The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in session after taking last week off for the Easter holiday. This week’s stop at Talladega Superspeedway for the MoneyLion 300 is the only stop at the Alabama track for the Xfinity Series. The Cup Series returns in October during the playoffs, but the Xfinity Series playoffs take a break that week.
This is the third of four Dash 4 Cash events, so you won’t find Cup Series guys in the field this week. You’ll see them again on May 25 in Charlotte.
Odds are from 5Dimes Sportsbook and are posted on the right-hand side for desktop viewers and down below the comment box for mobile viewers.
As mentioned, we’re dashing for cash for the third race in a row. The Alsco 300 at Bristol, not to be confused with the Alsco 300 at Charlotte or the Alsco 300 at Kentucky, was the first. Christopher Bell won that. The second was the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond, which Cole Custer won while driving a Ford Mustang. Now we’ve got another one.
The Dash 4 Cash format prohibits Cup Series guys from racing and the field is usually limited to points-eligible guys, though we have seen guys like Ryan Preece and Harrison Burton in those races. There are a few guys that are not full-time points drivers in the field this week, like Brett Moffitt and Jeffrey Earnhardt. I actually missed it last week, but Elliott Sadler was in the field, as he has a two-race deal to run at Richmond and Las Vegas.
This is interesting. Justin Allgaier is the favorite at +500. Unless Kyle Busch or another Cup Series guy has been in the field, Christopher Bell has been the favorite. With the plate race and a track that does require a certain level of expertise, Allgaier, the most senior member of the points-eligible crowd, is the favorite.
Allgaier has had two really good runs the last two events. He led the most laps and won the first two stages at Bristol before a cut tire ended his run. He won the first stage last week, but ultimately finished third. He still has to be happy with where his team is sitting and he was second at Daytona to open the year in that plate race. He was third here last year, eighth in 2018 when he led the most laps, and second in 2016. You certainly have to respect what he has accomplished.
That leaves Bell and Tyler Reddick as co-second favorites at +650. Bell was 12th in this race last year. He’s good on intermediate tracks and the 1.5-milers, but this does present some challenges for him. He was third in the summer race at Daytona last year and sixth in the opening race this year. He was second in his final truck race at Talladega. It’s still hard to bet against him where he is and the Toyota Supra has run very well for the Joe Gibbs team this year.
Reddick has five straight top-five finishes and has a sixth at Atlanta. He actually won the second stage in Las Vegas in his lowest finish of the season. Reddick does have a Daytona win to his name. He’s been 20th and eighth in his two Talladega starts. I don’t love him here and would look to take Bell, Allgaier, and even Custer over him in matchups, though. He’s actually finding his groove on bigger tracks lately.
Custer is +750. The California native runs a Ford and Fords have done well at Talladega. See Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski for proof of that. He was only ninth last year, but he got much stronger as the season went along and he’s been really good since turning a corner at Charlotte last year. He’s already got the two wins this year. I know the plate tracks aren’t his thing, but Fords run well here, so I’d give him a nod in matchups.
The Best of the Rest
This is definitely the type of race where you want to go price hunting down the board. Spencer Gallagher won this race last year when it was the Sparks Energy 300. He was +3350 when last year’s preview was posted. A lot of things can happen here with inexperienced drivers and just the overall nature of Talladega.
The hard part is finding out who those guys could be. Furthermore, oddsmakers know that, so guys like Moffitt, Austin Cindric, and Brandon Jones are all only +1100. While Cindric and Jones are better this year than they were last year, their prices by comparison were +1350 last year. Jones actually finished second last year. Jeffrey Earnhardt is +1300. John Hunter Nemechek and Chase Briscoe at +1550 and +1650, respectively. Briscoe was +3300 last year.
Daniel Hemric, who made the leap to the big leagues, led the most laps and won the first stage before finishing 23rd last year. Don’t fall victim to Noah Gragson, who was fourth last year, but that was in the #18 of Joe Gibbs Racing, not the #9 of JR Motorsports.
Boy, this is a tough one. Allgaier has had one issue after another this season, so it seems only fair that he gets this win. I’m not going to take a +500 favorite in a race like this, though. In fact, I won’t even take Bell or Reddick here.
I’d have to at least start in the 10/1 range and that means going with a guy like Brandon Jones at 11/1. The absolute lowest price I would entertain is Custer at +750 because he’s got a Ford and Fords have run well in these plate races, but Custer also isn’t on Logano or Keselowski’s level. It’s Jones and then looking at some Xfinity Series matchups.