We knew it was going to be an interesting 2022 NASCAR season as the Cup Series switched over to the Next Gen car, and that indeed was the case as 19 different drivers won a race this past year. Some people love the parity, while others think that the new setup favors being lucky rather than good.
The 2022 NASCAR postseason was interesting, with the first four races being won by non-playoff drivers. Eventually, the cream did rise to the top, with Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson winning races down the stretch.
Even with all the parity during the regular season, few people could argue that Joey Logano was an undeserving 2022 Cup Series champion. Logano had three wins during the regular NASCAR season and two in the playoffs, but now the question becomes, can he repeat in 2023? Let’s take a look at this analysis for your NASCAR bets.
What to expect in the upcoming 2023 NASCAR season?
2023 Team Changes
There has always been some swapping of teams in the offseason in NASCAR, but it’s almost getting to be like an MLB trade deadline the way drivers are realigned for the 2023 season.The biggest move is Kyle Gibbs going from Joe Gibbs Racing, where he’s been since 2008, and heading to Richard Childress Racing. This is the equivalent of Tom Brady leaving the Patriots.
Other big team changes for 2023 include Tyler Reddick leaving RCR for 23XI. This isn’t a shock because Busch was coming over, and Reddick had announced his departure in 2024, but Kurt Busch’s retirement from a full-time driver pushed up the timeline.
It’s not just ‘trades’ that are going to make 2023 interesting, but also full-time debuts. The two biggest names moving to the Cup Series full-time are Ty Gibbs, who replaces Busch at his grandfather’s JGR club, and Noah Gragson, coming off one of the more successful Xfinity regular seasons in recent memory to drive full-time for Petty GMS. A.J. Allmendinger is also returning to the Cup Series full-time for the first time since 2018.
Who Will Win the 2023 Cup Series?
It will be interesting to see if the parity of 19 different drivers winning last season calms down in year two of the Next Gen car or if that’s just how NASCAR is going to be moving forward. Logano (+650) showed a mastery of the new racing format, so he’s obviously a favorite to become the first back-to-back winner since Jimmie Johnson in 2009/2010.
The co-favorites to win the 2023 Cup Series are Chase Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson at +600. Elliott made the final four this season, and he and Larson won the Cup Series in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Other contenders for some 2023 NASCAR Cup Series future bets are Christopher Bell (+800), who was a championship four finalist after getting hot with two wins in the playoffs. Ryan Blaney (+850) will be a hot pick as well, even though he failed to pick up a win last season.
Maybe 2023 is the year that some old dogs return to top form, too, as Denny Hamlin (+1000) had two wins in 2022 but another ten top-five finishes. Maybe a change of scenery gets Busch (+2000) back on track.
Buckle up; the Daytona 500 is right around the corner.