Best Bets for Darlington


The Cup Series travels to Darlington for their “Throwback Race.” Most of the cars will be wrapped to honor some of the drivers who have helped build the sport of NASCAR. The racing at Darlington is pretty good too. The track eats up tires quickly allowing the teams to use pit strategy to steal track position and create an exciting race. I doubt the race at Darlington will be as good as what we had at Kansas, but it should still be one of the top-five races of the season. The Goodyear 400 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on FS1.

I waited until after practice to make my final bets for the race at Kansas. I had to decide if I wanted to go all in with Kyle Larson or Denny Hamlin. I knew they would be two of the top drivers in the race, but I decided to go with Hamlin since he has never lost to Larson in a 1-2 finish. Well, that did not work out well. I will do my best to get our money back this week at Darlington.



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



I am not going to make the race at Darlington harder than it needs to be to handicap. The drivers from Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Tyler Reddick have won 11 of the 12 races this year. I do not see that trend changing until the Cup Series travels to Gateway in June. Hendrick Motorsports won both races at Darlington last year (William Byron in the spring and Kyle Larson in the fall). Martin Truex Jr. led the most laps in the spring (145) and Denny Hamlin led the most laps in the fall (177). I am sticking to the Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers until the other teams show they can beat them. I will also bet on Tyler Reddick since he has the same setup as the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota’s, has a history of running well at Darlington and has won a race this season.

We are not going to win a lot of money by betting on the Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, but they do give us the best chance to return a profit. If you want to take a chance with some drivers with longer odds, I would place a wager on Chase Elliott +1400, Joey Logano +2200 or Erik Jones +4000.



* I use a $100 bankroll each week. I will bet $40 now and save the remaining $60 for after qualifying. I will likely bet $30 each on two drivers who look fast in practice.


WILLIAM BYRON (7.5-1): The race Sunday should come down to Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Tyler Reddick or Martin Truex Jr. I will wait to see what Larson and Hamlin do in practice and where they qualify before I choose which one to add to my card. Byron has decent odds at +750. He won this race last year and he had the best average running position in the two races at Darlington last year. Byron cooled off a bit after his hot start to the 2024 season. I would not be surprised if he was wear “the big hat” in Victory Lane Sunday.

TYLER REDDICK (8-1): Reddick was the first driver I looked for when the odds were released. I knew I was going to bet on Reddick, but I was hoping he wasn’t going to be the favorite with Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin. His odds are close, but there is still enough meat on the bone at +800 for me to take a bite. Reddick has been a beast at Darlington. He finished 2nd, 22nd (got into the wall and a tire went down), 3rd and 2nd. He is one of the only drivers who have proved that he can run consistently with the Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers. Reddick has never won at Darlington before, but we all know his time is coming. I will bet that this is the year when Reddick tames the track.


* I will add a few more bets after qualifying this weekend.


Good luck Sunday!

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