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NASCAR predictions and odds for Sunday's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond. Who should we be backing in the Federated Auto Parts 400? NASCAR handicapper Phil Bobbitt gives us his best bet for the race.

NASCAR Predictions and Odds: Is it Time to Bet on Chase Elliott in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond?

The "Worldwide Express 250" Camping World Truck Series race just finished up and we learned a ton. We took a 1-1 split on the card. Chandler Smith dominated the race, leading every lap in the final two stages and taking the checkered. Corey Heim was our other head-to-head play but was a tough-luck loser against Ty Majeski. Heim finished fifth while Majeski brought er' home in third.

Here's what we know. Clean air is king. There were zero passes on the track for the lead. As we described in our earlier article, tires wear out at Richmond Raceway winner faster than the flavor in Zebra Stripe gum. If a driver loses

track position due to a bad pit stop or an error on the track, making it up may be next to impossible. On other circuits, teams could elect to take two tires as opposed to four to make up lost spots. Some could elect to stay out and skip a pit cycle altogether in order to make up ground as Ryan Blaney did at the Indianapolis Road Course. On Sunday though, if a driver skips a pit cycle and runs on tires that are off-cycle, they'll be burnt toast.

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NASCAR Predictions - Federated Auto Parts 400

Chase Elliott to finish higher than Kyle Busch @ +100 (Bet $100 to win $100)

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I won't get into the boring stuff and too many numbers here, simply because it's late. But, there are a few things that stick out in the comparison of these two drivers. At New Hampshire earlier this year where Elliott finished runner-up, he performed well while leading yet was still speedy while in traffic. Keep in mind, that Elliott had not performed well at New Hampshire historically.

Kyle Busch always had Loudon circled on his calendar. This was one of his playgrounds. However, his data shows that he did not have great speed in traffic or in clean air. This may represent a shift.

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The Joe Gibbs Racing camp has also struggled on the road courses this season. Although these two racetracks differ in about 4,000 ways, one thing they do have in common is the heavy braking into the corners.

Our model has Elliott ranked six spots ahead of Kyle Busch. Ironically in qualifying, Elliott (23rd) placed six positions higher than Busch (29th). Although they are both buried deep in the field, we think Elliott will have the pure speed to compete, while Busch may struggle to stay on the lead lap early in the race. We saw that during the truck race this evening, and Busch will be under the gun almost immediately.

Elliott can also take solace in knowing that his three teammates all qualified inside of the top-5. The top-5 only includes one Toyota. The bowties have speed, and the Toyota Camp has some stragglers!

Kyle Busch has also been dealing with a myriad of distractions. He is set to become a free agent next year, and he has no idea where or even if he will have a ride in 2023. He has finished outside of the top ten in 8 straight races. Chase Elliott has finished in the top-10 six times over the same timeframe, winning three times and finishing second twice more. This is clearly a picture of two drivers on different trajectories.

Bet Elliott.

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Article Author


Phil and Steve are lifelong buddies from the Philadelphia area. They specialize in all things motorsports and turned in a 131.3 unit profit in 2021.


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