Kyle Larson Favorite On The Bristol Dirt
NASCAR drivers will run on the 0.533-mile Martinsville Speedway when the flag drops for the Sunday night race beginning around 7:00 PM ET. This track banks at a 22-27 degree angle around turns and about 6-10 degrees on straightaways.
There are few drivers like Kyle Larson period. It feels like the No. 5 car can race on anything and anywhere. Arguably, that is not a joke at all. If Larson could do the 24 hours of LeMans for example, he probably would have yesterday.
Currently, Larson stands at +500 odds (+350 at Caesars). Teammate William Byron lists at +1200 (+1000 at Caesars Sportsbook). Some shorter odds exist on Caesars Sportsbook, but there exist some longer shots at +6600 like Austin Cindric.
Now, what will happen at Bristol after the sun sets?
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) April 13, 2022
The hope is that Larson and the rest of the drivers will not have to worry about any issues from the windshields. After all, tear-a-ways worked a lot better. Larson drives dirt courses on a weekly basis and knows the dynamics inside out.
|Year||Race Winner||Pole Position||Most Laps Led|
|2021||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Kyle Larson — Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Martin Truex Jr. — Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2020||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske||Denny Hamlin — Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2019||Kyle Busch — Joe Gibbs Racing||Chase Elliott — Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Ryan Blaney — Team Penske|
|2018||Kyle Busch — Joe Gibbs Racing||Kyle Busch — Joe Gibbs Racing||Kyle Larson — Chip Ganassi Racing|
|2017||Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Kyle Larson — Chip Ganassi Racing||Kyle Larson — Chip Ganassi Racing|
The race was held on asphalt until 2021 when it was shifted to a dirt surface. Race length is now just 250 laps as it was set last year.
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Can Christopher Bell Keep It On The Track?
Sports bettors were not hurt as bad last week. The Joe Gibbs Racing drivers were expected to drop off a bit in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, and the race odds as well. Sure enough, the Busch brothers finished sixth and seventh. After that, Toyota missed out on contending.
Then, there is Christopher Bell. He is one of the better dirt-racing drivers out there. Last year, he and Kyle Larson were likely two of the fastest drivers until disaster struck.
Christopher Bell entered the 2021 Food City Dirt Race as a co-favorite with Kyle Larson. https://t.co/KEJNkgw445
— Jeff Birchfield (@JBirchfieldJCP) April 12, 2022
This shapes up to be some battle between the two drivers. Can Christopher Bell keep the car on the track? After all, he did spin Larson out last year which knocked both out of contention. That paved the way for Joey Logano and the Ford’s to seize the short race in the final stage.
Food City Dirt Race Predictions & Picks
This is the second race under the lights and also the debut of the heats for 2022. Now, expect a little more chaos this weekend.
Changes in track degree angles, better weather expected to improve this year’s Food City Dirt Race. https://t.co/SY00FK2EY1
— Autoweek (@AutoweekUSA) April 13, 2022
That weather certainly has a mind of its own. Sunday night will feature a chance of early showers with steadier rain later in the night. Naturally, this can change at any time and will make picks more fluid.
The stage format is 100-100-50 for laps. Watch the changeable track conditions as far as moisture.
Here are our best bets:
- Top Pick: Kyle Larson to win (+500)
- Middle Shooters: William Byron (+1200), Chase Elliott (+1300), Daniel Suarez (+2500)
- Longshots: Austin Cindric (+6600), Austin Dillon (+4500 – Caesars Sportsbook)