EchoPark Texas Grand Prix Picks, Odds & Predictions 5/23/2021
Race: EchoPark Texas Grand Prix
Date: Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 2:30 PM EST
Location: Circuit of The Americas
Austin, TX is the site of this weekend's NASCAR race at Circuit of the Americas. Home to Formula One's United States Grand Prix since 2012, this 3.426-mile, 20 turn road course will play host to all three NASCAR national touring series for the first time ever. While it has hosted Moto GP, Le Mans, American Rallycross, IndyCar and IMSA, this will be the first time NASCAR. When compared to the Roval races at Daytona and Charlotte, this trace is much more technical and will be a fun one to watch.
This track features an uphill turn one, hard braking zones, multiple S turns carousels and stretch on the back that will give drivers the opportunity to hit speeds upwards of 180 MPH.
Drydene 400 Recap
On a day where Joe Gibbs Racing was supposed to be the dominate team, it turned out to not be the case. Denny Hamlin was essentially a non-factor all day, Kyle Busch went down 7 laps very quickly when he thought he was having engine problems, Martin Truex Jr. had some early damage which made his car drive extremely slow, and Christopher Bell finished in the 20's.
That said, for the second straight week, Kyle Larson was dominate. While he didn't end up winning the race, he proved that one driver can dominate a 400-lap race.
Truex started the race off hot and led the way until William Byron came up and snatched the top position. Lap 35 was when a competition caution would come into play and Byron would get beat out of pit road by Kyle Larson. Larson would dominate the rest of the stage and claim his fifth stage win of the season.
In the second stage, Chase Elliott would pick up two spots during the stops on pit road between stages and claimed second place at the restart. He was the only car that was somewhat keeping up with Kyle Larson and he was still just within 5 seconds. At about the 50-lap mark in the second stage, Josh Berry got into the wall. He attempted to get to pit road before the caution, but traffic wasn't allowing it. Ryan Blaney pitted early and smartly took a penalty to start at the tail end of the group so his team could repair a tire and fix a hole in the grill. By the end of the stage, Alex Bowman earned the fourth position, ensuring that that the Hendrick Motorsports team was running 1-4 for the final laps of the stage.
The final stage was going much like the other stages in that Kyle Larson was taking care of business. However, an early caution would allow Alex Bowman to snatch the lead from Larson. He would end up holding onto this lead for the rest of the race. He ended up beating Larson by over 2 seconds. After Larson came Chase Elliott and William Byron. This was only the fourth time in the history of NASCAR that single team finished the race 1 through 4.
2021 Cup Series Standings Update
After this race, we're still sitting at 10 drivers that are locked into a playoff spot. Martin Truex Jr. leads the way with 3 wins so far this season while Alex Bowman follows with two wins. Denny Hamlin is still on the outside looking in but is dominating in points with 574. He is followed by Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Austin Dillon.
EchoPark Texas Grand Prix Odds
Chase Elliott - +225
Martin Truex Jr. - +500
Denny Hamlin - +800
Ryan Blaney - +1,000
Kyle Busch - +1,400
William Byron - +1,400
Kevin Harvick - +1,400
Kyle Larson - +1,400
Joey Logano - +1,600
Alex Bowman - +1,800
Brad Keselowski - +1,800
Christopher Bell - +2,000
Kurt Busch - +2,500
Matt DiBenedetto - +6,000
Chris Buescher - +6,600
Erik Jones - +6,600
Michael McDowell - +6,600
Cole Custer - +8,000
Tyler Reddick - +8,000
Aric Almirola - +10,000
There are two guys we love in this race and they happen to be the favorites. Elliott and Truex have been dominant on road courses. Elliott has five wins in his last nine road races and while Truex has only two, he has 5 top five finishes. Elliott is in search of his first win, and we think this weekend will be the one.
Josh's Pick: Chase Elliott - (+225)
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