Picking a winner in NASCAR on any given weekend is tough. After all, there are countless things that can happen within a race that can change the outcome in the blink of an eye. For bettors, it is possible to look back at past performances of drivers on a specific track and get an idea of how they might perform, but this week at Bristol, all of that goes out the window. Instead of tearing around a paved oval, the drivers will be hitting the dirt, with the Bristol Motor Speedway transformed turned into a dirt track for the weekend. While this seems to make the choice of picking a winner seem that much tougher, there is one driver who appears to have a bit of an edge. Let’s take a closer look at the favorites for the Food City Dirt Race so you can continue making your bets against their NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series: 2021 Food City Dirt Race Odds & Picks
Kyle Larson (+200)
After a tumultuous time of it in 2020, Kyle Larson is back in the NASCAR fold and making an impact in the early part of the season. Larson spent most of last season sidelined after making a racial slur during an online event, and then came into this season with no sponsors and a lot to prove to the people who felt the ban should be longer. Larson has been brilliant through the opening 3 weeks, but that time off may help him here, as he raced in a lot of dirt events outside of the NASCAR circuit last year. Larson has also traditionally performed well in the Truck Series dirt races at Eldora Speedway, so he is the one to beat here.
Christopher Bell (+550)
Bell is another driver who has made a solid start to the season, with one win already under his belt through the opening 6 races of the year. That, though, is not the only reason why the bookies have him in among the favorites. Like Larson, Bell has had a ton of experience racing trucks in the dirt. Sure, racing a car is a little bit of a different experience, but not so much that he can’t translate his skill on dirt tracks behind the wheel of a truck to the race on Sunday. Definitely another driver worth considering when it comes time to wager.
Austin Dillon (+900)
As you can begin to see, the usual favorites for a Sunday race are nowhere to be seen, which is not that surprising given the nature of this race. Earlier in the week, when asked about potential threats to win this race, Kyle Larson mentioned Austin Dillon. There is a very good reason for that, and you only need to go back a few days to find out what that reason is. Dillon took part in the Bristol Dirt Nationals last week and had himself a solid outing, winning 3 times over the few days that the event was held. He also won at the inaugural dirt race at Eldora Speedway in the Truck Series back in 2013.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+1000)
Stenhouse Jr. is another one who comes into this race with some dirt experience under his belt, as he was a regular racer in the ARCA Series events. He has been doing his homework ahead of this one, running dirt laps in his iRacing simulator. While that is certainly not anything like the real thing, his experience on this surface could well come into play.