NASFINITY time! Welcome back as I preview my NASCAR best bets ahead of the Nalley Cars 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Many unknowns plague the weekend ahead, and it certainly doesn’t help that rain came through and cancelled an entire day of track time. Nonetheless, we always find a way. So let’s figure it out.
If you read my trucks article, you saw the information about the important factors that influence the weekend at Atlanta. If you didn’t, I’ll fill you in because the information in these three important factors bodes valuable for the entire weekend when discussing bets at Atlanta.
The Aero Package
The most critical factor to consider for, not just trucks, but for the entire weekend is the aero package. Trucks are naturally engineered with high downforce and limited horsepower compared to what we typically see in the other two national series’. Xfinity boasts high horsepower and low downforce in their series.
Today at Atlanta, we’re gonna see the package from Daytona and Talladega on display which means lower horsepower and more downforce. The racing will likely share similarly chaotic characteristics as Daytona and Talladega, and Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Chandler Smith told me he believes there will likely be some wrecks due to these factors.
The ability to even consider this aero package starts with the fact that Atlanta has gone through a complete repave. This brand new surface will allow for an increased grip and decreased tire wear. This combo could allow for pack racing during the entire weekend.
I’m always skeptical of pack racing actually occurring at intermediate racetracks, especially considering what we’ve seen in the Cup Series from 2019-2021 with their 550HP package. But, if there’s a time we would see it, it’d be this weekend.
Do not fear; it will be sunny all weekend. But, Friday was a pivotal day for knowledge, data, and understanding of what we might see in race conditions – and it all got rained out.
It pushed us back a day, but with a limited practice session in the books on Saturday, here’s what I’m liking in the betting slate for today thus far.
NASCAR Xfinity Best Bets
Noah Gragson +600 to win, +200 for a Top 3
Noah has had a blistering start to the season and his car looked exceptional in practice. I think track position will be very important today as well, and Gragson’s P1 starting spot by default certainly helps his cause there. Gragson is the top play.
Trevor Bayne +1000 to win, +250 for a Top 3
It’s redemption season for Bayne, who has been excellent in his surprise return to the series. Car was very fast in practice, and Bayne has solid experience on superspeedway-style racing over the years. I like Bayne’s chances today.
Sam Mayer +1200 to win, +300 for a Top 3
Atlanta is a notable place for many first-time winners in NASCAR, and even though we’re at a different style of Atlanta, the speed of this #1 team has been great this season. He has a fast car underneath him this weekend as well; don’t be shocked if Mayer “shocks” the world today.
Sheldon Creed +1500 to win, +350 for a Top 3
In practice, one of the most aggressive drivers in traffic was Sheldon Creed. He looked to be able to navigate his car in multiple lanes very well and had good speed. Atlantadega is upon us today; watch out for the superspeedway-style racing breeding a first-time winner this afternoon.
For my full betting card with specific unit allocations, follow me @daletanhardt on Twitter here.