Best Bets for Charlotte


The Cup Series will race at home this week in the Queen City. The Coca-Cola 600 is a marathon race. We typically see the top drivers in Victory Lane on the 1.5-mile tracks, but the length of this race have brought more long-shots into play. We have seen upsets by Brad Keselowski (2020), Austin Dillon (2017), Kasey Kahne (2012) and David Reutiman (2009) in this race over the years. Even Ryan Blaney entered the race at 25-1 odds last year and went to Victory Lane. This should be a good race to take a chance with a driver with longer odds to get to Victory Lane.

The length of the Coca-Cola 600 makes practice and qualifying a bit less important this week. There are typically 12+ pit stops in the race. That means the teams will have plenty of time to work on their cars to gain speed in the race. I am betting my entire $100 budget early this week and I will not be posting an updated Best Bets article after qualifying, since it really does not matter in this race. You can ask me in the forum or on X (Twitter) if you need my thoughts on a driver after qualifying.



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




The Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing cars have dominated the 2024 season. We always see new teams become more competitive during this time of the season. That is the case again this year. The Fords have found some speed. Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski have been two of the best drivers over the last month. Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano are also starting to show some improvement. Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing are the favorites (as they should be), but this is a good race to take a chance with some of the Fords.




DENNY HAMLIN (6-1): It is hard to bet against Hamlin right now. He won the race at Dover, finished 5th at Kansas and 4th in the last race at Darlington. Hamlin has also led laps in every race this year, so he is almost certain to get to the front Sunday. Hamlin crashed out of the Coca-Cola 600 last year, be he won the race in the Gen-7 car in 2022. I will bet he can win again at Charlotte this week.

WILLIAM BYRON (10-1): This is a home game for Byron. The Charlotte native has been very good at his home track. Byron won the pole, led 91 laps, won Stage 1, finished 8th, 4th in Stage 3 and finished 2nd in the race. He was one of two drivers who were able to score Stage Points in all three Stages last year and he had the best average running position in the race. Byron should be a threat to win his fourth race of the season at Charlotte.

RYAN BLANEY (10-1): Blaney dominated the Coca-Cola 600 last year. He led 163 laps, scored 24 Stage Points and went to Victory Lane. Can he do it again? The Fords found some speed over the last month, so I would not bet against the No. 12 team. It also helps that Blaney has the second-fastest pit crew this season, in a race with the most pit stops. Blaney is a good value at 10-1 this week.

CHASE ELLIOTT (11-1): The Coca-Cola 600 is a marathon race with 12+ pit stops. The No. 9 pit crew ranks No. 1 in NASCAR in pit stop speed. This should help Elliott gain track position in the pits. Elliott won on the 1.5-mile track at Texas and he finished 3rd at Kansas. He should have a great chance to win if his pit crew is the best in the field and the car has the speed it had at Texas and Kansas.

CHRIS BUESCHER (14-1): You could make an argument that Buescher has been the best driver over the last month. I will keep betting Buescher to win until he cools off. Buescher finished 8th in the Coca-Cola 600 last year. Getting the driver with the best Driver Ranking over the last month at 14-1 odds is too good to pass up.

KYLE BUSCH (18-1): Busch may have a sore jaw, but he also has a good chance to win Sunday. Busch has finished 6th, 2nd, 3rd, 29th (engine problem), 4th, 3rd, 3rd and 1st in his last 8 races on the oval at Charlotte. That is the best in the field. His 4th-place average finishing position in the Gen-7 car at Charlotte is also the best in the field. Busch had a great chance to win at Kansas earlier this year. He should be a threat to win again Sunday.


Good luck Sunday!

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