2023 Pala Casino 400 Race Preview & Best Bets: Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick Worth Investing In

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Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet during the NASCAR Cup Series 65th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

NASCAR Pick: Kyle Busch to Win (+1100) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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The Daytona 500 started this year’s NASCAR season last Sunday. While this week’s race isn’t nearly as prestigious, it feels good to get back into the flow of betting on NASCAR races. The drivers are the same, of course, but there are already indications of the degree to which different drivers are in good or poor racing form.

The top California betting sites have released their odds for the upcoming Pala Casino 400. For reasons that I will explain, you should invest in two drivers to win this race. Of course, only one driver will win the race, but the odds are so attractive that we can afford to invest in the most reasonable option plus a longer shot that can net us even greater profit.

NASCAR Cup Series: Pala Casino 400

Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 02:30 PM EST at Auto Club Speedway

Last Week’s Race 

The Daytona 500 took place last week to open the regular season. This race experienced two overtimes, making it the longest one ever, amounting to 212 laps and 530 miles.

After a total of 53 lead changes in the race and a wreck on Lap 212, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. emerged as the winner with Joey Logano the first driver behind him. Because winning consecutive races is such a rare and difficult feat in NASCAR, we should cross out Stenhouse Jr. from our list of candidates to win Sunday’s upcoming race.

Race Info 

This week is the Pala Casino 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Drivers must complete a total of 200 laps for this race. As is normally the case, there will be three stages.

  • Stage 1: 60 laps
  • Stage 2: 60 laps
  • Stage 3: 80 laps

Entry List and Starting Lineup

The entry list for NASCAR’s weekend race typically gets published by the middle of the week. For this race, 36 teams/drivers out of 40 possible spots are listed. So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we already know which drivers will participate in the race. We may expect all the usual suspects. The starting lineup, that gets determined via qualifying.

Track Info 

  • The Auto Club Speedway is two miles long
  • 200 laps that add up to 400 miles
  • Turns are banked at 14 degrees
  • Front stretch is banked at an unusually high 11 degrees
  • Back stretch is banked at three degrees
  • D-shaped oval runs on an asphalt surface

Drivers to Avoid 

One driver worth avoiding investing in is Martin Truex Jr. He failed to finish in the top ten at his last two races on this track. Historically, he is all over the place in terms of his usual finishing position here. While he has won at the Auto Club before, he has also failed to finish in the top 30 on three occasions.

There are drivers with more consistent and overall more successful track records at this venue. One of those drivers is Denny Hamlin but only by the slimmest of margins. He has not proven that he can win at this venue before. In fact, his last top-five finish came back in 2016.

A driver with a more successful history here is Brad Keselowski. But it is concerning that he left Team Penske and then finished 27th in his last race here. He had enjoyed a nice run of races here as a member of Team Penske.

My Guys 

I find that Kyle Busch is the most reasonable option to pick to win—I am truly surprised that he is not favored to win on Sunday. We are getting value with Busch, who has top-three finishes in seven of his last 10 races at this track. Busch has won four times in his career here, which is two more than any other driver.

In addition to Busch, it is worth investing in Kevin Harvick. He is consistently competitive here, and that gives him a better chance than other drivers to pull off a win. Specifically, he is enjoying a run of three straight top-10 finishes. For your NASCAR betting picks, invest in Kyle Busch and Harvick to win.

NASCAR Pick: Kyle Busch to Win (+1100) at Bovada

NASCAR Pick: Kevin Harvick to Win (+2000) at Bovada

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Kevin Harvick to Win (+2000)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.