The odds-on favorites to win Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway are a ’Who’s Who’ among NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs contenders. In fact, the top six are drivers chasing the coveted crown of ‘2022 NASCAR Cup Series Champion.’
A victory by any playoffs driver in the event, set for a 1:00 p.m. CDT start on the mammoth 2.66-mile unpredictable venue during the second race in the Round of 12, will automatically put that driver into the Round of 8.
Leading the way at +1200 are four former Talladega winners representing eight victories. They include three-time TSS victor Joey Logano, two-time winners Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney, along with 2019 GEICO 500 winner Chase Elliott. William Byron, who was runner-up in the spring of 2021, and reigning premier series champion Kyle Larson, whose best finish at ’DEGA came earlier this year when he was fourth, join the group at +1200.
Playoffs drivers’ Ross Chastain, who took home the GEICO 500 trophy at Talladega earlier this year, along with DAYTONA 500 Champion Austin Cindric, are at +1500. Longshot of drivers in the Playoffs? Chase Briscoe at +3000.
Twelve times in the history of Talladega has a driver won his first NASCAR Cup Series career victory, the last by defending YellaWood 500 Champion Bubba Wallace. If looking for a driver to pull off the feat again this year, all you have to do is look at drivers who have won in the Cup Series at the 33-degree banked track, but also in other series.
2017 GEICO 500 victor Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., is at +4000 while Justin Haley and Noah Gragson are at +5000. Haley is a two-time winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Talladega while Gragson took the checkered flag earlier this year in the Ag-Pro 300 Xfinity Series race. At +15000 are Todd Gilliland (2019) and Ty Dillon (2011), who both have a triumph at Talladega in the ARCA Menards Series.
A list of the top 22 odds-on-favorites by DraftKings is below. NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs contenders are in bold (along with specific Talladega results).
- Chase Elliott +1200 – Won 2019 GEICO 500 at Talladega
- Ryan Blaney +1200 – Two-time Winner at Talladega, both by .007 seconds
- Denny Hamlin +1200 - Two-time Winner at Talladega
- Joey Logano +1200 – Been to TSS’s Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane three times
- William Byron +1200 – Runner-up in 2021 GEICO 500
- Kyle Larson +1200 – Career best finish of fourth earlier this year in GEICO 500
- Ross Chastain +1500 – Won earlier this year at Talladega in GEICO 500
- Austin Cindric +1500 – DAYTONA 500 Champion looking for first Talladega win
- Tyler Reddick +1500 – Won 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega
- Bubba Wallace +1800 – Defending YellaWood 500 Champion
- Kyle Busch +1800 – 2011 winner at Talladega
- Christopher Bell +1800 – Fifth in last year’s YellaWood 500
- Kevin Harvick +2000 – Tasted victory at Talladega in 2010
- Brad Keselowski +2000 – Leads all active winners with six TSS triumphs
- Martin Truex, Jr. +2000 – Won three straight NASCAR Xfinity Series races (2004-06)
- Alex Bowman +2000 – Second to teammate Chase Elliott in spring 2019
- Austin Dillon +2500 – Hoping to get the No. 3 back in TSS winner’s circle (last in 2000)
- Daniel Suarez +2500 – Best finish of 10th in 2018
- Aric Almirola +3000 – Winner of the 2018 YellaWood 500
- Chris Buescher +3000 – Has a pair of sixth-place results at Talladega
- Erik Jones +3000 – A DAYTONA winner looking for first Talladega triumph
- Chase Briscoe +3000 – Three starts with 11th best result in the spring of 2021
Great tickets remain for the anticipated event and fans are urged to call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com for opportunities.
Fans can get an up-close spot to see the activities prior to the start of the YellaWood 500 with the purchase of a Talladega Garage Experience admission, which allows fans to see Driver Intros, Driver Q&A sessions, the Driver Red Carpet Walk, the race cars up close inside the team garage bays, plus much more. For more information, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com
While the YellaWood 500 culminates an action-packed NASCAR Playoffs Tripleheader Weekend, things kick off Friday afternoon (at 2:30 p.m. CDT) with qualifying that will determine the starting lineup for both the Sparks 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and Chevy Silverado 250 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Saturday’s festivities get under way 11:30 a.m. CDT with the drop of the green flag for the Chevy Silverado 250, followed by the Sparks 300 at 3 p.m. CDT.
Multi-Platinum singer-songwriter Chase Rice, who also has NASCAR ties, will be the featured artist for the track’s traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert (Oct. 1). The best part about the concert is that admission is FREE with the purchase of a Sunday race ticket for the YellaWood 500. Breakout country artist Bailey Zimmerman will open the anticipated night.
Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the all-new NASCAR Tracks App. for the latest speedway news.