In professional sports, we usually see some sort of preseason activity before we get to the meaningful action. While this doesn’t really happen in NASCAR, the closes we get is the opening race of the year, which this season is the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. This is an exhibition race of sorts and one that does not offer up any Cup Series points. It is a great way for drivers to ease themselves back into action, whilst also giving NASCAR fans a race in a spectacular setting. The LA Coliseum has been transformed into a quarter-mile track in a place that is known for football more than anything else. Given the nature of this race, it tends to be a little unpredictable, with some drivers almost certainly saving their best for the official start of the season in Daytona in a couple of weeks. It’s tough to handicap, but let’s look at some potential favorites to win the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum along with their NASCAR Betting Odds.
NASCAR Cup Series Betting: Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Race Preview
Denny Hamlin +600
Hamlin has been so close to winning a championship over the past 3 years that we are now beginning to feel a little sorry for him. He has made it into the final four in each of the past 3 seasons, but he has come up a little short every time. Might this be the year that he finally makes that big breakthrough? Only time will tell, but what we do know is that he tends to get off to a fast start in the Cup Series. He has been in the top 5 in the opening race of the season in each of the last 4 years, so you can bet that he will be primed and ready to go this weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. +600
Since winning it all in 2017, there have been few drivers as consistent as Truex Jr. In fact, he has finished 2nd overall 3 times since that championship victory. He has not traditionally been fast out of the gate in the early part of the season, but that consistency and the ability to always be among the best in the business means that he is a threat to win in every single race. Truex Jr. might well be looking to get a win here to set himself up for another big run at the championship.
Chase Elliott +600
2020 was a big year for Elliott, as he survived one of the stranger seasons ever to drive away with his first ever Cup Series title. He wasn’t able to repeat that feat last season, but he did come close, making it into the final four with a shot to win it all in the final race of the season. It is more than fair to suggest that Elliott will be coming into this season as one of the favorites to win it all again, but can he get off to a fast start that helps build some confidence?
Kyle Larson +600
You can’t have a conversation about potential race winner without having the defending Cup Series champion in the mix. Larson was nothing short of brilliant in 2021, hitting the top of the driver standings early and refusing to give up the lead. He won 4 of the last 5 races in the playoffs to become a worthy champion, and it’s not to ridiculous to suggest that the may well carry that momentum over into the new season.