NASCAR EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix 2023 Drivers, Predictions and Best Bets: Kyle Busch still has it
The first road course of the season for NASCAR is this weekend’s Echo Park Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. The track, known as COTA, is outside of Austin, Texas and is a purpose-built F1 track that NASCAR takes over for a weekend. It’s one of the most challenging road tracks around, especially heading into the chaos that is Turn 1 following an uphill climb. Just what can we expect from these Cup drivers around the 3.4-mile circuit that is COTA for betting? Let’s dive in.
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EchoPark Grand Prix Betting Strategies
The challenging front stretch gets the lap set with an uphill climb to a hairpin Turn 1 and immediately throws the drivers into chaos. After that a series of downhill s-turns spreads the field out before the long back stretch really gets the speed up. The most technical part of the track is between Turns 12 and the start-finish line with several tricky turns and braking sections. The 3.4-mile lap is one of the longest on the Cup Series schedule and the difficulty of the lap has led to chaos in the past. In last year’s race, there was a lot of beating and banging late in the race to help determine a winner, and that could be the same again this year too.
All of the races this weekend have been chaotic in their own right and the Cup race could be no different, especially given how qualifying went on Saturday. Road courses are typically tough to pass at so we don’t want to bet on a winner who’s starting too far back. However, we also can’t take some of last year’s results to be totally true as teams struggled with setups with the Next Gen car.
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Race Winner Predictions For Echo Park Grand Prix
Odds listed are from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.
Tyler Reddick (+350)
It’s pretty hard to deny the success of Reddick at this style of racing over the last year or so. He won a couple of races last year and has a rocket this weekend too. He qualified P2 for the race and had easily the best car in practice. He was longer odds at the start of the week and then saw a big jump to favorite following practice and again after qualifying which tells you all you need to know.
Kyle Busch (+1000)
If you were discounting Busch because of the results from last year, don’t. It was mainly because of the car he was in and not his skills. Now that he’s in Reddick’s winning car from last year, the speed is back. Isn’t that funny how that works. He’s starting P9 on Sunday and nearly one the Truck race on Saturday while showing winning speed in Cup practice. That bodes well for us as he’ll have to move up to get the win on Sunday and return the 10x return he’s offering.
AJ Allmendinger (+1000)
We can’t put together bets for winners of road courses and not include one of the best road racers in the Cup Series. He won the Xfinity Series race here on Saturday and nearly won this race a year ago in the Cup Series while racing part-time. Now he’s back to full-time racing and looking a good as ever. He’s staring in the top-seven which is a great place to start his chase for a back-to-back win weekend. Fast with creating starting spot and ability on a road course sums up the Dinger’s appeal on Sunday.
Christopher Bell (+3000)
But didn’t we just get done saying that Toyotas weren’t great on these tracks last year? Sure, but this is a different year and he’s a different driver. Over the last five road races last year, he posted the second-best average finish over any driver and was one of two drivers to post a combined average finish under 10. He is starting P14 but the speed in practice and over the short and long run were both top-six. That’s good enough to consider this bet and the 30x return it gives.
Ty Gibbs (+10000)
A second Toyota driver? Sure, we only live once right? This one isn’t so cut and dry given he’s a rookie and looking for his first win, but you know what? His first Xfinity win came at a challenging Daytona Road Course and he’s starting just four spots further back than Bell. Yet, he’s 3.3x longer odds? That’s too nice of a boost for a similar enough drivers in the same equipment. Now, we’ll need some breaks to go his way and strategy too, but it’s worth it to place a tenth of a unit on this one in case it hits.
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