NASCAR returns to the hard surface this week, traveling down the road to Ridgeway, Virginia for the NOCO 400 at Martinsville. It’s time to continue our NASCAR odds series with a NOCO 400 prediction, pick, and how-to watch.
The 2022 edition of this race was shorted to 400 laps, which will be run again this year at this length. Last year it was William Byron holding off Joey Logano in overtime to take the win. Byron is the current favorite to win this again, but top points leaders Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson lurk behind him. Byron and Alex Bowman have just been docked 60 points by NASCAR, so they should be motivated to get those back this week. The race is on a short paper-clip-shaped track that will sure be action-packed, and provide a perfect afternoon of racing.
Here are the NASCAR Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NASCAR Odds: Food City Dirt Race Odds
William Byron: +600
Christopher Bell: +650
Kyle Larson: +650
Denny Hamlin: +650
Chase Elliott: +700
Martin Turex Jr: +850
Joey Logano: +850
Ryan Blaney: +1100
Kyle Busch: +1200
Ross Chastain: +1600
Brad Keselowski: +1800
Alex Bowman: +2000
Kevin Harvick: +2000
Tyler Reddick: +2800
Chris Buescher: +3000
Chase Briscoe: +4000
Ryan Preece: +4000
Aric Almirola: +4000
Daniel Suarez: +4000
Bubba Wallace: +5000
Austin Dillon: +5000
Ty Gibbs: +6000
Austin Cindric: +6000
How to Watch Food City Dirt Race
Stream: Fox Sports App
Time: 3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PT
*Watch Nascar LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Favorites To Win NOCO 400:
The conversation for this race has to start with William Byron. First is his performance here last year. He was in second place during the first two stages of the race, but dominated the last 212 laps, leading all of them and securing the victory. This is nothing new for Byron at this track, as he has six top-ten finished here, including that win and a runner-up finish. Byron is also having a great year. In his eight races this year he already has three top tens and two wins. He does also have two races he did not finish in, and in a short track that could happen again.
If weather becomes an issue, as there is currently a 60% chance of rain, Kyle Larson becomes someone to watch heavily. Larson has run well in rain in the past. Last year he got a runner-up and a win in wet conditions, the best on the field. Larson was also one of just five drivers to test out the wet weather tire from Nascar. He did well in those tests and has shown he can perform in less-than-perfect conditions. On the season Larson has a win and three top tens, looking to improve on that record.
Christopher Bell just got his first win of the year last week, and the young driver is looking to add to it. He has a positive record here in Martinsville, with three top-ten finishes. Two of those were in the truck series though. With the three victories last year and the one last week, Bell has won five times now in the series. He is the second quickest to five victories to start his career. He has top tens in six of his eight races this year and is a solid pick to deliver a win at the NOCO 400.
Joey Logano has won five poles at Martinsville which is the most among active drivers. He is also the owner of the track record for speed in qualifying. He has two runner-up finishes at this track, and nine top-fives all time. There is one issue, he drives a Ford. This is not a knock on Ford, it’s just a fact that a Ford has not won this race in the last seven tries. Still, Logano is good at rebounding in his career. Last week he got last in the race, being involved in an early wreck. In his career, Logano has consistently bounced back from bad performances. The only question is will it be enough the win?
Another man to watch out for is Martin Turex Jr. His performance on the season does not suggest he will be anywhere close to the win, with only two Top Tens this year. Turex Jr. does not even have a point on the season so far. So why pick a driver that has done so badly this year? Track record, literally. Turex Jr. has been in the top five in seven of the last 11 races on this track. Out of the last seven races in Martinsville, he has won three of them and led laps in two of those races he lost. He is just good on this track, and if history serves, he could be a nice pick to win.
Sleepers To Win NOCO 400:
Speaking of track record, Ryan Blaney has it here. Blaney did well last spring, leading in the first two stages, but finishing 11th. He has been a runner-up twice here and has two top-five finishes past that. Blaney has not had the best season, with three top tens and a top five, plus, he drives a Ford, but he has been good enough. Combined with what he has done recently and his track record Blaney’s odds are a long shot, but he may be worth it in this one.
If you want the biggest longshot possible, the answer is Ty Gibbs. Gibbs has been in the top ten just three times in the year and has an average finish position of 16.857. That is why he is sitting at +6000. He is still young, just twenty years old. He won at this track on the Xfinity series just last year. Last spring, he got fourth in the Xfinity race on this track. In his last three races, he finished ninth and has shown a massive improvement since the start of the season. The safe bet for him maybe to take him at Top 10 and then throw a Top 5 on there as well, but if you want to live on the edge, pick Ty Gibbs to win it.
NOCO 400 Prediction & Pick
This is going to be an entertaining race through and through. Short tracks are always fun and action-packed. Action can be very bad for drivers though, for at any moment, they can be wrecked and be out of the race. The main factor seems like a coin flip. If there is clear rain, the lean is more Bell and Larson, but if it is dry, go elsewhere. Winning back-to-back is very difficult in a race, and while Byron has been solid here, take him as a Top 5. Joey Logano gets his bounce back here. He will not lead the most laps but will win the race.
NOCO 400 Prediction & Pick: Joey Logano +850
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