Tuesday, June 25, 2024

NASCAR Best Bets: All-Star Weekend at North Wilkesboro

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The NASCAR Cup Series heads to historic North Wilkesboro Speedway this Sunday for All-Star Weekend (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX). Twenty drivers will battle for a $1 million prize in this non-points paying event. Seventeen are locked into the main event, and the Top 2 finishers in the All-Star Open will transfer, as well as one driver by way of a fan vote.

This year, drivers and teams will have multiple tire compounds available throughout the race, providing an additional element of strategy. There are not many markets available due to the small field, so we are looking for winners this weekend in both events.

Here is what I like prior to the weekend for the All-Star Race (Odds as of Thursday, May 16).

Josh Berry to win the Open (+800)

Ty Gibbs is the heavy favorite to win the Open at +225, but there is no value in betting him at that number. I am looking at Josh Berry, who is coming off of a season-best third-place finish at Darlington. I expect tire wear to be a factor in this race, and Berry has been solid in these types of races this season.

I like the position this team has put themselves in over the last few weeks, and with Berry’s history as a short-track ace, I believe he is live to win the Open. I make him the third favorite behind Gibbs and Bubba Wallace (+500).

William Byron to win the All-Star Race (+600)

Byron has been off of the pace over the last few weeks, but a sixth place finish at Darlington has this team back on track. Martinsville is the closest track correlating to North Wilkesboro, the site of Byron’s most recent win.

Byron was one of three drivers who participated in a tire test here back in March, giving him an edge over the rest of the field on the repaved surface. Denny Hamlin (+550) is sure to be tough to beat, but Byron and co. are good enough to get the job done.

Kyle Larson to win the All-Star Race (+900)

Larson dominated this event last season, leading 145 laps after starting 16th. With Larson currently in Indianapolis for Indy 500 qualifying, Kevin Harvick will be stepping in to qualify the No. 5. This should not keep you from betting Larson, and his outright price is as good as you will see on a race weekend.

Even with an adverse starting spot, I expect Larson to find his way to the front. His domination last year was by way of pit strategy, and with the expectation that this will be heightened on Sunday, there is no reason to believe he cannot replicate his result. Plus, finishes of third at Richmond and second at Martinsville should instill even more confidence in “Yung Money.”

Martin Truex Jr. to win the All-Star Race (+1000)

I really like Truex at this price to win the main event. He has been strong at tracks with high tire wear this season, finishing runner-up at Bristol and fourth at Richmond, where he led 228 laps.

The New Jersey native has flexed on short tracks in the latter stages of his career, and this could be his best chance to score his first All-Star victory. At this price, you are getting a veteran driver who thrives in these conditions

Enjoy All-Star weekend from North Wilkesboro.

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