3 Important Tips for Betting on a NASCAR Race

Betting on a NASCAR race can appear deceptively easy. Just choose the cars with the best qualifying times, right? Or maybe you can pick a winner by studying a driver’s past performance. Take Clint Bowyer, for example. Between 2012 and 2017, he went 190 races between wins and was often several laps behind the leaders. So, this is a driver you’d want to avoid betting on in 2018, right? In both cases, you’d be wrong.

Qualifying Times Can Be Deceptive

During qualifying, crew chiefs want to make sure their cars can post the fastest time possible for one lap. So, they will set their vehicles up in what is known as qualifying trim. This means that they’ll use various tricks of the trade in order to achieve the best qualifying time and starting position possible. For instance, a crew chief might tape up a car’s grill openings to increase its aerodynamics, which will — in turn — create additional downforce on the vehicle and also help it to gain more speed. In reality, though, if a grill opening was restricted in that manner during a race, the car’s engine would quickly overheat.

Insiders in the garage rely on a different indicator of whether or not a car is set up properly to win a race. They will look at the long-run (10- to 15-lap) times posted by a driver during the final practice before a race. Why? Because it is during this last session that crew chiefs work on perfecting their race-day setups. One caveat: If the weather is very different on race day than it was during the practice session, there is a good chance that a car’s setup will no longer be right. In effect, relying on qualifying times is not the only variable to consider when placing sports bets on NASCAR races.

Restrictor Plate Races Are Longshot Heaven

If you love winning big on longshots, then make sure to bet on a no-name racer at a restrictor-plate race. Restrictor plates are used to slow cars down for safety reasons at superspeedways where cars can reach dangerous speeds. Currently, there are only two tracks where these plates are used — Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. One of the side effects of using restrictor plates? All of the cars end up going the same speed in a big pack, which means that if a driver makes even a tiny mistake, he’s likely to wreck and take out a lot of other cars with him. And that is why most drivers have a love-hate relationship with restrictor-plate racing. Any driver — no matter how talented or experienced — is at risk of getting swallowed up in a huge crash. But also, literally, just about any driver can win a restrictor-plate race so if you are interested in higher ROI sports bets, this could be an area to research when it comes to NASCAR races.

Think Team Rather than Driver

Many casual NASCAR fans, and even some ardent ones, don’t understand the important role that a NASCAR team plays in a driver’s success. It’s easy to assume that a driver is talented because he wins all the time or is terrible because he runs at the back of the pack. But every now and then, a driver will switch teams and all of a sudden that “horrible” driver is suddenly winning.

Clint Bowyer is a good example. Driving for a low-budget team and then adjusting to a new one, Clint Bowyer went 190 races between wins. But now that he is driving for Stewart-Haas Racing, he is a consistent contender to win. Then there’s young Alex Bowman, who was a perennial back-of-the-pack racer until he earned a spot with Hendricks Motorsports. So before placing a bet on a driver, always do your due diligence and check to see what team they are driving for.

And, finally, always keep in mind to place your bets with your head and not with your heart. In other words, don’t choose a driver just because you or others like them. A driver’s popularity often has very little to do with their ability to win a race. Take Chase Elliott, for example. Blessed with an endearing “aw shucks” personality and the son of Bill Elliott — one of the sport’s most famous drivers — Chase is currently NASCAR’s most popular driver. Yet, as of June 2018, he had not won a single Cup points race. On the other hand, Kyle Busch is very unpopular with fans, but is a talented driver who wins a lot of races.

At Oskeim Sports, we perform our due diligence when it comes to sports betting advice. Placing wagers on sporting events of any kind takes research and discipline. You certainly don’t want to place sports bets with your mind moving at 200+ MPH like a NASCAR vehicle, you need to remain steady and use logical reasoning combined with analytical data. Learn more about Oskeim Sports today and how we can help turn your sports betting hobby into a profitable investment!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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