According to BetMGM, Kyle Larson enters the weekend at 7-1 odds. He is the favorite to win the final race on the two-mile configuration of Auto Club Speedway, which would be his second win in two seasons at the California track.
While a Chevrolet driver has the best odds, the Toyota and Ford camps are well-represented. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney enter the weekend in a tie for the second-best odds at 9-1. Chase Elliott is fourth on the list at 10-1.
Elliott, Hamlin, and Blaney have all been in contention for wins at Auto Club Speedway, but they have not celebrated in Victory Lane. Hamlin’s best runs were a pair of third-place finishes. Blaney’s best was a fifth-place finish in 2019 while Elliott’s best was a fourth-place finish in 2020.
The California Native Has Strong Performances at Fontana
Larson having the best odds for Fontana makes sense based on his past performances at the track, as well as the quality of equipment he will control during the final race on the two-mile configuration.
The driver of the No. 5 has competed at the California track eight times during his Cup Series career — seven with Chip Ganassi Racing. His first-ever start at the track was a second-place finish behind Kyle Busch.
Larson has four finishes outside of the top 10, which includes a 39th-place finish in 2016 due to a crash. His other four starts have resulted in two runner-ups and two trips to Victory Lane.
Larson won the 2017 race in the No. 42 Target/Cottonelle Chevrolet while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. He then won the 2022 race in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet.
2-Time Champions Have Favorable Odds
Elliott sits alone in fourth place while four drivers share the fifth-best odds at 11-1. This list features two-time champions Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, as well as playoff drivers Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick.
Busch and Logano have both achieved success at Auto Club Speedway during their championship-winning careers. The driver of the No. 22 Ford hasn’t celebrated in Victory Lane, but he has seven top-10 finishes and six top-fives in the past nine trips to the two-mile track.
Busch, for comparison, has four wins at Auto Club Speedway, which includes his first career Cup Series win. The driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet also has top-five finishes in 47.8 percent of his starts at the track. Though 2023 will be his first trip to Auto Club Speedway with Richard Childress Racing.
Bell and Reddick have far less Cup Series experience at the California track, and they have both dealt with issues. Bell did not finish either of his starts due to engine issues.
Reddick finished 11th in the 2020 race and then 24th in 2022. Though he won the first two stages and led 90 laps in the most recent race before a puncture took him out of the lead. Contact from William Byron’s No. 24 then knocked Reddick into the wall and caused extensive damage to his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.