Kyle Larson’s Late Win at Watkins Glen Shakes Up Championship Odds
This past Sunday we saw Kyle Larson take his 2nd win of the season, beating out teammate Chase Elliott for the win in the last restart. This has slightly impacted the championship odds, but more importantly, the standings, as it makes the race for the last playoff spot even more interesting with neither Ryan Blaney nor Martin Truex Jr. winning at the Glen.
In this article, I will be covering how Kyle Larson won this race, and then how this race affected the championship betting odds and the current NASCAR standings. So, without further ado, let’s talk about how Larson pulled off this late race win.
Breaking down Kyle Larson’s 2nd win on the season
Larson finally ended his streak without a win this weekend, taking home back to back Watkins Glen wins on the weekend after winning in the Xfinity series as well. He seemed to be in form early in the season after a win at Fontana in the 2nd race of the year, but then did not win a race since then until this past weekend.
This race primarily came down to the last restart with 5 laps to go, where Larson and Elliott lined up on the front row, with Elliott on the outside. This led to a dramatic entrance to turn 1, where Larson locked up due to braking late, pushing Elliott wide, and taking the lead in the process.
This sparked some debate among the Hendrick Motorsport fans obviously, as these drivers have a history of getting scrappy for wins, specifically against each other.
Larson held on for the early portion of the race with a wet track, and every driver starting out on the wet weather tires. Eventually he worked his way onto the front row for the last restart, and held off A.J. Allmendinger for the last 5 laps to get his second win on the year.
How did this race affect the title odds and standings
This race did not necessarily have too much of a heavy impact on the standings in terms of the top drivers. Chase Elliott did take home the regular season points championship after the first stage, sitting atop the leaderboard with 4 wins and 922 total points.
In terms of Larson, he jumped from the group of 1 win drivers (9th to 15th in standings) to the top of the 2 win driver group (2nd to 8th in standings) and now sits in 2nd place in the championship standings.
In terms of betting odds for the championship, Larson went from 13-2 odds before this race to 6-1 odds after the race, a pretty hefty jump up the leaderboard with Elliott only slightly ahead at 11/4 (entered the race at 5-2). The top 10 of the championship odds currently are in the following order:
- Chase Elliott (+275)
- Kyle Larson (+600)
- Ross Chastain (+800)
- Denny Hamlin (+800)
- Kyle Busch (+900)
- Kevin Harvick (+1200)
- Christopher Bell (+1500)
- William Byron (+1500)
- Tyler Reddick (+1500)
- Ryan Blaney (+1500)
Overall, this race impacted the standings mostly for the last playoff spot, which is currently still open. The spot will come down to the last race, as there is a good chance that if someone not currently in the spot wins this final race at Daytona, they will take the last spot points wise as long as they are relatively close.
This will lead to an extreme battle this coming weekend for the last spot, just like last year for the last 2 spots.
The current opening odds for the Coke 400 have Chase Elliott at the front with +1000 odds, then Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, and William Byron wrapping up the top 5. Martin Truex Jr, the other competitor for the last spot on points, is currently 12th in odds to win at +1800 compared to competitor Ryan Blaney who opens at +1200.
The final race of the regular season is always chaos, especially at Daytona with playoff spots still open for the taking. It should make for an exceptional weekend of racing, and is a must watch for any fan.
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