NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona Predictions and Betting Tips

NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona Predictions and Betting Tips
Martin Truex Jr., of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, drives lads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images/AFP

NASCAR’s Cup Series resumes on Sunday at a unique event in Daytona. A unique competition calls for a unique betting approach.

NASCAR Cup Series: Go Bowling 235

Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 3 p.m. ET (NBC) at Daytona 

A Unique Event 

NASCAR’s Cup Series resumes with the Go Bowling 235. While this race is at Daytona, it will not be carried out on the 2.5-mile superspeedway that NASCAR fans normally associate with Daytona because of the Daytona 500. Sunday’s race will, instead, take place on Daytona’s road course.

The fact that NASCAR’s event is taking place on a road course is not unique, nor is Daytona’s road course. This road course has been around since 1959. Rather, what makes Sunday’s road venue unique is the addition to which NASCAR officials have shaped Daytona’s road course for this event.

After Turn Four, drivers will find a chicane. This chicane represents the new addition. With this chicane, drivers receive an additional opportunity to make a pass before reaching the finish line. Before this new addition, Daytona’s road course consisted of 12 turns and was 3.56 miles long. With the chicane, this course now has 14 turns and is 3.57 miles long.

Additional Race Details 

Sunday’s event is so-called because, in accumulating 65 laps, drivers will have completed 234.65 miles. There are three Stages: Stage 1 requires 15 laps. Stage 2 concludes on lap 30. Then, Stage 3 and the race ends at 65 laps. The racing package calls for a 750 horsepower aero/engine.

NASCAR Cup Series logo. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP


No driver has experienced this chicane before as the addition is new. Plus, without practices or qualifications — which are not allowed under current COVID-19 restrictions — drivers will not be able to prepare well for this new addition.

They will be able to prepare virtually. But virtual preparation is not as effective as trial-and-error. The latter method of experiment is the only way to figure out the best positioning for the car, the proper gear at different spots in the course, and so on.

Also, 65 is not a high number of laps. With only 65 laps, drivers have fewer opportunities to learn from initial driving mistakes that they may make in earlier portions of the race. They will need to learn quickly in order to make proper adjustments.

Capping Unpredictability 

It’s important to maintain perspective. The added element to the course, the chicane, affects everybody, meaning that no driver has any greater advantage (or disadvantage) given this new addition. So, really, handicapping stays the same. It’s crucial to find the driver with the most favorable level of experience.

Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Fudge Brownie Toyota, races Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Auto-Owner’s Insurance Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

False Friend 

One driver, who NASCAR bettors may be tempted to jump on, is Kyle Busch. Busch experienced this road course (minus the chicane) in January. Other drivers expressed envy, stating that they would have participated in the road course event at Daytona that Busch did in January if they had known that Sunday’s upcoming race would be run at Daytona’s road course.

However, I don’t think that Busch has a real advantage. Besides not experiencing the chicane, Busch had to drive with a very different kind of car in January’s Daytona road rendition. A car, obviously, makes all the difference. His car on Sunday won’t give him any semblance of the feel and handling that he experienced back in January. He’ll have to relearn how to navigate Sunday’s course.

Plus, Busch is so inconsistent. One can see a unique pattern in his overall race results that have inspired me to make a special rule for Kyle Busch: never bet on him when he’s coming off a good race and always be open to betting on him when he’s coming off a very poor effort. Since he’s coming off a great weekend at Michigan, I do not want to touch him.

My Guy 

With my NASCAR Betting Picks, I want to invest in Martin Truex Jr. Truex and Busch are tied for having the most road course wins among active drivers. Six of the last seven road course events have been won by either driver. But since Busch is terribly unreliable in this situation, given his great weekend at Michigan, I can only consider Truex to be a very strong investment.

Plus, Truex is enjoying great form. He has four consecutive top-three finishes overall, thus exhibiting a level of consistency that Busch could only dream of. Be sure to check Bovada as they should be the first top sportsbook to release its NASCAR betting odds.

Best Bet: Martin Truex Jr To Win (Odds TBA)

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