NASCAR Truck Series travels to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, this weekend for the 2022 XPEL 225. The race is slated for Saturday, March 26, and it will mark the fourth race of the 2022 NASCAR Truck Series season, succeeding the Fr8Auctions 208 and leading up to the heavily anticipated United Rentals 200.
Ahead of this weekend’s race, Chandler Smith leads the standings, having won the Las Vegas race and placed fourth last weekend in Atlanta. Close behind is Tanner Gray with 119 points, and Try Majeski in third, trailing Gray by only four points.
We’re still very early into the season, and there isn’t much to separate the top drivers, producing a very open field, which could be in for another shake-up this Saturday.
Last races records
- 2021 – Todd Gilliland
- Time, day: Saturday, March 26
- Location of the race: Austin, Texas
- Track: Circuit of the Americas (COTA)
XPEL 225 Betting Analysis
Chandler Smith is the current leader of the NASCAR Truck Series standings, and deservingly so. He had a rough start to the season with a 21st-place finish at Daytona but has since bounced back with a win in Las Vegas and a fourth-place finish in Atlanta.
But despite his solid results this season, it’s fair to doubt his chances to win this weekend. He had raced at COTA once last year and could only manage a 33rd-place finish.
Admittedly, he had a shaky start to the 2021 season but now seems to be in much better form, but that hardly warrants a bet on him.
The current second-best racer of the season, Tanner Gray, is in a very similar spot. Unlike Smith, he has yet to win a race this season, but he was far more consistent. Gray placed fourth at Daytona, fifth in Las Vegas, and ended last weekend’s race in eighth.
However, like Smith, Gray had not done well here last year, when he placed 31st. Still, his form in 2021 wasn’t that great.
Throughout the whole season, Gray has managed two top-10 finishes and one top-5, whereas he has three top-10s and two top-5s this season alone.
Todd Gilliland, who won At COTA last year, has moved up to the Cup Series, so the best-performing driver on this track that is still active in the Truck Series is Kaz Grala. He finished second here in 2021 but has not done well this season.
He skipped the Daytona race, placed 31st in Las Vegas, and did not attend the Atlanta race. Grala is back for the COTA, though, where he’ll look to bounce back and compete for another strong finish.
Last year’s third-place finisher, Tyler Ankrum, will also be traveling to Texas, seeking his first win of the season.
Across the opening three races of the 2022 season, the 21-year-old has only managed two top-20s, with a 28th-place finish at Daytona, a 16th-place finish in Las Vegas, and an 11th-place finish in Atlanta.
That’s obviously not great, but Ankrum has done well in Texas before and usually performs decently on similar tracks, so he is a man to watch, even though his name likely won’t pop up in many sports betting guides due to his iffy start to the season.
XPEL 225 Betting Preview
With no NASCAR betting odds available yet, it’s tough to pick a driver that offers much value, but regardless of how the bookies decide to price this race, it’s fair to assume that Tyler Ankrum won’t be one of the favorites and won’t be mentioned in any betting guides.
That’s fair given his lack of success this season, but he could do some damage in Texas. He drove well here last year and deservingly placed third. Obviously, there are other drivers in the field who have shown good form, but you have to take into account his past showing on the track.
He is the only remaining driver who finished inside the top-5 here (besides Kaz Grala) and is still racing in the Truck Series, which is a positive. So is he guaranteed to win? No, but Ankrumn is an excellent longshot betting pick.
XPEL 225 Betting Prediction
We already established that Ankrum is our longshot pick for the upcoming race, so it’s time to check who is our main guy. Given his form this season and a relatively solid showing here last year, it’s hard to look past Ben Rhodes as our main pick.
He will likely be mentioned in many betting guides and will be added to many people’s list NASCAR picks, and that’s completely fair. He enters this weekend’s race following a runner-up finish at Atlanta, marking his second silver medal of the year (after Daytona).
Ben Rhodes could only manage a 31st-place finish in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he has two runner-up finishes this season. Moreover, Rhodes placed 10th here last year, but he led for three laps and had the seventh-fastest car.
Having been showing excellent form and with a good performance at COTA in 2021, Rhodes is a guy that deserves mention in any sports betting guides and is definitely someone who you should keep an eye on for this weekend’s race.
Prediction: Tyler Ankrum to win
Prediction: Ben Rhodes to win