A New Driver Takes Top Spot in NASCAR Championship Odds

Hendrick Motorsports

Getty Chase Elliott (left) is now the co-favorite to win the Cup Series championship.

The Cup Series championship odds have focused solely on Kyle Larson throughout the 2022 season. Now, however, a new driver has joined him as the co-favorite to win the Bill France Cup at Phoenix Raceway.

OddsChecker released updated standings during the Cup Series off-week. They noted that Chase Elliott now sits at +600 to win the Cup Series championship, giving him a 14.3% implied chance. He sits in a tie with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, who dropped to +600 after the trip to Sonoma Raceway and a 15th-place finish.

Larson has a win in the 2022 season, but he has not been a constant contender while defending his championship. He has failed to finish four races due to both crashes and mechanical issues. He was also in position to possibly contend for a win at Sonoma Raceway before the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro lost a wheel.

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Elliott’s Consistency Has Led the Way in 2022

Chase Elliott

GettyChase Elliott has locked up a series-high number of stage points.

Elliott has been the points leader in the Cup Series since the trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20. He has finished all but one of the 16 races, and he has posted top-10 finishes in 10 of them while also winning the race at Dover Motor Speedway.

One reason why Elliott has maintained his spot at the top of the standings is that he has stockpiled points throughout each race on the schedule. He has three stage wins — the second-most in the Cup Series — and he has 136 total stage points.

Elliott was in danger of losing his top spot in the championship standings. He finished 29th at Kansas Speedway, 33rd at Charlotte Motor Speedway after falling victim to the Damaged Vehicle Policy, and 21st at World Wide Technology Raceway. However, he stacked more points during the trip to Sonoma Raceway by posting a top-10 finish.

A Toyota Driver Rounds Out the Top 3

Denny Hamlin

GettyDenny Hamlin believes there will be fewer than 16 winners.

Two Hendrick Motorsports drivers sit at the top of the updated championship odds. This is fitting considering that they have won the past two championships while combining for 14 wins since the start of the 2021 season. However, there is a Toyota Racing Development driver sitting just behind them.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin currently has the third-best odds to win the Cup Series championship. He sits at +800 after 16 races and two wins, giving him an 11.1% implied chance to win the first title of his career at Phoenix Raceway.

Hamlin, who has 48 Cup Series wins, has been a contender throughout his career. He has six seasons where he finished inside the top four in the championship standings, including the past three seasons.

The driver of the No. 11 JGR Toyota Camry has never won the championship in his Cup Series career. His 48 wins without a title are the second-most all-time behind Junior Johnson, who won 50 times without winning a championship. However, oddsmakers believe that Hamlin will be in a position to contend once again at the end of the year.

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