NASCAR Cup Series: Food City Dirt Race Betting Analysis
For the first time since 1970, when Richard Petty won the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to a dirt surface for the 2021 Food City Dirt Race. The race will be held on Sunday, March 28 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, where drivers will compete over 250 laps on the 0.858 km (0.533 miles) dirt short track. Let’s have a look at some of the favorites to win this weekend’s event so you can wager against their NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series – Food City Dirt Race Betting Preview
The Food City Dirt Race will mark the seventh race of the 2021 season, where we can expect some very interesting results, largely because so few drivers have any experience driving on anything other than asphalt. What all but guarantees an unpredictable ending, however, is the fact that in the past six races of the season, we have seen six different winners, all of whom were priced at +1000 or over – so perhaps 2021 truly is the underdog season.
Looking at the drivers who will attend the dirt race, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell stand out as two with (by far) the most dirt experience in the field, which suggests the Sunday race could turn into a duel between the two, while the rest do their best to not end the race in a wall. While Larson and Bell are definitely two drivers to watch, there are a couple more worth considering betting on, who we will look at in today’s NASCAR betting preview.
Kyle Larson – Odds to win: 3.00 (+200)
Kyle Larson’s dirt record is incredible compared to the rest of the field, so it’s not shocking to see him priced as the main favorite to win on Sunday. Not only is he second-overall in the 2021 NASCAR CUP Series standings – 43 points behind Denny Hamlin – Larson has also won the past two Chili Bowl Nationals and the Eldora Truck race in 2016, so he is definitely comfortable racing on the dirt.
And it’s not only his record on dirt that is impressive but also his form of late. He has finished top-two in two of NASCAR’s last three races and the added advantage of knowing how to race on this surface should be enough for the 28-year-old to become the first driver of the season to win two races.
Christopher Bell – Odds: 6.00 (+550)
The recent graduate from the Xfinity Series and the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion is rightfully priced as the second favorite to win the 2021 Food City Dirt Race, since he also has a good bit of experience on the dirt.
What’s more, Bell has done relatively well this season, winning in Daytona and adding two top-10 finishes in Las Vegas (seventh) and Phoenix (ninth), granted he has not done so well in Phoenix, where Bell managed a rather disappointing 21st-place finish.
Given how different driving on dirt is compared to asphalt, having experience on the surface is a good enough reason for us to favor Bell over most of the field, and the bookmakers did a fine job recognizing that.
Austin Dillon – Odds: 10.00 (+900)
Considering how high the betting odds get once you move away from Bell and Larson, almost all other drivers in the field can be considered as longshot bets, and Austin Dillon (+1000) is no exception. Despite the generous odds, however, Dillon is a name to keep in mind for this race.
The 30-year-old has competed at the Bristol Dirt Nationals last week and has proven before he knows what he’s doing on the dirt. He has also proven he is in solid form, having finished third in Daytona to kick off the 2021 season, and added a sixth-place finish in Atlanta on Sunday.
Chase Elliott – Odds to win: 15.00 (+1600)
If you are looking for a proper longshot bet, you can’t pass on Chase Elliott at +1600. You are not going to get such odds on a driver like Elliott again, and a guy like him at this price is definitely worth a shot.
He has been exposed to the dirt several times before and while he is not as successful as Bell and Larson, Elliott is a much better driver overall. We have to remember anything can happen on a track like this one and while the more experience dirt drivers will have an advantage, there are plenty of extremely good drivers in the field, who can pick up on things quickly.