The final Round of 16 NASCAR Cup Series playoff race takes place on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Bristol Motor Speedway. The drivers will cover 500 laps under the lights while fighting for spots in the Round of 12. Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch currently has the best odds to take the checkered flag and reach the Round of 12.
BetMGM released early odds for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race and listed the Joe Gibbs Racing driver as the favorite to win. He enters the race weekend with 9-2 odds, better than Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson (5-1). Denny Hamlin (6-1), Chase Elliott (8-1), and Joey Logano (10-1) round out the top five. Though Kevin Harvick sits in a tie with Logano for the fifth spot.
The Bass Pro Shops Night Race will take place on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage as 16 drivers fight for a spot in the Round of 12. Larson, Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr. all have secure spots, but the rest have work to do over the course of 500 laps.
Cut Line Drivers Face Steep Odds To Win at Bristol
Several drivers will enter the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in immediate need of points — or even a win — to move on to the Round of 12. Alex Bowman (-0), Tyler Reddick (-5), William Byron (-18), and Michael McDowell (-38) are all in immediate danger of elimination while Kurt Busch (+0) and Aric Almirola (+3) sit just above the cut line.
Busch has the best odds among these drivers at 16-1. Byron is just behind him with 20-1 odds, in a tie with his teammate in Bowman. Reddick is farther back in the pack at 33-1 odds while Almirola faces 50-1 odds.
McDowell currently faces the steepest odds to win at 500-1. He finished the first two Cup Series playoff races 37th and 28th, respectively, due to issues on the race track. His only path forward in the playoffs is to win at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Harvick Will Showcase a New Scheme Under the Lights
The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang sits in a solid position overall entering the final Round of 16 race. He is 25 points above the cut line and ahead of multiple other playoff drivers. Now Harvick will fight to move on in the playoffs while showcasing a new paint scheme.
SHR revealed in late August that Subway would return to the NASCAR Cup Series and sponsor Harvick for two races. The first will be the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick will head to the track in a green and yellow Ford Mustang with massive Subway logos on the sides before embracing the chaos.
“The vibe at the Bristol Night Race is always over the top. It’s always a great event,” Harvick said in a press release sent to Heavy. “You really never know what to expect at the Bristol Night Race. It can go completely smoothly or it can be complete chaos. Usually, it’s somewhere in between those two and you just have an exciting night.
“Bristol is intense every lap. There’s just a lot happening every single corner to make good lap times at Bristol. There’s always something happening in front of you, so you try and look as far ahead as you can to keep yourself out of trouble. But the best way to keep yourself out of trouble at Bristol is to be on offense and going forward, so hopefully we can do that.”