A celebration of Independence Day at Road America sounds very fitting. That is where the NASCAR Cup Series will be on July 4 for the Jockey Made in America 250. It is a little bit different to not see the Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 4 Weekend, but NASCAR officials have tried to make some beneficial changes for the sport, including more road courses to increase drama and excitement.
Road America is one of seven road courses being used and the race at IMS, which is now in August, will also use the road course layout. This is the first Cup Series race at Road America since 1956 and only the second all-time, so we have a lot to talk about for this one.
To do that, we’ll look at the odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and see if we can pick out the winner for this Sunday’s race.
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Jockey Made in America 250 Betting Odds
Chase Elliott is the +250 favorite and he has been one of the best road course racers on the circuit for the last few years. Kyle Larson, who seems capable of winning absolutely any race right now, is +350. Martin Truex Jr. is +600, followed by Kyle Busch at +900. Busch just won last weekend at Pocono on Sunday after Alex Bowman won on Saturday.
There are some good drivers at big numbers this weekend at FanDuel Sportsbook. Denny Hamlin can’t buy a win, but he’s +1400. When do you ever see Brad Keselowski at +3300 or Kevin Harvick at +2800? Those guys may not have their bread buttered in road course races, but this is a new track for most of the drivers, so it could be quite challenging.
Road America Profile
Road America is in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and is a very long 4.048-mile asphalt track with 14 turns. There is a very long front straightaway and the front part of the course is actually going to move pretty quickly for the drivers down into the Moraine Sweep. Turn 5 is where things start to get a little dicey and the drivers will have much tighter turns until they make it back through Turn 14.
The Xfinity Series has run here every year since 2010, so those drivers will be a lot more familiar with the course. That has mostly been a separate event, one of the few times during the season that the Xfinity Series is not at the same track as the Cup Series, so that could be an advantage for the younger drivers.
Who Has Had Success Here?
With that in mind, Austin Cindric won last year’s race at Road America. Christopher Bell won in 2019. AJ Allmendinger, who is in this race, was the winner at Road America back in 2013. Michael McDowell won here in 2016.
Most of the Cup Series drivers have not really been exposed to this course, so that should make for a really interesting event on Sunday and it could lend some value to the bigger prices on the board.
Sure, it is a car race and these drivers are well-versed in all sorts of different layouts and have the advantage of simulation technology, qualifying and practice runs, and stuff like that, but there is no substitute for getting behind the wheel.
Who Has Had Road Course Success?
This is probably the better indicator since we don’t have any track history data for most of the field. This is the fourth road course race of the season. Christopher Bell won on the Daytona road course in the second race of the year. Chase Elliott won the rain-soaked and shortened event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Kyle Larson was victorious at Sonoma.
As far as others that ran well, but didn’t win, Joey Logano was second at Daytona, third in Austin, and then fourth in Sonoma. That is why he is at +1200 this week. Denny Hamlin won a stage at Daytona and ran 14th in Austin and eighth in Sonoma. He was third at Daytona, but he has struggled lately.
Elliott won Stage 1 and led the most laps at Daytona and then ran second at Sonoma. He is a deserving favorite to be sure.
Kurt Busch ran fourth in the Daytona road course race and then sixth at Sonoma. Those are his two best finishes of the season. He was also sixth at Pocono and won Stage 2 in last Saturday’s race. That track has some road course elements.
Watkins Glen, Indianapolis, and the Roval are the remaining road course races after this one.
Jockey Made in America 250 Picks
Look for some big prices down the board this week. Austin Cindric is a great road course racer and he’s +4000. So is Christopher Bell and he is also +4000. Kurt Busch is also 40/1 and a guy that does well on road courses and has that savvy veteran presence that might work out well on an unfamiliar track like this.