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2022 NASCAR Cup Series: Enjoy Illinois 300 Picks and Predictions

The 2022 Enjoy Illinois 300 is an upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race scheduled for June 5 at World Wide Technology Raceway (known as the Gateway Motorsports Park) in Madison, Illinois. The track was formerly and still is in use for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the Toyota 200, which was previously a standalone race on the series’ schedule. Check the Enjoy Illinois 300 Betting Picks below.

But the race got added to the NASCAR 2022 schedule for the first time. The talks about the track hosting a Cup Series race started in 2021, and the plans came through, as the race now replaced one of the two races at Pocono Raceway.

The race will be 300-miles and 240 laps long, with the drivers competing over the three stages, split into 45, 95, and 100 laps around the 1.25-mile oval circuit.

Since this is the first time a Cup Series race will take place, there isn’t much data to work with when making our NASCAR picks. However, that doesn’t mean there are no NASCAR betting opportunities for us to look at.

Enjoy Illinois 300 Betting Picks

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson has only one race victory so far this year, but he has been driving extremely well. He had a chance to win last weekend’s race, but he finished ninth following the caution, which is still a solid outcome. It marked his eighth top-10 of 2022, with five top-5s to go along with it.

Admittedly, Larson has had some slip-ups this season, but he has been very fast over the last few weeks, and had he not crashed in Darlington, he would have now been at a six straight top-10s ahead of the Illinois race. Some might even argue that Larson should have won in Darlington.

Either way, Larson has been performing well lately, and he has looked very confident doing so. There are other drivers in the field who have shown a bit more lately, but Larson definitely has the car, the talent, and the motivation to compete for his second W of the season.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has had a horrendous start to the season but has had four straight top-10, which is seriously impressive, and there is little that would suggest he can’t keep his streak going. He might not be the NASCAR betting favorite for Enjoy Illinois 300, and that’s fair. But Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a live underdog to make a splash.

He placed second at Dover, eighth at Darlington and Kansas, and has landed in seventh last weekend in Charlotte. Not the best figures, but Stenhouse Jr. has been improving, and that is all you can ask from someone who is priced as one of the outsiders.

His 47 car has looked very fast of late, suggesting that Stenhouse Jr. should have a very strong performance this weekend. Whether he can actually win is anyone’s guess, but at the offered betting odds, he is one of our favorite longshot picks for 2022 Enjoy Illinois 300.

Aric Almirola

Aric Almirola has had a very strong start to the season, but he hasn’t done much since the fifth race of the year and is not outside of the playoffs contention, sitting in 14th place. Almirola kicked off the year with a fifth-place finish at Daytona, and he added two top-six places at Fontana and in Las Vegas, but success has been fairly limited for him since then.

Over the last five races, Almirola has not placed higher than 11th and is fresh off a 17th-place finish at Charlotte. Given his struggles and clear lack of form, Almirola might not be everyone’s favorite driver heading into the Enjoy Illinois 300, but he might be a solid longshot pick.

Almirola needs to start winning races or at least start collecting points, so motivation is surely there. And if Almirola can find only a fraction of the form he has been showing early, he should be in the mix for a top-10 finish – or maybe even higher.

Enjoy Illinois 300 Betting Trends

Since the 2022 Enjoy Illinois 300 is the first NASCAR Cup Series race on the track, there are no betting trends or figures we can work with. There are, however, a few drivers who competed on the track in the Truck Series, namely Ross Chastain, who won here in 2019.

Enjoy Illinois 300 Betting Prediction

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola are two outsiders who we expect will do well this weekend, but the two have not shown enough yet for us to consider as potential winners. A top-10 for both isn’t entirely outside of realms of possibility, but anything more is wishful thinking.

Instead, we’re on Kyle Larson to win his second race of the season in Illinois. We don’t know how the track will suit him since he has yet to race here, but if there is one driver that will adapt to a new track and new challenges, it’s Larson.

Moreover, he is in great form and has been very quick over the last few weeks, proving to the world that he is still a serious threat for the Cup Series title. He’s still a bit short of breaking into the top three on the 2022 Cup Series ladder, but if he can keep driving like that, it’s only a matter of time before he does.

Another victory or two would definitely help him, and there is very little to suggest that he won’t come this weekend. At the offered NASCAR odds, Kyle Larson is a no-brainer pick to win the 2022 Enjoy Illinois 300.

Prediction: Kyle Larson to win

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