Races, Grand Prix, and Championships are won using courage and an eye for opportunity. Tyler Reddick saw an opportunity, dared to go for it, and dove down the inside, stealing the win at Kansas from Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones, claiming a spot in the Round of 12 and jumping to second in the Cup Series Championship standings.
Reddick led a top-five at Kansas, rounded out by Hamlin, Jones, Kyle Larson, and Team Penske’s Joey Logano (+1400).
With Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson guaranteed spots in the Round of 12, the Cup Series returns to Bristol for the final chance for drivers to make the cut with Martin Truex Jr., who started the playoffs as the co-top seed, facing elimination. Bangthebook has our picks to win and finish in the top five at the NASCAR Bass Pro Shops Night Race.
The Return of the Hendrick Motorsports Three-Headed Hydra?
All three Hendrick Motorsports drivers are among the favorites to win at Bristol, with Chase Elliott (+1000) joining current Championship leader Kyle Larson (+550) and William Byron (+750) as the top Chevrolet contenders to win and challenge for the top five.
Larson has one race win (2021) and two top-five finishes since the playoffs began – an identical record to his last two races at Bristol. Larson is the betting favorite and will be in the mix for the win in the dying laps.
Byron has two top-five finishes in the last four races at Bristol, with an average finishing position of 13.0. While he’s coming off a disappointing 15th-place finish at Kansas, Byron has two top-five and three top-ten finishes in his last four races, which includes a win at Watkins Glen.
Chase Elliot has four top-ten finishes in the last five races but may be receiving a boost in his chances to win last year’s results at this race, where he finished second. Elliott has one top-five and two top-ten finishes since February 2020 at Bristol, with an average finishing position of 14.0.
Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing
Denny Hamlin (+800) is leading Joe Gibbs Racing’s playoff push as Martin Truex Jr. (+1600) has faded into potential playoff elimination after two races in the Round of 16, finishing outside the top 15.
Hamlin is currently third in the NASCAR Cup Series Standings and has two stage wins and a second-place finish since the playoffs began. With a strong history and two previous wins at Bristol (2012, 2019), Hamlin has five top-three finishes in the previous eight races and will be fighting in the top five.
Teammate Christopher Bell (+800) has the same odds as Hamlin and has one top-five and two top-ten finishes in the last four races at Bristol. Bell finished eight at Kansas, his third top-ten finish in the previous five races. Notably, Bell won Brsitol’s Spring Dirt Race.
BangtheBook likes both RFK Racing drivers to compete for the win on Saturday, each having won at Bristol previously.
Brad Keselowski (+850) won this race in 2011 but has one race win and two top-ten finishes in the four races at Bristol since February 2020, with an average finishing position of 13.5. Keselowski has two top-ten finishes in the Round of 16.
Chris Buescher (+1200) won this race in 2022 and has a very similar recent record at Bristol as teammate Keselowski: he has one race win and two top-five finishes, with an average finishing position of 13.8. Buescher finished 27th at Kansas but has five top-ten finishes (four top-three) in the previous seven races.
23 XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick
Tyler Reddick’s playoff performance so far in 2023 deserves a spotlight. Reddick (+1400) has finished in the top two in both playoff races. Reddick only has one top-five finish and an average finishing position of 19.8 in the previous four races at Bristol but finished second in the Spring on the Dirt.
BangtheBook’s NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race Pick
Bangthebook is taking RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski to win at Bristol, with Larson, Buescher, Reddick, and Hamlin to complete the top five.