Best Bets for Charlotte


The NASCAR Cup Series will honor the military this weekend when the run the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. No sport celebrates Memorial Day weekend the way that NASCAR does. The Cup Series cars were wrapped in their iconic paint schemes at Darlington and many of the cars will be wrapped in the stars and stripes Sunday. It is a cool race to watch. The Coca-Cola 600 can be seen Sunday at 6 pm ET on FOX.

The race Sunday is a marathon and not a sprint. The length of this race brings a lot of drivers into play for the win. There are typically 12-14 pits stops and 8-10 caution flags in the Coca-Cola 600. That is a lot of time to make mistakes in the pits and a lot of carnage in the race. I will bet some of the long shots this week and hope they can use the right strategy to steal a win, like Austin Dillon did in 2017.

It is tough to ignore what Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing have done on the intermediate tracks this year. Hendrick won the races at Las Vegas and Darlington. Joe Gibbs Racing won the races at Dover and Kansas. I will have many of the drivers from these teams on my betting card this week.



* The odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook. The odds could change between the time of this article and the time you place your bet.

** The first number is the amount of money based on the second number (the amount of the wager). So, if you bet $1 on Kyle Larson at 5-1 odds, you will win $5.


Here are my bets for Charlotte based on a $100 bankroll for the race….


DENNY HAMLIN (7-1): I would love to bet Kyle Larson or William Byron Sunday but there just is not enough “meat on the bone” to get me interested. Hamlin barely has odds long enough to interest me, but he did win this race last year and he won the last race on a 1.5-mile track (Kansas). The No. 11 car has had a lot of speed on the intermediate tracks this season. The only thing keeping Hamlin out of victory Lane Sunday is mistakes on pit road. The No. 11 team went mistake free at Kansas. I will bet they can do it again in the Coca-Cola 600.


MARTIN TRUEX JR. (8-1): One of the greatest butt-kicking’s I have ever seen in NASCAR happened in 2016. Truex led 392 of the 400 laps in the Coca-Cola 600. He is not going to do that again Sunday, but I do not need him to do that. I just need Truex to lead the last lap. The No. 19 car led 146 laps at Darlington two weeks ago and 79 laps earlier this month at Kansas. They have their intermediate track setup dialed in. I will take a chance with Truex at one of his best intermediate tracks.


CHASE ELLIOTT (9-1): Elliott really doesn’t need a win to make the playoffs, but it sure would help the No. 9 team. Elliott dominated a large portion of the Coca-Cola 600 last year. Hendrick Motorsports has been very fast on the intermediate tracks, so I want at least one of their drivers on my card. Strategy always plays a part of this marathon race and Alan Gustafson is one of the best on top of the pit box. Elliott finished 1st and 2nd at Charlotte in 2020 and he finished 2nd again in 2021. I will bet he can win the race Sunday.


ROSS CHASTAIN (11-1): Chastain doesn’t win many races, but he has been knocking on a lot of doors. I know he has a lot of enemies on the track, but they cannot do anything to Chastain if they cannot catch him. The No. 1 car has the second-fast average green flag speed on the 1.5-mile tracks this year and their pit crew ranks No. 1 in average pit stop speed. Chastain is going to have a lot of speed and his pit crew is good enough to keep the No. 1 car up front Sunday.


JOEY LOGANO (22-1): I know Team Penske has not been very good on the intermediate tracks this year, but this race is different. I doubt the No. 22 car is going to unload with a lot of speed Saturday for practice. They do not need to. Crew Chief Paul Wolfe will have 12-14 pit stops to adjust the No. 22 car during the race. Logano may not have speed when the race begins, but he should be fast when the race ends. That is all that matters when I am betting Logano to win the race.


TY GIBBS (65-1): The Coca-Cola 600 has a history of producing some surprise winners. Casey Mears and Austin Dillon was a couple of long-shots to win this marathon race. Gibbs is in a better position than either of those drivers. Joe Gibbs Racing has been fast this year in the intermediate tracks. The No. 54 team’s pit crew just won the pit crew challenge, so we know they are fast. Gibbs will be running the Xfinity Series race Saturday, so that means extra practice and more track time for the young driver. I will bet a few bucks on Gibbs and hope he can get the No. 54 car to Victory Lane.


Good luck Sunday!

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