There are several Cup Series drivers trying to secure one of the final two spots in the playoffs with a win. According to the latest odds for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, none of the winless drivers will achieve this goal. They are also unlikely to see chaos with another new winner, which benefits Martin Truex Jr.
Noted road course ace Chase Elliott leads the way with 4-1 odds to win for the first time at the Indianapolis road course. He is just ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson, who enters the race weekend at 13-2. Ross Chastain (8-1), Daniel Suarez (12-1), and Tyler Reddick (12-1) round out the top five.
Nine of the top 10 drivers in the odds have a trip to Victory Lane during the 2022 season. This also includes Chase Briscoe (14-1), Kyle Busch (14-1), Austin Cindric (16-1), and Denny Hamlin (18-1). The only outlier is AJ Allmendinger (16-1), who is pursuing an Xfinity Series championship and would not be eligible for the playoffs with a win.
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IMS Presents an Opportunity for Martin Truex Jr.
Truex, the 2017 Cup Series champion, is currently in a dangerous position after the first 21 races of the regular season. He is 83 points above the cutline, but he is also in the final transfer spot. If there is a new winner, he will drop below the cutline and potentially miss the playoffs.
The race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway presents a solid opportunity for Truex. If there is a repeat winner, he can continue to gain points with another consistent performance. He can also potentially secure his own spot with a win.
Truex has a history of success at NASCAR’s road courses. He has four wins at road courses — three at Sonoma Raceway and one at Watkins Glen International. Truex qualified sixth overall during the inaugural Cup Series race at IMS in 2021, but he ultimately finished15th after getting caught up in a seven-car accident during overtime.
The Other Driver Above the Cutline Has Favorable Odds
The odds certainly benefit Truex as he both pursues his first win of the season and hopes that there are no other new winners. They also benefit Ryan Blaney, the other winless driver above the cutline.
Blaney enters the weekend in a tie with Truex at 18-1. The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford also has prior experience at NASCAR’s road courses. He won the inaugural Cup Series race at the Charlotte Roval, and he has 12 top-10 finishes in 22 total starts. This includes a runner-up behind AJ Allmendinger at IMS in 2021.
Blaney is 103 points above the cutline, but he has lost ground in recent weeks. He finished 18th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after an early on-track incident that brought out the caution. He then finished 33rd at Pocono Raceway after another hard hit. Now he will try to recover some points and potentially fight for the win at a track where he has previous success.