Prime Sports NASCAR weekly picks update from Atlanta and a look ahead at COTA

NASCAR’s wild start continues. 28-1 Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500. 18-1 Alex Bowman won in Vegas while 50-1 Chase Briscoe (Phoenix) and 18-1 (William Byron) won last Sunday in Atlanta. Kyle Larson was only 4-1 in his Fontana win to resemble any sort of relevance this year.

Unfortunately, we all did hit Larson but only CJ hit among the 4 sleeper winners. I mean, for the ones that have won this season, why pick them in general?

Cindric, was a rookie in the Daytona 500. Of the previous 63 Daytona 500 races, only eight times has a driver posted his career-first NASCAR Cup Series victory with a win in the event. Also, only 2 drivers have ever won the Daytona 500 in their first appearance. That was Lee Petty (1959 inaugural race) and Trevor Bayne (2011). 

So why would anyone side with a rookie?

Same for Bowman in Vegas. He had 1 top 5 in 8 prior starts there including both last year being 27th and 22nd respectively.

Same for Briscoe two weeks ago. He said Phoenix used to be his worst race track and his results last year as a rookie in Cup there were 22nd and 35th respectively.

In Atlanta, Byron was 0-for-5 in top fives. He won. CJ benefitted from that too and gained $20 in moving to -$95. He picked 1st and 2nd place on Sunday. Eric and Greg elected away from Byron for normal reasons and it cost them $100 more as Eric falls to -$335 and Greg -$400. Eric had Chastain in 2nd with Greg having Kurt Busch in 3rd.

Now it’s to COTA to where if you base stats/trends off of the past few years, this would be Hendrick Motorsports’ to lose. They went 1-2 here last year and have combined to win 9 of the last 11 road course races in general.

Also, HMS has won 3 of the 5 races run this season and if you go back to a year ago, 8 of the last 10 overall.

They all say that this new car will greatly improve the road course racing because this car has an emphasis on left and right hand turns. It changes everything. So, does that change HMS’ dominance?

They went 1-2 in COTA, 1-2 in Sonoma, 1-2 in Watkins Glen and 3-4 in Indy just last year. Chase Elliott has won six of the last 11 road course races in general with the only four that he didn’t win being last February in Daytona when he led the most laps but was screwed for a caution being displayed for rain in which he was going to cruise to an easy victory. The other was a runner-up in Sonoma and Watkins Glen as well at Indianapolis to where he had a top two car that day before the last race chaos.

Kyle Larson won 3 of the 7 road course races himself last season.

Does the Next Gen car take away their past advantages though?

Counting Joe Gibbs Racing, them and HMS have combined to win 11 of the last 12 road course races

Throw in Furniture Row Racing (Martin Truex Jr.) who was aligned with JGR, these three teams have won 14 of the last 16 road course races. The only ones they didn’t win was when Ryan Blaney (Team Penske) was victorious in 2018 on the Charlotte ROVAL when Truex was crashed in the final turn on the final lap as well as AJ Allmendinger stealing the way at Indy last August when Denny Hamlin was spun while leading coming to the white flag or else it would be 16 straight.

The thing is, Joe Gibbs Racing hasn’t won in any of the last 11 races. They’re reeling right now. Can they turn it around?

Race Odds

2-1…C Elliott (CJ, Greg, Eric)

3-1…K Larson (Eric)

10-1…Kyle B (Greg) and M Truex Jr.

14-1…A Cindric (CJ)

16-1…AJ Allmendinger, C Bell (Greg), C Briscoe (CJ) and Hamlin

19-1…R Blaney (Greg) and W Byron

25-1…R Chastain (CJ, Greg) Eric and J Logano (CJ

30-1…A Bowman and T Reddick (Eric, Greg)

50-1…Kurt B (Eric, Greg)

70-1…K Harvick

80-1…C Buescher and E Jones

100-1…C Custer, A Dillon, K Grala, J Haley, B Keselowski, M McDowell and D Suarez (Greg)

200-1…A Almirola and R Stenhouse Jr.

300-1…H Burton and D Wallace Jr.

ECHOPARK AUTO GRAND PRIX PICKS: RACE 6

CJ Radune

C Elliott…2-1…$60 ($120)

A Cindric…14-1…$10 ($140) 

AJ Allmendinger…16-1…$10 ($160)

C Briscoe…16-1…$10 ($160)

R Chastain…25-1…$5 ($125)

J Logano…25-1…$5 ($125)

RECORD: 3 for 5

TOTAL: -85

Eric Smith

C Elliott…2-1…$50 ($100)

K Larson…3-1…$37 ($111)

R Chastain…25-1…$5 ($125)

T Reddick…30-1…$5 ($150) 

Kurt B…50-1…$3 ($150) 

RECORD: 1 for 5

TOTAL: -335

Greg DePalma

C Elliott…2-1…$40 ($80)

Kyle B…10-1…$10 ($100)

C Bell…16-1…$10 ($160)

R Blaney…19-1…$10 ($190) 

R Chastain…25-1…$10 ($250)

T Reddick…30-1…$7 ($210) 

Kurt B…50-1…$10 ($500) 

D Suarez…100-1…$3 ($300) 

RECORD: 1 for 5

TOTAL: -400

ARCHIVES

QUIKTRIP 500 PICKS: RACE 5

QUIKTRIP 500 WINNER: William Byron

CJ Radune

R Blaney…10-1…$21 ($210) …7th

K Larson…10-1…$21 ($210) …30th

J Logano…11-1…$11 ($121) …9th 

Kyle B…12-1…$11 ($132) …33rd

W Byron…12-1…$10 ($120) …1st 

C Elliott…12-1…$11 ($132) …6th

C Briscoe…18-1…$10 ($180) …15th

R Chastain…25-1…$5 ($125) …2nd 

RECORD: 1 for 1

TOTAL: +30

Eric Smith

R Blaney…10-1…$21 ($210) …7th

K Larson…10-1…$11 ($110) …30th 

Kyle B…12-1…$15 ($180) …33rd

D Hamlin…12-1…$15 ($120) …29th  

K Harvick…14-1…$10 ($140) …21st 

T Reddick…16-1…$7 ($112) …28th  

R Chastain…25-1…$5 ($125) …2nd  

B Keselowski…25-1…$5 ($125) …12th

E Jones…40-1…$3 ($120) …14th 

D Suarez…50-1…$3 ($150) …4th   

R Stenhouse Jr…50-1…$3 ($150) …31st 

C Buescher…70-1…$2 ($140) …7th 

RECORD: 0 for 1

TOTAL: -100

Greg DePalma

R Blaney…10-1…$36 ($360) …7th 

K Larson…10-1…$9 ($90) …30th  

Kyle B…12-1…$10 ($120) …33rd

K Harvick…14-1…$15 ($210) …21st   

T Reddick…16-1…$15 ($240) …28th   

Kurt B…20-1…$10 ($200) …3rd  

A Dillon…30-1…$5 ($150) …35th 

RECORD: 0 for 1TOTAL: -100

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