Almost every major sport has some sort of preseason schedule that gives us a rather basic idea of who might or might not be in contention for a championship. With the NASCAR season now very much on the horizon, we can start to talk about what we can expect from the drivers in 2023. One thing that we know for sure is that this season will be the final one for Kevin Harvick, who announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2023 season. Can he finish his career on a high? Only time will tell, but on Sunday, February 5, we will get out first look at everyone, as we will have the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, which is essentially a preseason exhibition race. This will be the 2nd time this race has been held at the famed LA Coliseum, with Joey Logano winning it last year. Let’s look ahead to the 2023 running and who might be in the hunt so you can bet against their NASCAR Odds.
2023 NASCAR Betting Rundown for the 1st Race: Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum
You can’t really talk about the upcoming season without mentioning the defending champion as one of the favorites to win it all again. Logano won on this circuit last season, but he has also won the preseason opener twice in the last 6 seasons, so this is a guy who seems to enjoy getting back behind the wheel and getting off to a fast start. He has also won the Cup Series Championship twice in the last 5 seasons, winning 4 races on his way to a championship last season. Look for him to come out strong again.
Elliott has proven to be the model of consistency over the past 3 years, making it all the way to the final 4 in each of those seasons, with his lone championship win coming in 2020. This is a driver who doesn’t necessarily win a ton of races, but he always seems to be up near the front of the pack in every race, allowing him to accumulate a ton of points along the way. I’m nor so sure I would be looking at home to win this preseason race, but he is definitely a driver I would consider wagering on to win it all.
After serving a lengthy suspension in 2020, Larson bounced back with a massive season in 2021, reeling off win after win to win the Cup Series in an absolute canter. It was always going to be a tough act to follow, and while he didn’t exactly struggle last year, he will look at his 7th place finish as something of a disappointment. You can bet that Larson will want to get back to the top, so look for him to come storming out of the gate, which could potentially mean a win in the preseason opener.
Hamlin might well be the best driver in the Cup Series to never have won a championship, but he has come close on several occasions. He was on a run of 3 straight trips to the final 4 before coming up short last season, when he ended up 5th overall in the driver standings. Given his consistency, we can expect him to come into the new season looking for a fast start, so he is another one to keep an eye on in this race.