Last Updated: 2019-06-25
The Camping World 400 is this week’s main event at Chicagoland Speedway. The Camping World 300 is this week’s Xfinity Series event. That means that the drivers will run 67 fewer laps, barring overtime, around the 1.5-mile track on Saturday. One big Cup Series name is in the mix and he is the clear-cut favorite this week, but the odds are pretty spread out otherwise for the 15th race of the Xfinity Series season.
Odds are on the right-hand side for desktop viewers and below the comment box for mobile viewers for this Saturday’s race.
Back on Track
The Xfinity Series is back in action after skipping last week. The top “minor league” for NASCAR got a rare Sunday billing on Father’s Day at Iowa Speedway because the Cup Series was idle. Last week, the Cup Series was at Sonoma and the Xfinity Series took a break.
The two race circuits will be together each of the next four weeks before they go their separate ways on July 27. The Cup Series will be back at Pocono again and the Xfinity Series will be in Iowa.
There are 26 races in the Xfinity Series regular season, so we’re well past the halfway point. The next week off for the Xfinity Series won’t be until the second weekend of October, which falls between the Round of 12 and the Round of 8 in the playoffs.
Variance Be Damned
Since Kyle Busch won at Texas, there have been three Xfinity Series winners. Christopher Bell won the next week at Bristol. Cole Custer won at Richmond. Tyler Reddick won at Talladega. Bell won at Dover. Reddick won at Charlotte. Custer won at Pocono. Reddick won at Michigan. Bell won at Iowa. That’s it. Michael Annett is the only other points driver with a win and he got it in the opening race at Daytona.
Both Bell and Custer won earlier in the season, with Custer’s sandwiched by Busch victories. Reddick has a huge points lead with 649. Bell is second with 598, followed by Custer, Justin Allgaier, and Austin Cindric. Allgauer has four stage wins. Cindric has one. Ryan Sieg has one. That’s it. The top three have mostly dominated this season at the Xfinity Series level.
Interestingly, Busch is the only non-points driver with a win. He won at Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Texas. He’s also one of the few big-name drivers to race. Brad Keselowski has run twice and failed to finish the race both times. Austin Dillon has three starts and has been a non-factor. Chase Elliott ran at Daytona and that’s it.
So, it has been relatively smooth sailing for the top three drivers.
A Chevy Contrast
The Cup Series race at Chicagoland has been dominated by Toyota since the automaker came on the scene in 2007. Toyota ahs a lot of wins here, but four of the six have been by Kyle Busch. Erik Jones won in 2016. Chevrolet drivers have won the last two races, with Justin Allgaier’s checkered flag in 2017 and Kyle Larson’s last year. Larson and Busch are not in the race this year.
The only noteworthy Cup Series driver running this week is favorite Joey Logano at +130. He’ll be vying for Ford’s first win in this race since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won in 2012 and just the third win for Ford overall dating back to the inaugural race in 2001.
Reddick drives a Chevy. Bell drives a Toyota. Custer drives a Ford. Given what we know about this track, Bell is the pick this week among the points-eligible crowd, but Chevy has held its own at the Xfinity Series level, so that is a big storyline going into this one.
Rookie-o and Joliet
I don’t know, I guess that headline works. The (R) next to a driver’s name doesn’t stand for Romeo. It stands for Rookie. Those rookies have shown flashes, but they haven’t been able to break through. Chase Briscoe has six top-five finishes. John Hunter Nemechek has two, including a runner-up on a 1.5-mile track. Noah Gragson has three, all on bigger tracks, including the huge track at Michigan.
You’d like to think that one of these guys could get one. It would likely have to come on a bigger track, as they just aren’t as accomplished as the top racers. Does this week set up as one of those chances? The prices are good for them. Briscoe is +3300, with Gragson and Nemechek both +6600. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to spread a unit across those three drivers, maybe with Briscoe at .5 and the others at .25. I don’t think it’s outlandish by any means.
Even with Logano in the field, I’ll take Bell at +320. Logano’s presence probably adds a little bit of equity to Bell because oddsmakers have to respect the Cup Series guy. I’m also good with the one-unit strategy on Briscoe, Gragson, and Nemechek. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Reddick won his fifth race, but we can’t just go betting on all the favorites. It’s hard to make money that way.
Pick one of Bell or Reddick and then try the rookies and you should end up with a good shot on Saturday.
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