NASCAR at Bristol 2022: Odds, Preview and Top StorylinesApril 16, 2022
NASCAR at Bristol 2022: Odds, Preview and Top Storylines
The most unique race on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit returns for a second year on Sunday.
The Cup Series turned Bristol Motor Speedway from a concrete short track to a dirt track.
The Food City Dirt Race was introduced last season as part of an overhaul to the race schedule that added more disciplines, including more road courses.
Joey Logano is the reigning champion of the event. He and the other competitors come into Bristol with a different set of expectations than last year because they are using a new car.
Logano had one of the faster cars in Friday's practice session, and he is one of the top five favorites to win the race.
Kyle Larson is listed as the favorite to win because of his extensive history on dirt tracks on smaller circuits.
Larson is looking to extend the dominance of Hendrick Motorsports in the 2022 campaign. Hendrick captured four of the eight race victories.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kyle Larson (+600; bet $100 to win $600)
Christopher Bell (+800)
Tyler Reddick (+900)
Joey Logano (+900)
Denny Hamlin (+1100)
Kyle Busch (+1200)
Chase Briscoe (+1200)
William Byron (+1500)
Chase Elliott (+1500)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+1600)
Alex Bowman (+1800)
Ryan Blaney (+1800)
Martin Truex Jr. (+1800)
Will Kyle Larson Cash in as Pre-Race Favorite?
Kyle Larson resides in his normal position of pre-race favorite for Sunday night's event at Bristol.
The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion proved to be the most versatile driver in the field last season on his way to the title.
Larson ran into some difficulties during the first Bristol dirt race and finished a few laps behind Logano.
The driver of the No. 5 car should carry a little extra motivation from that lack of success to put himself near the front of the field on Sunday.
Larson also has the benefit of driving the best car on the circuit. Hendrick Motorsports flexed its success early in the season with four wins in eight races.
Larson has two other top-10 finishes to go along with his victory. His teammates have combined for three more wins and 13 top-10 placings.
The Hendrick driver opened his weekend in Bristol by finishing sixth in the Friday practice session. He was the second fastest Chevrolet car behind Tyler Reddick.
Larson and the other drivers will have a better idea of where they stand after Saturday's qualifying session, but the initial returns show that he will be in the mix for the checkered flag.
Toyota Looking for Strong Finish to Short-Track Swing
The Toyota cars came into the three-week short-track swing in need of positive results.
Denny Hamlin kickstarted the manufacturer's season with a victory at Martinsville two weeks ago. That is a track that Joe Gibbs Racing thrived at over the last few years.
Hamlin and his teammates did not gain much ground last week at Richmond, as William Byron and Chase Elliott had a hold on the lead from the start.
Hamlin opened the weekend at Bristol by throwing down the top time in practice. Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell, two of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, also placed in the top five.
That is a positive development for the Toyota cars, but it does not mean they will be at the front on Sunday night.
They still have to go through the qualifying session and navigate the issues that come with driving on a dirt track. One mistake could drop any car far down the field.
If Toyota continues its success this weekend, it will view the short-track stretch as a turning point in its season after some average results in the first five races.
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