An unpredictable season continues with an unpredictable superspeedway race. Here are our YellaWood 500 picks and preview as NASCAR returns to Talladega.
While there was some expectation of uncertainty heading into this season, very few could have foreseen just how topsy turvy this year would be. It has produced 19 different winners with six races still left to run. The playoffs have started without a win from a driver in championship contention.
This week, all of that chaos intensifies as drivers take to the track known for, “The Big One,” a wreck so bad, it needs no further explanation. No bet is a bad bet this weekend and every price is adjusted accordingly. With that in mind, here are a few drivers that stand a chance of withstanding the madness and coming out on top.
Here are our picks for the YellaWood 500 based on the odds at our top-rated sportsbooks.
YellaWood 500 Race Info
Where: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL
When: Sunday, October 2, 2 p.m. ET
How to watch: NBC
Defending champion: Bubba Wallace
YellaWood 500 Odds
YellaWood 500 Picks
- Denny Hamlin (+1300 via Caesars Sportsbook)
- Brad Keselowski (+2000 via DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Christopher Bell (+2200 via BetMGM)
Who Will Win the YellaWood 500?
The No. 11 Toyota finished in the top 10 in each of its last four races. In that span, Denny Hamlin registered back-to-back second-place finishes. His superspeedway finishes may not reflect his pricing, however, he has spent at least some time at the front of the pack in 19 races this season. In four of his last five races, he has tracked as the first car in the field.
Hamlin started three of his last four races at Talladega from the pole position. He won one of them and finished in seventh place in another. He has two career wins and 14 top-10 finishes in 33 career starts on this track. Overall, he has 26 top-10 finishes and five wins in his 67 career superspeedway starts.
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It’s been a forgettable season for the No. 6 team. Brad Keselowski and Co. have no wins this season, outside of the Duel at Daytona, and only five top-10 finishes all year. However, Keselowski has shown a burst of speed over the last few weeks with two finishes inside the top 10 and one 13th-place outing in his previous four races. Over the last two races, he’s led 140 laps with 131 of them at Bristol.
Keselowski leads all active drivers with six wins on this track. Last season, he won the spring race here and finished second in the rain-shortened fall race. He suffered a rough outing earlier this season finishing 23rd in April. However, Roush Fenway Keselowski has figured something out having sent Chris Buescher's No. 17 car to victory lane two weeks ago at Bristol.
Last week, Christopher Bell snapped a streak of three straight top-5 finishes. His 34th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway came on the heels of two blown right rear tires which ended his day at lap 136. The No. 20 car has been strong as of late, even leading 143 laps at Bristol before crossing the finish line in fourth place. He’s spent at least 95% of laps inside the top 15 in four of his last five races.
Bell’s track history at Talladega is not extensive. He’s made 10 career starts on this track between all three major circuits. He started on the pole in his last Truck Series start and finished second. His best finish as an Xfinity driver was a third-place outing in his last race there. This spring, he started on the pole in his fifth Cup race here. Unfortunately, he finished that day in 22nd place.
Where to Bet on YellaWood 500 Picks
YellaWood 500 picks made 9/29/2022 at 8:55 p.m. ET