Trends are really showing us on whom to bet on for Sunday’s Music City Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). The odds are now out for the 2nd annual race on the downtown streets of Nashville for the NTT INDYCAR Series, but if you break down some past trends, you can take advantage of the early betting window.
11 of the 13 races run this season were won by a top 7 starter including 9 of which in the top 5 at that. While Marcus Ericsson won this race a year ago from the 18th starting spot, 3 of the 4 street course events in 2022 were won by a front row starter.
Also, 5 of the last 6 race winners on the season came from the 2nd place starting spot.
That’s more par for the course in street races. With some course updates and a 2nd year here in Music City USA, I think we’ll see a cleaner race than last and one that may not see a flip in strategy due to all the carnage.
Which means qualifying is everything again.
- Josef Newgarden (+450) – He’s qualified with a top 10 in all 4 street course starts including 2 of the last 3 on the front row and 3rd in the other. Newgarden also has 3 straight top 10 finishes on these tracks including a win in Long Beach. I don’t think his odds will get any better.
- Colton Herta (+700) – Herta has 2 poles on street courses in 2022 and a 3rd and 7th in the other 2. He won the pole here last year as well and has finished in the top 8 in 3 of the 4 street races run this season too. Grab him now as he’s qualified in the top 10 in 6 of the last 7 races in general.
- Scott Dixon (+1000) – He has 3 top 10 starting spots in 4 street races this season including qualifying 2nd to Herta in Toronto in a race that he won for his 4th top 8 in-a-row on street courses this year including 2 straight podium efforts.
- Alexander Rossi (+1000) – Was +1400 in Toronto. He was 13th, 5th, 11th and 4th on 4 street course qualifying attempts in 2022. He does have 2 top 8 finishes in his last 3 and the only reason it’s not 3 in-a-row was due to a crash with Felix Rosenqvist while battling for a spot well within the top 5 late in Toronto. He’s coming off of a win and a front row starting spot at Indy.
- Scott McLaughlin (+1200) – He has a top 10 in all 4 street course starts in 2022 with a pole as well as a race win in St. Pete, 6th in Toronto and a pair of Row 5 starts in Long Beach and Belle Isle too. He also has 6 top 10 starts in his last 7 tries including 4 of the last 5 being in the top 6.
- Felix Rosenqvist (+1500) – 2 of his 4 street course starts in 2022 have seen him come from 4th and 8th respectively. With a podium in Toronto, he’s worth an early look. But be cautious. He was +2500 in Toronto so he’s already down to +1500.
- Romain Grosjean (+2500) – This is a steal. Qualified 5th in St. Pete, 6th in Long Beach and the only reason he was 12th in Belle Isle was because he crashed on his final lap. For Toronto he was 11th. He also has 3 tp 10’s over his last 6 starts on the season.
- Simon Pagenaud (+3000) – 2 of his 4 street course races in 2022 have put him in the Fast 6. He had Fast 6 pace in Toronto but a late red flag disallowed him a flier lap. He was also 10th in Long Beach. Pagenaud has 2 straight street course top 10’s on the season as well.
- Graham Rahal (+4000) – Was +5000 for Toronto. He’s had 3 starts in Row 6 or 7 in 4 road course races run in 2022. Rahal was 11th in St. Pete, 13th in Long Beach and 14th in Toronto. With 3 top 7’s in 4 street course finishes in 2022 including his last win coming on one in 2017, this is a solid early pick.
- Christian Lundgaard (+5000)– He was +10000 for Toronto but down to +5000 for Nashville. He’s started 15th, 20th, 19th and 10th in 4 street course races this year and also coming off of a Fast 6 at Indy and a runner-up in that race as well.
- David Malukas (+6000) – He was 24th, 19th, 6th and 5th in 4 street courses starts this season.
- Kyle Kirkwood (+10000) – He has 3 top 15 starting spots in 4 street course starts in 2022. While he’s in a rough stretch now, for these odds and a quick driver on these types of tracks, snag him early.
Hop On After Quals
- Will Power (+600) – Odd to have him here but 5 of his last 8 starts on the season have seen him qualify 15th or worse. On street courses in general, he’s qualified 2nd, 7th, 16th and 16th respectively. He’s finished in the top 4 in 3 of the 4 though so may be worth waiting until after qualifying for him.
- Alex Palou (+900) – He has 1 Fast 6 (Long Beach) in 4 street course starts in 2022. His qualifying efforts on them are 10th, 3rd, 18th and 22nd in 4 street races. While he has finished in the top 6 in all, his starting spot scares me off for these early odds but waiting until after qualifying may be better.
- Marcus Ericsson (+1000) – He was 8th in 3 of his 4 street course starts in 2022 and 9th the last time out in Toronto. Ericsson is the defending race winner but while he has 3 top 10’s in 4 street course finishes in 2022, none are better than 5th. 4 of his last 5 qualifying efforts have seen him start 12h or worse.
- Pato O’Ward (+500) – Street courses aren’t their strong suits in 2022. O’Ward has 1 top 10 start in 4 tries including being 16th, 11th, 5th and 15th in the 4 street races in 2022. His finishes in these 4 raecs have also been 12th, 5th, 5th and 11th respectively.
- Rinus VeeKay (+2200) – While he has 3 straight top 10 starting spots, all were on tracks not like Nashville. VeeKay was 4th, 15th, 14th and 20th in 4 street course appearances in 2022 and has just 1 top 10 finish as a byproduct of that too.
- Conor Daly (+4000) – From +8000 to +4000. He’s missed the 2nd round in all 4 street course starts in 2022 with qualifying 20th, 18th, 13th and 25th.
- Helio Castroneves (+5000) – He’s qualified 14th or worse in 3 of his 4 street course attempts in 2022 which is why he has just 1 top 15 finish in them. Also he has 6 straight starts of 15th or worse too.
- Takuma Sato (+8000) – Was 2nd in Belle Isle but 19th in Toronto, 22nd in St. Pete and 23rd in Long Beach. He had a pair of top 10 starts at Iowa but also was 18th or worse in the other 4 starts since Road America too.
- Jack Harvey (+10000) – He’s missed the 2nd round in all 4 street courses in 2022 with qualifying 23rd, 21st, 20th and 13th respectively.
- Callum Ilott (+15000) – He was 19th, 22nd, 17th and 7th in 4 street courses starts in 2022.
- Devlin DeFrancesco (+20000) – The rookie was18th, 17th, 21st and 12th in 4 street course tries in 2022.
- Jimmie Johnson (+50000) – He was 26th, 26th, 22nd and 21st in 4 street course qualifying efforts in 2022.
- Dalton Kellett (+100000) – He’s qualified 14th, 24th, 25th and 23rd this year on street courses.