Okay NASCAR Betting buffs, with the 2018 season steamrolling into North Carolina for Saturday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, it’s time for another expert pick in what has been a series of winning predictions for me already this year.
With a shot at winning $1 million riding on the outcome of this event, and based on the latest motor-sports lines, let’s find out who the likely winners are of this restrictor-plate race this coming weekend.
17 drivers have already qualified for this year’s big race thanks to a victory in the past two seasons or a previous All-Star Race win. A handful of other drivers will have a shot to qualify by either winning one of the three stages in the Monster Energy Open or by winning the All-Star fan vote.
NASCAR Betting Preview & Predictions for 2018 All-Star Race
- Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Date: Saturday, May 19
- Time: 8 p.m. ET (3-stage Open begins at 6 pm ET)
- Length: 80 laps (extra stage added)
- TV: FS1
- Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Qualified drivers for 2018 All-Star Race
- 1. Ryan Blaney (2017 Pocono win)
- 2. Clint Bowyer (2018 Martinsville win)
- 3. Kurt Busch (2017 Daytona 500 win)
- 4. Kyle Busch (2017 Pocono win)
- 5. Austin Dillon (2017 Charlotte win)
- 6. Denny Hamlin (2017 New Hampshire win)
- 7. Kevin Harvick (2017 Sonoma win)
- 8. Jimmie Johnson (2017 Texas win)
- 9. Kasey Kahne (2017 Indianapolis win)
- 10. Matt Kenseth (2017 Phoenix win)
- 11. Brad Keselowski (2017 Atlanta win)
- 12. Kyle Larson (2017 Auto Club win)
- 13. Joey Logano (2017 Richmond win)
- 14. Jamie McMurray (Former All-Star Race winner)
- 15. Ryan Newman (2017 Phoenix win)
- 16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2017 Talladega win)
- 17. Martin Truex Jr. (2017 Las Vegas win)
This year’s event will mark a first as NASCAR will go to four stages instead of three for this race. The first will be 30 laps, followed by two 20-lap stages. The final stage is a 10 lap free-for-all. Again, this is a restrictor plate race much like the ones we see at Daytona and Talladega.
Another first will take place with cars in this year’s field featuring a six-inch spoiler, a front splitter and aero ducts that are meant to increase the chances that drivers can pass one another. Last but not least, this year, stages can only finish under green flags as yellow flag laps will be discounted in the fourth and final stage.
Kyle Busch brought home the bacon at this event a year ago and he could potentially add another $1 million to his purse if he successfully defends his title. Busch is off to a great start this season with three wins, ranking second only to Kevin Harvick’s mind-boggling five victories.
“For us, being an all-star and being in the All-Star Race is one of the most fun things we get to do each year,” Busch said recently. “I’d say the Clash is another one of those and, with the All-Star Race, they are certainly two fun races where we get a chance to go after just a win and bring home the checkers or end up on the wrecker.
“It’s an exciting night and there’s a lot of energy there. It gives you the opportunity to run that many qualifying laps in a row. That’s all you’re doing – you’re giving it all you’ve got every single lap.”
With no points on the line for this event, the annual all-star race is an all-out mad dash to the finish line and is one of three Monster Energy races on the schedule every year.
“There are a million dollars on the line,” said Clint Bowyer. “How do you think we’re going to race? It’s $1 million. Think about that – $1 million on the line. It’s about money and a trophy.”
NASCAR Betting Odds to Win the 2018 All-Star Race
- Kyle Busch 5-1
- Kevin Harvick 6-1
- Martin Truex Jr. 8-1
- Kyle Larson 8-1
- Ryan Blaney 10-1
- Brad Keselowski 12-1
- Joey Logano 12-1
- Kurt Busch 12-1
- Clint Bowyer 15-1
- Denny Hamlin 15-1
- Chase Elliott 18-1
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 20-1
- Jimmie Johnson 25-1
Top Three NASCAR Betting Picks
Martin Truex Jr.
Truex Jr. won the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte in 2016 while leading a record 392 of the 400 laps in the race. Truex Jr. also won the Bank of America 500 last fall but is 0-for-6 in the All-Star Race with a runner-up in 2010 as his best finish.
“Since this year’s All-Star race won’t offer much help for the Coca-Cola 600 due to the rules package, the only goal is to win it,” said Truex, who is 8-to-1 to win. “It’s an all or nothing race. It’s not about points, it’s not about anything else. It’s just about going for the million bucks.”
Harvick is having an insane season and it could continue seeing as how he won this all-star race in 2007 while also winning the Coca-Cola 600 in 2011 and 2013 while also claiming the Bank of America title in 2014.
Kyle Busch won this event a year ago, but his brother Kurt is the better pick here seeing as how he won this race in 2010 and also took the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600 that year.
“It’s going to be crazy,” said 2010 All-Star Race winner Kurt Busch. “It’s going to box us all in like we’re at a superspeedway, but we’re at a mile-and-a-half. So, are guys going to be shoving into a three-wide hole when they know they can’t get out of it? That’s going to be the question.”