Early odds list Chase Elliott as PointsBet heavy favorite for Watkins Glen


With seven road course wins and a second-place finish in his last 11 attempts, Chase Elliott is heavily favored at PointsBet Sportsbook for Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Early odds list him at +185 this week. In four previous road course races this season, Elliott has been either the favorite or second favorite each time with odds ranging from +205 to +300. His longest odds came in the most recent race at Road America after losing to teammate Kyle Larson at Sonoma Raceway.

Elliott currently sits third on the all-time winners list on road courses and could tie Tony Stewart for second with an eighth victory. Jeff Gordon leads the category with nine road course wins.

One way to view American odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet. The return on investment for +185 odds is $1.85. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a line of +300 is the same as 3/1.

The next favorite is Larson with odds of +500. In addition to his Sonoma win, Larson was in position to assume the lead at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year before that race was shortened by rain, which allowed Elliott to get to the end of the race without pitting for a final time. In his latest attempt, Larson was in contention for a top-five finish at Road America before contact from teammate Alex Bowman dropped him to 16th. Larson was the Road America favorite with +290 odds.

Martin Truex, Jr. is ranked third with odds of +700. Truex is tied for second among active winners on road courses with four. The most recent of these came at Sonoma in 2019, but in eight races since then he has only three top fives. The most recent of those also came at Sonoma this June. In his last three starts at the Glen, Truex has one win and two second-place finishes.

Watkins Glen did not host a race in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyle Busch is fourth on the list with odds of +850. He’s tied with Truex with four career road course victories. His most recent came at Sonoma in 2015. His last two attempts on this track type netted top-five finishes with a fifth at Sonoma and a third at Road America. He also challenged for a top five for most of the afternoon at Circuit of the Americas but got off-sequence on pit stops and finished 10th.

No other driver has better than 10/1 odds.

Denny Hamlin rounds out the top five with a +1200. Hamlin has one previous road course win. That came at the Glen in 2016. This year he has two top fives and an eighth on the course type.

With relatively long odds of +1600, Joey Logano may be the best longshot in the field. He also has one road course victory at the Glen in 2015, but he has come close on a number of recent occasions. He entered Road America with a four-race streak of top fives on the twisty tracks that includes second-place finishes last fall on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and this spring on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. He finished 15th at Road America.

The only driver other than Elliott or Larson to win a road course race in the past two seasons is Christopher Bell. He is listed with odds of +2200 this week after scoring the victory at Daytona and finishing second at Road America. His Daytona win came with very long odds of +6000.

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Dan Beaver handicaps NASCAR races for NBC Sports Edge.

COTA Xfinity Series results

COTA Xfinity results
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

AJ Allmendinger led 28 of 46 laps Saturday to win the Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

Allmendinger held off William Byron to score his first victory of the year and 16th in the Xfinity Series.

MORE: COTA Xfinity results

MORE: Xfinity points after COTA

Ty Gibbs placed third and was followed by rookie Sammy Smith and Justin Allgaier.

Smith, Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, who placed sixth, and Sam Mayer, who finished seventh, will be eligible for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash next weeked at Richmond after being the top four full-time Xfinity finishers Saturday.

Austin Hill remains the points leader after six races but saw his lead shrink to 15 points on Riley Herbst. John Hunter Nemechek is third in the standings with 220 points, 29 behind Hill.



AJ Allmendinger wins Xfinity race at COTA

AJ Allmendinger Xfinity COTA
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

AJ Allmendinger overcame damage from a restart to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

This is the second year in a row he has won this race. It is Allmendinger’s first victory of the season and 16th career Xfinity win.

MORE: COTA race results, driver points 

William Byron, driving for Hendrick Motorsports, finished second. Ty Gibbs placed third, Sammy Smith fourth and Justin Allgaier fifth.

Smith, Allgaier, sixth-place finisher Daniel Hemric and seventh-place finisher Sam Mayer — the top four full-time Xfinity drivers — will be eligible for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus next week at Richmond Raceway.

Allmendinger won the first stage and then pitted. When a caution came out shortly, it put him 21st in the field. On the Lap 20 restart, his car suffered damage when he was hit going into Turn 1.

Allmendinger worked his way through the field and took the lead from Sheldon Creed on Lap 33 when they made contact and Creed spun. Creed fell back to 23rd and finished the 46-lap race in ninth.

“He was struggling through the triple right-hander and I tried to make a move in the left hander and make sure I stayed off him,” Allmendinger said. “Slid in behind him and he was struggling. I popped out and thought I’m here at least. It’s just a tough angle.

“When I turned in, I thought I had a point that I was far enough alongside. He turned in. It’s just kind of a tight corner, at least the grip-side of the racetrack. If William wasn’t right behind me, I’d probably been more patient. But I kind of felt like whoever got to the lead first might be the guy that won the race. I knew that I needed to be aggressive. … It’s not what I want. I thought I was far enough along.”

Stage 1 winner: AJ Allmendinger

Stage 2 winner: Sheldon Creed

Who had a good race: Josh Berry placed eighth after suffering damage to the front of his car on the first corner of the first lap. It is his fifth consecutive top 10. … Riley Herbst‘s 10th-place finish gives him his ninth consecutive top 10.

Who had a bad race: Austin Hill, who had won three of the first five races this season, had mechanical issues early and finished 37th in the 38-car field.

Next: The series races April 1 at Richmond Raceway (1 p.m. ET on FS1)

COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins


Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

MORE: Truck points after COTA

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.