Goodyear 400 Picks and Predictions
It’s time for drivers to earn those Darlington Stripes. We’re in Darlington Raceway for throwback week and the conclusion of the regular season’s first half. Who will conquer the Track Too Tough To Tame is still unknown but I have a few early leans. Let’s take a look at my initial Goodyear 400 Picks.
Darlington has never been a stranger to excitement and this week that’s even more elevated. We have the post race fight between Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson. The Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin, clean or dirty, last lap pass. And of course all the chaos that ensued here last season still on the minds of fans and drivers alike.
Early Goodyear 400 Picks
All this, may, or may not play into how the Goodyear 400 pans out but I’m stoked for this race and have already began adding to the card. Just like last week at Kansas, the number of real contenders here is narrow. And right in line with throwback week, includes a couple of the sports oldest drivers.
This group includes the AdventHealth 400 winner Denny Hamlin who has won 3 of the last 10 trips to the Lady in Black. His teammate Martin Truex Jr. who won this race in 2021 and looked great before being part of the chaos last season. And of course, Mr. Kevin Harvick who has 3 career victories here and routinely runs inside the top 10.
Denny Hamlin Top 5 +100 (BetMGM) Bet 2u to win 2u
Hamlin is arguably the most consistent and competitive driver here at Darlington among his peers. He has led multiple laps in six consecutive races. Finished 5th or better in five of the last seven. And won twice here since the 2020 season.
We were on him early last week and we’re doing it again. Denny is on a bit of a heater of late, leading multiple laps in four straight, and five of the last six races. Cashing top 5s in three of the previous four events and coming off his first 2023 win at Kansas.
It’s throwback week at Darlington so I’m celebrating with an old school car finding victory lane. See the outright I’ve already bet HERE
Aric Almirola -105 vs. Austin Dillon (BetMGM) Bet 2u to win 1.9u
Dillon is a popular T10 option this week but I’d argue his numbers are kind of deceiving. He does have five T10 finishes in thirteen races here but only two of them are better than 9th. Almirola on the other hand only has two top 10 runs at Darlington. But since joining SHR in 2018, he has three other finishes in 12th or 11th in addition to those T10 results.
Austin has topped Aric in three of the last four at this track but only one was by more than a few spots. Additionally, on regular ovals it’s Almirola with the 4-3 advantage in this matchup so far in 2023. This pick is going against the mold but these two are much more equal at Darlington and in 2023 than what these odds indicate.
Featured Image credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images