Sunday night’s final race of the regular season was a spectacular event that threw up yet another surprise result, and it also saw 2017 Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr eliminated from this season’s playoffs.
The race was won by Austin Dillon, who has now gatecrashed his way into the 2022 postseason playoffs. Dillon’s win saw Truex Jr bumped out of the final playoff spot. The previous champion lost out on the final position to Ryan Blaney, who finished just three points ahead of Truex Jr to claim the last available position.
Up until Dillon took the lead and the chequered flag, Truex Jr had looked good for the 16th position. He was even ahead of Blaney at various stages of the race, including the three-hour rain delay.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 28, 2022
In short, Truex Jr probably hasn’t performed well enough across the season to qualify, and can’t really complain. But that doesn’t lessen the blow. It must feel cruel when you feel you have it in the bag, only for it to be snatched away from you on two occasions on the same day.
The full 16 remaining drivers who go into this weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway are below, along with the latest odds to be 2022 Cup Series Champion.
|2022 NASCAR Cup Series Winner|
With his points lead already substantial, Chase Elliott is the favorite with the best NASCAR betting sites to win his second NASCAR Cup Series title. The Hendrick Motorsports driver won in 2020, and he is just +275 with BetOnline to win his second title in three seasons.
Elliott’s closest rivals are 2021 champion Kyle Larson (+700), Ross Chastain (+700), Denny Hamlin (+900), and Kyle Busch (+900). Last-minute qualifier Austin Dillon is a massive outsider to win at +10000.
When do the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs start?
Great news, you don’t have to wait long as the 2022 NASCAR playoff starts this Sunday with the Cook Out Southern 500 from Darlington, South Carolina. This is the first of three Round of 16 races, with the second at Kansas the following Sunday and then the final Round of 16 race at Bristol, Tennessee, the following weekend.
Then on September 25th, the first of three Round of 12 races gets underway at Fort Worth, Texas. The opening race of this round is the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 race.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 29, 2022
After a further two rounds across the following two weeks at Alabama and North Carolina, the Round of 8 starts in Las Vegas on October 16th.
Again, there are three rounds in total. With Florida hosting the second and Virginia the third. Finally, we end with the Championship Four race at Phoenix, Arizona, in the season finale Championship Race on November 6th.
Who is the Favourite to win the Cook Out Southern 500 this weekend?
The favorite tag for the Cook Out Southern 500 is shared by both Kyle Larson (+600) and Denny Hamlin (+600). Both these drivers are ahead of Chase Elliott (+700) with the best online sportsbooks, despite trailing him in the championship. Also at +700 is in-form Tyler Reddick.
The main reason for this is down to the records of both Larson and Hamlin at this circuit. Larson finished second here last season and also has four top-3 finishes in five of his last starts at this circuit. As for Hamlin, he has won here four times in the past and is also the defending champion from last season.
- Race; Cook Out Southern 500
- Venue; Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina
- When; Sunday, September 4th, 2022
- Green Flag Time; 5 pm ET
- Laps; 367
- Distance; 501 Miles
The circuit at Darlington Raceway is also known as ‘The Lady in Black’ and ‘The Track Too Tough To Tame’ by drivers and fans alike. It is a 501 miles race consisting of 367 laps of the circuit. The course is an egg-shaped oval and is regarded as one of the toughest on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit.
Cook Out Southern 500 Betting Picks
We’re getting to the business end of the season, so from here, I expect to see the cream start rising to the top. The playoffs see a quarter (four) of the drivers eliminated from the Cup Series Championship at the end of the Round of 16, so some drivers already can’t afford any mistakes.
With the stakes high, I’m looking at the guys who are cool under pressure and the ones with a good record at this course for my NASCAR betting picks. I’m going for two drivers this weekend, and after reading the above, you won’t be surprised to find they are both among the favorites.
Kyle Larson +600
First up, I’m going for Kyle Larson. In winning at The Glen a couple of weeks back, Larson looked back to his ruthless best. He has also closed the points gap on Elliott across the past few weeks to just 21.
Yes, he had a stinker last weekend, but it was an odd race. I’m backing Kyle Larson to bounce back this week, and I make him my first betting pick to win the Cook Out Southern 500.
Tyler Reddick +700
Reddick has no comparable history to Larson and Hamlin at this circuit, but he is a man in form. With two wins and two seconds in his last nine outings, he has finished the regular season as one of the stronger drivers. Therefore I make Tyler Reddick my second pick to win at Darlington this Sunday.