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NASCAR Picks & Predictions

NASCAR 2022 Pennzoil 400 Stats and Trends

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series flew from California straight to Las Vegas for the 2022 Pennzoil 400, slated for Sunday, March 6. It will mark the season’s third race, succeeding the Daytona 500 and last weekend’s WISE Power 400, where Kyle Larson continued where he left off last year and secured his first win of the 2022 season.

The upcoming race will take place on the world-renowned Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the world’s top NASCAR drivers will duke it out over the 267-lap (400.5 miles) race. It will mark the first race since 2020 after it was canceled in 2021 due to COVID, although we have seen NASCAR visit this track last season.

The sports bookies have already released the odds for Pennzoil 400, pricing Kyle Larson as the main favorite, followed by Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney. So while the bookies have set their mind on which drivers should deliver, the question remains – who should you bet on?

NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 Stats

Look Out For Kyle Larson

There is a very good reason why Kyle Larson is priced as the favorite (+350) for the upcoming race. In fact, there are many reasons for it.

He is the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion and was by far the most dominant driver of 2021. And not only was he a class above everyone else last year, but Larson has also already locked in his first win of the season last weekend at WISE Power 400, following a disappointing placement in Daytona 500, where he got caught in a crash.

Beyond his solid form, Larson also has a solid record in Las Vegas, with a win in the spring of last year. Moreover, he triumphed on tracks very similar in style to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Kansas, Charlotte, and Texas) and has finished in the top-10 in seven of his last eight races in Sin City.

Admittedly, the numbers don’t tell the whole story but is little that would suggest he can’t win next weekend. Larson is in good form and has proven before that the Las Vegas track suits him. Watch out for Larson!

Joey Logano Can Impress

Joey Logano could only manage a 21st-place finish at Daytona International Speedway but has looked much better in California, where he placed fifth. Even though he did not win the WISE Power 400, Logano was one of the fastest drivers in the field, so you should feel optimistic about his chances to impress in Las Vegas.

It’s also worth noting that Logano is a two-time champion on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with wins from 2019 and 2020. Admittedly, he has since only managed a ninth, 11th, and 14th-place finish. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Logano averages an 8.59 finish here.

Over his last 12 starts in Las Vegas, Logano has finished outside of the top-10 only twice and has locked in six top-5s. Moreover, he led 105 laps in September 2019 and 54 in February 2020, but not more than seven across the three races since then. 

So even though Logano’s last three showings in Las Vegas weren’t that great, he is still one of the most efficient drivers on the track, and if his performance at Fontana is any indication, he should be in the mix to win his third race next weekend.

Sleeper Picks To Consider

Austin Cindric leads the NASCAR Cup Series standings, thanks to his win in the 2022 Daytona 500, to which he added a solid 12th-place finish last Sunday. Now, Cindric needs to sustain the momentum going into this weekend, where he has no experience as a NASCAR Cup Series driver.

Nevertheless, he has done well on intermediate tracks before, placing fifth at the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Open at the Texas Motor Speedway, so he is not someone who we should ignore.

Austin Dillon came very close to locking in a spot in the playoffs last weekend when he finished runner-up at WISE Power 400. However, while he couldn’t win the race, Dillon still built some momentum ahead of the Las Vegas race, where he has two top-15 finishes across his last two starts.

Priced as high as +5000, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a very disappointing showing at Daytona, but he made up for it with a top-10 finish at Fontana. Now he heads to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he placed third in February 2020 and has a sixth-place finish from March 2019.

Even though Stenhouse has since only managed one top-15 (11th in March 2021), he looked very fast last weekend and could be in the mix for another strong finish on Sunday.

Betting Trends for Pennzoil 400

  • All of the last 25 winners in Las Vegas started the race inside the top-25
  • Over the last ten races, only one winner started lower than 13th
  • An average of nine drivers have led a lap across the last ten races
  • There have been an average of 20 lap changes per race since the 2012 race

Who to Bet At Pennzoil 400

When picking out a driver to bet on for the 2022 Pennzoil 400, it’s very tough to look past Kyle Larson. Admittedly, he is the favourite, and we’re not getting high odds betting on him, but there’s a perfect reason for that.

Many wondered whether Larson would be as dominant in 2022 as he was last year, and while it’s way too early to tell, Larson has already shown glimpses of greatness with his victory at Fontana last weekend. Now the question is whether Larson can recreate his performances from 2021 and go for double-digit wins?

We don’t know, but based on what we have seen from him, it’s hard to doubt his chances of securing his second victory in Las Vegas.

Another driver we would keep an eye on is Kyle Busch. At Fontana, he had a terrible start and was multiple laps down early but still ended inside the top-15. He also has a solid record at his home track, and while he has won here only once (2009), Busch has finished third in both of the races here last season.

Priced at +1100 to win and +170 to end the race inside the top-5, Busch might be worth a go on the latter market. We would even recommend an outright bet on Busch, but it will come down to how well he does in practice runs and qualifiers, knowing that Toyota weren’t that wast at Fontana, and they all had issues with their cars.

Prediction: Kyle Larson to win

Prediction: Kyle Busch top-5 finish

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