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EchoPark Grand Prix Picks - AJ Allmendinger has been a road course ringer.

EchoPark Grand Prix Picks & Predictions: Dinger the road course Ringer

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It’s road course time for Nascar and for the first time since 2016, we’ll have no stage break cautions. In addition to this change, the Cup Series will be using the new reduced downforce package that was unveiled two weeks ago in Phoenix. This is the third race at COTA for Nascar and these changes definitely throw a wrench in planning for the event. Nonetheless, I still have EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Picks I like ahead of practice and qualifying.  

As mentioned above, Circuit of the Americas has only been visited two previous times by Nascar. Both races were won by Chevy drivers with Chase Elliott taking the checkered during the rainy and slick 2021 race. Then Ross Chastain smashed his first watermelon of 2022 in Austin last year.

Opening Odds for Austin, Texas

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Picks – Pre-Practice/Qualifying Values

Considering this will be the first race since 2016 with no stage break cautions, I’m throwing the yellow and being a little safe to begin the week. I did however find two bets work placing with the expectations of their number dropping after practice and qualifying.

DraftKings Sportsbook

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AJ Allmendinger +100 over William Byron (DraftKings) Bet 2u to win 2u

This is admittedly a risky play with no stage breaks and Byron in the much better equipment. That said, on paper and according to the eye test, this matchup isn’t even close.

Allmendinger left full-time Cup racing after 2018 but that hasn’t affected his continued road course prowess from showing up. He’s essentially been Kaulig Racing’s rc ringer the last two seasons. In the 11 such races, AJ finished Top 10 in seven, including COTA ‘21, and did so in the last four road races of last year.

For his part, William Byron has produced good runs on these tracks in the past but not recently. Willy B’s best finish of 2022 was 9th at Sonoma, and he has just two Top 10 finishes over the 13 road races the last two seasons.

Head to head, Byron topped Allmendinger here last year and at Sonoma. But AJ dominated their matchup topping the no.24 in the last four races of 2022. And he did so at eight of the eleven road courses both participated in the last two years.

I really don’t know how much this will actually affect the race. But Byron has never run an Xfinity or Cup Series race with no stage break cautions. While AJ having been around since 2007, has plenty of past history to pull from for strategy this Sunday. All things considered, this was an easy add to my EchoPark Grand Prix picks.

See the 30/1 Outright I already placed HERE

We took one on the chin last weekend in Atlanta with our Ambetter 400 Card. But that’s why we went light. You know what they say, everything is bigger in Texas so you can bank on this week’s EchoPark Grand Prix card being much larger.

Featured Image credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Author: Brian Twining

Just a regular guy who absolutely loves sports. I've been playing, watching, and recreationally betting on sports for over 30 years. My favorite sports to attack at the sportsbook are Football (NFL/NCAAF), College Basketball, and most recently - the NASCAR Cup Series. I'm not an "expert" and I don't have or use betting models, but I do put in the research and apply that to my wagers which are mostly backed by the trending data with of course a little, as Gibbs from the show NCIS would say "Gut Feeling" contributing to the side chosen. Sports betting should be fun and enjoyable so always play within your means and NEVER chase your losses. You can follow me on Twitter @Brian_Twining - Let's try and win some bets!