stats, reports, and NASCAR lines for Goodyear 400. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Favorite for a Reason
With one win to his name and not a single victory since the second round, Kyle Larson heads to Darlington as the main NASCAR betting favorite to cross the finish line first. That isn’t too shocking, though Larson hasn’t achieved much.
Larson is one of the best drivers at Darlington in recent history. Admittedly, he has yet to win here, but he has four top-5s in his last four starts. That includes back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2021, another runner-up finish in 2019, and a third-place finish in 2018.
His worst placement on the track came in 2017 when Larson finished 14th, but he had finished third, 10th, and eighth in 2016 and 2015. In other words, Larson has placed worse than 10th in just one of his eight starts here. And he has placed outside of top-5 just three times.
With such figures, it isn’t shocking to see Larson priced at +450 on the online sports betting sites. Moreover, Larson has not been too bad this season despite his lack of wins.
He has three straight top-10s in his last three, with back-to-back fourth-place finishes at Bristol and Talladega and a sixth-place finish at Dover.
Good form and excellent track record. What more would you want to see?
Only Six Active Drivers with Darlington Win
Only six of all drivers heading to Darlington have won on the track before, most notably Denny Hamlin with four, Kevin Harvick with three, and Martin Truex Jr. with two.
Hamlin is the reigning champion, having won the most recent event at Darlington Labor Day weekend. He led for 146 laps on the day and has scored his fourth top-5 across his last five appearances. It would be hard to ignore Hamling with such figures, but there’s a catch.
He hasn’t been too convincing this season, which makes it far less appealing to bet online on him. Hamlin is currently ranked 23rd on the NASCAR Cup Series ladder and deservingly so.
Besides his victory in Richmond, Hamlin has not achieved much, and that’s an understatement. If we ignore his sole victory, Hamlin has not scored a single top-10 and his best two placements on the season include 1st in Richmond and 13th in Phoenix.
To put it into perspective, since his victory, Hamlin has managed 28th, 35th, 18th, and 21st-place finishes.
Likewise, Harvick is on a 53-week winless streak and has only one top-5 this season. And following the trend, Truex Jr. won the 2021 Darlington spring race and was fourth on Labor Day, but his results haven’t been too great over the season.
The only past winner at Darlington with solid form is Kyle Busch. He has finished worse than seventh just twice in his last Darlington races and has placed inside the top-10 in all but three races in 2022 (14th, 33rd, 28th).
Moreover, Busch has placed ninth or better across his last five starts, with a victory in Bristol, a bronze medal from Talladega, and a seventh-place finish at Dover.
Chase Elliott could be considered as a solid pick as well. He won last weekend’s race, and he has placed inside the top-10 in all but three races this season, so it was only a matter of time before he get in Victory Lane.
“Just had some good circumstances finally,” said Elliott.
But Elliott has never won at Darlington, and his last top-5 came in 2020. At offered betting odds, there are better picks out there.
2022 Goodyear 400 Information
- Race: Goodyear 400
- Location: Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina
- Day/Time: Sunday, May 8, 3:30 P.M. EDT
- Goodyear 400 Live stream: NBCSports.com
2022 Goodyear 400 Betting Lines
|ODDS TO WIN GOODYEAR 400||MONEYLINE|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+700|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+6600|
2022 Goodyear 400 Prediction
Even if we know that Darlington is likely to see one of the top dogs win, it’s not easy to pick a winner. However, if we weigh in the offered betting odds, it’s very hard to look past Kyle Busch.
He is in excellent form and has achieved plenty on the track in the past. Moreover, he is priced as one of the underdogs, which doesn’t seem right, mainly because other favorites either haven’t achieved much at Darlington or have been struggling with their form.
Another driver we fancy is Kyle Larson. His performances this season have been far from perfect, but Larson is still the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion with solid figures on this track. Can he win? We wouldn’t be surprised if he does, but we’re getting excellent odds on the top-3 market, so we’ll settle on a bet on Larson to finish on the podium.
Pick: Kyle Busch to win (+900)
Pick: Kyle Larson Top 3 Finish (+450)