“Old-School Ace Whipping” Kyle Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team cruise to victory in the NASCAR All-Star Race, crowning the 2021 Cup Series champions once again at the Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET on Fox).
Larson enters weekend as favorite 5-to-1 according to BetMGM, Larson is famously strong on short tracks, winning points races at Martinsville and Richmond this season, as well as last weekend’s feature at North Wilkesboro, but he also does well on intermediate tracks. In the 10 races he has run at Charlotte’s 1.5-mile Dougal Oval, he averages 11.5, including a major win in 2021. Last year he raced all the way from 36th on the grid to ninth on the grid.
While times have been good for Larsson and Hendricks teammate William Byrne this season, they have been In fact Good. This season the duo has led an absurd 1,178 laps together – a little over ⅓ of the total laps run – and won five of 13 races. On a track that suits both the drivers’ styles and the HMS staff knows how to set up, it could be a long weekend for everyone else.
Here’s a look at what else you need to know to bet on Sunday’s race:
• Kyle Larson +500
• William Byron +700
• Denny Hamlin +800
• Martin Truex Jr. +900
Byrne has won three of four intermediate track races this season and finished fourth in another. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin has three poles at Charlotte, is tied with Kyle Busch for most in the field, and boasts an average finish of 11.9 in 31 races there. Martin Truex Jr. has three wins at Charlotte, tying him with Kevin Harvick for all the field wins coming in the past seven seasons.
good mid-range value
• Tyler Reddick +1400
• Kevin Harvick +1400
Last week we recommended not betting Reddick in the All-Star race and he finished third, so this could be a case of media jinx. But in four starts at Charlotte, Reddick averaged 9.3 — best in the region. In 40 career starts, Harvick has three wins, 21 top 10s and has finished on the lead lap 26 times.
don’t bet on this driver
• Alex Bowman +1800
Bowman has a successful track record at Charlotte, posting four top 10s in 11 Cup Series starts there, and Hendrick is at Machinery, but this is his first time since suffering a fractured vertebra in a sprint car crash last month. There will be a race. An ailing back and the longest mileage race of the year is not an enticing combination.
Looking for a long shot?
• Ty Gibbs +6000
Gibbs has never driven a Cup Series car at Charlotte, but he won his first Xfinity Series start there in 2021 and finished second on the grid from 38th last season.