A New Driver Takes Top Spot in Circuit of the Americas Odds

COTA

Getty Cup Series drivers race at Circuit of the Americas.

Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson has remained the favorite for the majority of races in 2022. However, a new name has taken the top spot in the odds ahead of the trip to Circuit of the Americas.

According to the opening odds for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, 2020 Cup Series champion Chase Elliott is the favorite to win at 3-1. He holds a narrow advantage over Larson at 4-1. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. (9-1), Kyle Busch (9-1), and Denny Hamlin (14-1) round out the top five.

Elliott is the defending winner of the inaugural Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas. He led five total laps, the third-most of the race, but he was in the lead when heavy rainfall forced NASCAR to call the race official after only 54 of the scheduled 68 laps.

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While Elliott won the inaugural race at COTA, his teammate had the opportunity to take the checkered flag. Larson finished second overall after leading four laps of his own, but he likely would have used more fuel to pass Elliott in the final laps if the race had gone its full distance.


Elliott’s Strategy Paid Dividends During the 2021 Race

There were several drivers that turned in strong performances in the inaugural Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas. Joey Logano led 22 laps en route to a third-place finish while Ross Chastain posted his first top-five finish of the year. AJ Allmendinger, who only made five starts during the 2022 Cup Series season, finished fifth overall.

Elliott, however, turned heads with a bold strategy. He stayed out on the track late in the race while other drivers headed to pit road. This could have posed a major issue considering that Elliott did not have enough fuel to complete the final 14 laps, but he remained at the front of the pack long enough to secure his first win of the year.

“I just kept pushing myself harder and harder,” Elliott told FOX Sports’ Regan Smith after the race came to an end. “There were some areas on track that were getting, actually, really treacherous I felt like.”

This win, which sent Elliott to the playoffs, made NASCAR history. It was the 800th by Chevrolet drivers, and it continued a unique streak by his team. Hendrick Motorsports drivers also accounted for the 400th win (Terry Labonte), 500th win (Jeff Gordon), 600th win (Kyle Busch), and 700th win (Jimmie Johnson).


A Noted Road Course Ace Will Commentate Elliott’s Race

When Elliott takes on COTA for the second time, he will have another opportunity to move up a historic leaderboard. He could win his eighth road course, which would put him in a tie for second place all-time with Tony Stewart. Jeff Gordon has the record with nine road course wins.

Smoke will actually be on hand as Elliott sets out to pursue his eighth win on a road course. The Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner will be back in the FOX Sports booth alongside Clint Bowyer and Mike Joy.

This stop in the booth will mark his third guest stint in 2022. Stewart made his debut during the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum. He returned two weeks later for the Daytona 500.

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