NASCAR runs six super-speedway races every season. Logistically, one plate race will be scheduled during the playoffs. For entertainment purposes, one plate race is scheduled during the playoffs. It might not be the best method for determining a champion, but it’s a fun method. Here are the best bets for the NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 at Talladega.
The Talladega fall race can be calm. Daytona has no shot at avoiding chaos. The Talladega playoff race can feature conservative racing. However, it only takes one move on one lap for that to go out the window. With this possibility always being present, it only makes sense to chase the long shots. The right NASCAR best bet for a super-speedway race can make a bettor’s season. The favorites usually win, but occasionally a long shot comes through. Look no further than the 2023 Daytona 500 or the 2022 Daytona 500.
Race Winner — YellaWood 500 at Talladega
Bubba Wallace +1400
His odds aren’t the longest, and there’s a good reason for that. Bubba Wallace is an above-average driver in good equipment. He’s also a very good plate racer with the stats to back it up. Wallace has been statistically better at Daytona, but he has a win at Talladega (rain-shortened race). An argument can be made that Wallace is a good pick at Daytona and not so much at Talladega, but a super speedway is a super speedway. Both of these races have finish rates around 50%. No other tracks have that type of volatility. Talladega and Daytona are the same. Setting luck aside, if a driver can perform at Daytona, then they can perform at Talladega.
Todd Gilliland +6500
Front Row Motorsports has always had a strong super-speedway program. Michael McDowell (+2800) won the 2021 Daytona 500 and David Ragan — with help from his teammate and Todd’s father, David Gilliland — won at Talladega in 2013. They have earned plenty of top-10 and top-5 finishes at the plate tracks over the years.
Gilliland may not stand out as an elite plate racer, but he is more than competent. He’s earned a top-10 finish in the last two Cup Series races at Talladega. In the lower series, Gilliland won an ARCA race at Talladega and has two top-3 finishes in four Truck Series races at this super speedway.
Race Winner — YellaWood 500 at Talladega
Harrison Burton +10,000
Ignore the stats. They’re ugly. Actually, take a peek. Burton has finished 25th or worse in nine of his 12 super-speedway races. He couldn’t do worse if he tried. Plate racing is typically a 50/50 affair. At some point, the odds have to swing back his way. Why not at Talladega? The Wood Brothers have always been strong at super speedways. Ford has won two of the last four super-speedway races — Joey Logano (+1600) in the spring Atlanta race and Chris Buescher (+1200) in the summer Daytona race. This is probably not worth a large investment, but a small wager on the long shot in above-average equipment is worth a small wager at the very least.
Chase Elliott +1400
If long shots seem like a waste of money, then consider a favorite. Elliott won at Talladega last fall. He also won the second race at Atlanta’s super speedway in 2022. In this season’s summer race at Daytona, Elliott finished fourth. He’s due for a win and his plate racing performances have been extremely consistent. He’s earned a top-15 finish in eight of the last 10 super-speedway races. The two DNFs came at the more volatile Daytona International Speedway.
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