It’s dumbfounding but expected at this point as Chris Buescher held off Chase Elliott last Saturday night to win the Bass Pro Shops Night Race.
Buescher had not won a Cup race since 2016, is not a playoff driver, and his team RFK had not won since 2017. Yet there he was coming in first at the finish line, holding off Elliott, who was +1000 to win the race.
Instead, Buescher got the win at +10000 and became the record-tying 19th winner of the Cup series this NASCAR season. What more excitement could possibly be in store for the NASCAR odds this week?
Playoff Field Down to 12
What made Buescher’s win last week even more shocking than the fact that he hadn’t won in six years was the fact that he broke the long drought in an elimination race. Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, and Kevin Harvick were all knocked out of the round of 12 and have their playoff seasons ended.
Now the difficult task comes down to predicting who can possibly take the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Erik Jones, Bubba Wallace, and Buescher have been the first three winners in the postseason, providing a great return on investment to bet online. Neither of those drivers are in the postseason, which makes you wonder if playoff drivers are just settling for points and trying to advance.
Texas Speedway on Display
Ryan Blaney (+1000) has some value in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, considering he won the All-Star race at Texas back in May. Blaney is currently in eighth in the playoff standings even after finishing 30th last week at Bristol.
Denny Hamlin is the +600 co-favorite at Texas Speedway. His ninth-place finish last Saturday night was actually his worst so far of the playoffs. Hamlin had finished runner-up to both Jones and then Wallace at Darlington and Kansas, respectively.
Hamlin finished 11th here in last year’s race despite starting second but won twice at Texas back in 2010. One major reason to like Hamlin here is that he’s swapping pit crews with the eliminated Busch, whose crew ranks second in four-tire swap times.
Kyle Larson (+700) is the returning champion of this race, and he’s sitting in fourth in the playoff standings. Larson dominated at Texas in the 2021 win, leading 256 laps, and he’s finished eighth and fifth in the last two playoff races.
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Race Information
- Location: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
- Day/Time: Sunday, Sept. 25, 2:30 p.m. ET
- Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Live Stream: NBCSports.com
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Betting Odds
|ODDS TO WIN AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 500||MONEYLINE|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1000|
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Prediction
It would be no shock at all if Hamlin or Larson won this race, as it wouldn’t be a surprise if anybody else captured the checkered flag the way this season has gone. Somebody who looks to really have some value at the sportsbook is Brad Keselowski (+8000).
Buescher won for Keselowski’s RFK Racing team last week, and the head honcho has been driving well himself lately. Keselowski led 109 laps at the night race last weekend and fits the trend of first-time 2022 winners getting the victory lately.