Early odds list Chase Elliott as PointsBet favorite for Indy road course


Chase Elliott is once again the favorite on a road course at PointBet Sportsbook for Sunday’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (1 p.m. ET, NBC).

Finishing second last week at Watkins Glen International, Elliott now has seven road course wins and two runner-up finishes in his last 12 attempts.

Those results have him listed at +200, which is slightly higher than he opened last week. In early odds for the Glen, Elliott was listed at +185. Last week before finishing second, Elliott had to come from the back of the pack twice, once for a penalty in inspection before the race and once after pitting off sequence with a flat-spotted tire.

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 +200 odds is $2.00. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a line of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Last week’s winner, Kyle Larson is ranked second with odds of +340, which are considerably lower than he opened at the Glen. For that race he was +500 on Tuesday and showed only a minor adjustment to +450 by the weekend. In the closing stages of last week’s race, Larson managed the gap between his car and Elliott’s to earn his second road course victory in the past three races.

With that win, Larson joins Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. (four wins), Kyle Busch (four) and Kevin Harvick (two) as active drivers with more than one road course victory.

Truex is ranked third at +775 after finishing third last week. He also was third at Sonoma Raceway, but his other three road course races this season ended in finishes of ninth or worse. His effort at the Glen extends his record there to four consecutive top-three results.

Busch is fourth on the list with odds of +1100. While that is significantly higher than the +850 he faced at the Glen, it is in the same general range as where he opened at Road America. For that race he was +1200 at the beginning of the week before his line moved to +850 on the weekend. Busch enters the weekend with three consecutive top-five finishes on road courses.

No other driver has better than 15/1 odds.

Denny Hamlin rounds out the top five with a +1500. He now has three top-fives and an eighth in five road course races this year as he seeks his first victory of the 2021 season. Hamlin has one previous road course win. That came at Watkins Glen in 2016.

Last week Joey Logano was noted as an interesting dark horse with +1600 odds at the Glen. His race there was marred by contact from teammate Brad Keselowski when the No. 2 car experienced brake problems during the race. Logano entered Road America with four consecutive road course top-fives and finished 15th. His poor finish of 22nd at the Glen has him listed at +2200.

Christopher Bell also spun at the Glen after contact from Larson while the two battled for second. Bell was able to overcome the spin and finish seventh. He too is listed at +2200, which is the same line with which he opened the Glen.

Part-time Cup drivers AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric are listed at +2500 and +2800 respectively. Both have superior records in the Xfinity series and should be regarded as potential dark horses.

Allmendinger won the 2014 Watkins Glen race and finished fifth at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year.

Cindric has run well in the opening laps of the two road course races he entered at the Cup level, but has a best finish of 25th at Circuit of the Americas.

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Dan Beaver handicaps NASCAR races for NBC Sports Edge.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at goprn.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly clouldy with a high of 74 degrees and a 9% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying is at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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Dr. Diandra: With Chase Elliott out, these are the best Next Gen road racers

Drivers to watch at COTA

North Wilkesboro’s racing surface will prove challenging to drivers 

NASCAR Power Rankings: Christopher Bell is new No. 1

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


Saturday will be a busy day at Circuit of the Americas, as all three national series are on the track.

Cup will qualify ahead of the Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series races.

The forecast Saturday calls for sunny conditions and no chance of rain all day. The high is expected to be 69 degrees during Cup qualifying, 76 degrees at the start of the Truck race and 81 degrees for the start of the Xfinity race.

Zane Smith looks to win his second consecutive Truck race at the road course in Austin, Texas. AJ Allmendinger seeks his second consecutive Xfinity win at COTA.

Saturday, March 25

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m.  — Truck Series
  • 2 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (42 laps, 143 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 5 p.m. — Xfinity race (46 laps, 156 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.