At the 11th hour, the Xfinity Series found a sponsor for this weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Say hello to the Production Alliance Group 300. This race will consist of 150 laps around the two-mile track. The Xfinity Series will be idle next week when the Cup Series heads to Martinsville.
This is the fifth race of 26 set for the regular season. The next race, which takes place at Texas Motor Speedway on March 30, will also seem as a qualifying race for the first Dash 4 Cash event. The three races in April and the first race of May will be Dash 4 Cash events. No Cup Series drivers can run those events, so we’re getting into a sweet spot on the schedule for the points-eligible guys.
Odds are on the right-hand side for desktop viewers and below the comment box for mobile viewers as we look at the Production Alliance Group 300 with help from 5Dimes.
Kyle Busch is in the field this week. Kyle Busch is the favorite at -145. This will be the third straight Xfinity Series race for Busch and he is looking for his third straight win. He led the most laps at both Las Vegas and Phoenix en route to the win. Stage wins went to Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick at Las Vegas and to Austin Cindric and Christopher Bell at Phoenix, but the all-important wins went to Busch.
This development is suboptimal for the Xfinity Series guys. As mentioned last week, Busch only won once in his seven starts last year. Over the previous two years, Busch won 15 of his 27 races. Busch is 16-for-34 over the last three years. This is an oversimplification of odds and implied probabilities, but 47.06 percent would be +112.
Busch actually hasn’t won in his last three tries at California at this level, but has been in the top three each of those years.
Oh, yeah, and he’s a four-time winner of this race.
Here is the Xfinity Series, wins can be tough to come by. Austin Dillon won this race in 2016. Outside of that, dating back to 2009, Busch has four wins, Joey Logano has two, Kyle Larson has two, and Kevin Harvick has one. In other words, the Xfinity drivers haven’t stood much of a chance in this race in the past.
This week, Busch is the only Cup guy that they have to worry about. Christopher Bell is the closest thing to a Cup guy in the Xfinity Series and he is the second favorite at +450. He could have won last week, but went into the wall after another driver’s engine blew in front of him. That wreck also took out Justin Allgaier. That made it real easy for Busch to win.
Speaking of Allgaier, he’s the fourth favorite this week at +1050. Cole Custer is +780. Nothing against the 21-year-old, but he has two wins in more than two full years of Xfinity Series starts. It is really, really hard to take him at any price point under double digits. Anytime there is a Cup Series guy or two in the field, it adjusts Bell’s price, making him just about the only guy worth taking.
Cats, Bags, Etc.
So, with that in mind, are there any value guys or did I let the cat out of the bag? Look, it’s NASCAR. There is always the chance that somebody else wins. Allgaier had five wins last year. Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Preece, and Chase Briscoe had wins. Tyler Reddick had wins at Daytona and Homestead. John Hunter Nemechek won at Kansas.
It happens. Of the regular season races that weren’t Dash 4 Cash events or solo events, Cup Series guys had 13 wins. That means we exclude the four Dash 4 Cash events, Iowa twice, Road America, and Mid-Ohio. Of those 18 races, Cup guys won 13. It’s a tough sell when any are in the field. Fortunately, there is only one this week.
You can look for some value bets in races without Cup Series guys. For now, when those guys are present, your options are basically Cup guys, Bell, or Allgaier.
It’s hard to lay -145 with Kyle Busch, but he’s 2-for-2 in the Toyota Supra at this level. Justin Allgaier ran really well here last year and Christopher Bell runs well just about everywhere. It would be nice to have something creative or outside of the box for you here, but it’s just too hard to find given how top-heavy this field is.