EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix: Texas Picks, Odds & Race Preview

Chase Elliott's injury throws the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix odds in flux for the Cup Series' first visit to a road track this season. Our NASCAR picks are looking toward the defending champ's camp.

Last Updated: Mar 26, 2023 9:33 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Ross Chastain NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR odds for this weekend's EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix are live, with one notable absence atop the board.

While Chase Elliott continues to nurse an injury, the Cup Series' best road course driver leaves a void for other contenders to fill, and Kyle Larson once again enters this race as the man to beat. 

We examine the field with our EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix odds. And don't forget to check back here later this week for a full analysis of the race with our NASCAR betting picks.

Odds to win 2023 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

Driver Odds to win
Kyle Larson +650
Ross Chastain +800
Kyle Busch +800
Tyler Reddick +900
William Byron +1,200
A.J. Allmendinger +1,200
Ryan Blaney +1,500
Daniel Suarez +1,500
Christopher Bell +1,500
Austin Cindric +1,500
Alex Bowman +2,000
Joey Logano +2,500
Denny Hamlin +2,500
Chase Briscoe +2,500
Michael McDowell +3,000
Martin Truex Jr. +3,000
Kevin Harvick +3,000
Chris Buescher +3,000
Brad Keselowski +3,000
Jordan Taylor +4,000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of March 21, 2023.

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EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix field

The field for the first road course of the season gets shaken up a bit by Chase Elliott's leg injury. With Elliott — who perenially dominates road tracks — sidelined, Kyle Larson (+650) steps in as the de-facto favorite. Larson finished second to Elliott in 2021, and has been among the stronger road-course drivers over the past few years.

Ross Chastain, who won at COTA last year, closely follows at +800, along with Kyle Busch, who still owns the NASCAR Cup Series odds lead.

 Tyler Reddick (+900) is also available among the top tier of favorites, coming off back-to-back Top 5 finishes this season and having been a standout on road tracks late last season.

Overall, the field's odds are fairly flat, with a slew of drivers available in the +1,200 to +3,000 range, and the niche of road-course driving dropping typical favorites like Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano down the board. 

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix picks and predictions

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix favorites

Trackhouse Racing

They won two of the six road course races last year, including this very one in March.

Daniel Suarez (+1500) led every lap of the first stage here in COTA while Ross Chastain (+800) dominated the final stage en route to his first career win. Suarez went on to win in Sonoma a year ago, then was fifth in Road America, lined up fifth on the final restart in Indy, and finished fifth in Watkins Glen.

Chastain also was seventh in Sonoma and fourth in Road America. He crossed the finish line second at Indy before his penalty was levied, but only 21st in Watkins Glen. 

Kyle Busch (+800)

He was 10th in 2021 but 28th last year. However, he’s not a bad road racer and inherits a car that had two wins and five Top-8 finishes in six road course events from 2022. Busch also won an offseason race on this very track in an endurance event for RCR as well.

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix sleepers

AJ Allmendinger (+1,200)

12 of his 17 career Cup/Xfinity Series wins have come on road courses including the Xfinity Series race here last March. He also won Indy in 2021, was in the Top 3 on the final lap in COTA last year, was in the Top 10 late in the race at Sonoma last year, finished ninth in Road America, seventh at Indy again last July, and runner-up at Watkins Glen.

Austin Cindric (+1,500)

He finished eighth, fifth, seventh, second, 13th, and 21st on six road courses in 2022. He’s a road racer by nature. Worth a look.

Chris Buescher (+2,500)

His last five road course finishes of last season read: second (Sonoma), sixth (Road America), 10th (Indianapolis), ninth (Watkins Glen), and 6th (ROVAL).

Kimi Raikkonen (+5,000)

I truly think Raikkonen has a chance to win Sunday’s race. He’s won here before in F1. The team (Trackhouse) won here last year. Plus, in his NASCAR Cup Series debut, Raikkonen made it all the way up to the Top 10 before being an innocent bystander in a midrace crash.

“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Raikkonen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix fades

Kyle Larson (+650)

He was runner-up in 2021 but struggled here last year. However, he later won at Watkins Glen and has two Top-4 finishes in his last four road course starts last season but was only 35th his last time out on the ROVAL. He didn’t look like the 2021 version of Larson on road courses last season.

William Byron (+1,200)

He didn’t have a Top 5 in any of the six road course races last season, with a best result of ninth. He’s finished 11th and 12th here.

Joey Logano (+2,500)

He only scored a Top 10 twice in six road courses last year; sixth in Indy and third in Watkins Glen. While he was third here in 2021, he was also just 31st last year. He qualified sixth in both races.

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix prop pick: William Byron (-120) vs. AJ Allmendinger (+100)

12 of Allmendinger’s career wins have come on road courses. He was in the Top 2 on the last lap here a year ago. Byron has never had a Top-5 finish in 21 career road course starts. This feels like it’s stealing money. 

Pick: Allmendinger (+100 at DraftKings)

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Circuit of the Americas track analysis

This will be the third-ever race on this track, so there’s not much history or trends to witness here. The inaugural race in 2021 was run in the rain. Last year’s in the clear skies but also with a new car. This year, we have the second year of this new Next Gen model but this being the first road course event of the season, how much does the 2022 package work in 2023, especially with the changes made?

NASCAR has announced updates to the components of the NASCAR Cup Series car for races held at road courses and short tracks (excluding Bristol and Dover). The Road Course and Selected Short Track Package will consist of the following:

  • 2-inch Spoiler
  • Remove engine panel strakes
  • Remove center and inner diffuser strakes. Only the outer diffuser strakes will remain installed.
  • Spacers will be installed between the diffuser flap and diffuser due to removing the inner diffuser strakes. 
  • Remove diffuser fences and replace with baseline fences.
  • Splitter stuffers will remain unchanged from the current components.

The rules are in place at the following tracks: Charlotte Roval, Chicago Street Course, Circuit of The Americas, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Martinsville, New Hampshire, North Wilkesboro, Phoenix, Richmond, Sonoma, and Watkins Glen.

With this said, until we get on track, no one truly knows if they made gains or losses from last year or not. Chevrolet was the top team on road courses, taking five of the six wins on them. Toyota, despite their ROVAL win in October, struggled mightily on them, and were the worst of the three manufacturers. Do these changes help them close the gap?

Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell will be a key figures to watch out of this. They combined to win three of the last four road course races last season. However, both of Reddick’s wins though came with Chevy power. In all fairness, Bell’s win on the ROVAL was key for Toyota, and he also finished third here a year ago too while Reddick was fifth. Reddick also qualified first and fourth respectively here as well. 

I struggle to think that these changes will help them make such a drastic leap from where they were a year ago. Martin Truex Jr finished seventh, 26th, 13th, 21st, 23rd, and 17th in the six races on them. Denny Hamlin was 18th, 31st, 17th, 14th, 20th and 13th. Kyle Busch was 28th, 30th, 29th, 11th, 32nd and third. Bell finished third, 27th, 18th, 12th, eighth, and first. Bubba Wallace was 38th, 36th, 35th, 5th, 35th, and seventh. The 45 ride, which is now the 23, was 32nd, 18th, 23rd, 17th, 16th, and 22nd between Kurt Busch and Ty Gibbs.

Another change is the fact that we won’t see any stage cautions this year on road courses. That puts strategy plays back in the hands of the crew chiefs, which greatly alters how these races are now run again. 

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix trends

  • Last year, starting spots on road courses didn’t matter. The starting spots of the eventual winners were: 16th (COTA), eighth (Sonoma), fourth (Road America), first (Indy), second (Watkins Glen), and eighth (Charlotte ROVAL).

  • Last year, none of the road course races saw a driver win that had won finish in the points in Stage 1. The thing is, this year, the eventual race winner has won each of the last three opening stages too. 

  • In Stage 2, the winner finished: eighth (COTA), fourth (Sonoma), 10th (Road America), no points (Indy), and 8th (Watkins Glen), no points (ROVAL). This season, the eventual race winner has finished in the Top 2 in each of the last four Stage 2s.

  • In five of the six road courses run, the only laps led by the eventual winner all occurred in the final stage. However, they mostly dominated that final stage, as three of the six road courses last season were won by a driver that also led the most laps, too.

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