Enjoy Illinois 300 Picks, Predictions, and Race Preview

As the Cup Series gears up for its first-ever race at World Wide Technology Raceway, bettors have few previous results to draw upon. But we're doing a deep dive this week for our NASCAR betting picks, to see which drivers will Enjoy Illinois on Sunday.

Last Updated: Jun 2, 2022 2:20 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Kyle Busch Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR's season of unpredictability is about to get thrown another curveball: a brand-new track. 

The Cup Series makes its inaugural stop at Gateway this weekend, forcing us to get creative with relevant betting info and stats for Sunday — but we're up to the task.

Get the NASCAR betting low-down for this weekend's stop at World Wide Technology Raceway in our Enjoy Illinois 300 picks and predictions, with the green flag dropping at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 5.      

You can also get a comprehensive odds breakdown in our Enjoy Illinois 300 odds.          

Enjoy Illinois 300 best bets

Picks made on 6/2/22 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick above to jump to the full analysis.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Enjoy Illinois 300 favorites    

Kyle Busch (+800)

He’s a past Gateway winner so let’s see if past history works here. Busch also was third and second respectively in each of the last two points-paying races, so a win is the next trend. 

William Byron (+1,000)

He won Martinsville (a like track) and was leading with two laps to go at Darlington (also a like track). On top of that, he’s a past Gateway winner in the Truck Series, as well. 

Ross Chastain (+1,000)

He was second in Phoenix (like track) and dominating in Darlington (like track) before his crash. Chastain also has three Top-7 results in the last five points-paying events. Worth a look.

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Enjoy Illinois 300 longshot picks

Christopher Bell (+1,200)

He has six Top-7 finishes in his last nine starts on the season, including four straight Top-6 results, and is a previous winner in the Truck Series in Gateway too. 

Joey Logano (+1,600)

He won Darlington (a like track), so he’s worth a look to see how similar he runs here. He was also second in Martinsville (also a like track). Furthermore, Logano has won two of the last six inaugural track races dating back to last season.

Austin Dillon (+6,000)

He was third in Martinsville, had a Top 10 going in Phoenix, also placing and ninth in Darlington.

Enjoy Illinois 300 fades

Kyle Larson (+800)

Not sure I like him here. He struggled at Phoenix and Martinsville, and was a DNF in Darlington.

Denny Hamlin (+900)

His worst races this year are on like tracks.

Chase Elliott (+1,000)

This short track package hasn’t necessarily been kind to him this season. Elliott was 11th in Phoenix, 14th in Richmond and 10th at Martinsville. He was also 5th at Darlington.

Enjoy Illinois 300 matchup pick

Christopher Bell (-115) vs. Alex Bowman (-105)

Bell is as hot as any driver in the series right now and has some Gateway experience, including a win. Bowman hasn’t been great on like Gateway tracks (14th Phoenix, 12th Martinsville, 29th Darlington) and could easily fall behind Bell this weekend again. 

PICK: Bell (-115)

Enjoy Illinois 300 preview

Welcome to another inaugural event on the schedule — this time at the World Wide Technology Raceway. There’s not much to analyze in the way of past stats because the Cup Series has never visited Gateway before. Also, there aren’t many options for close comparison, since this track is such a unique one. 

So, where do we start then?

We probably have to compare this to the short track package, plus Darlington. There’s a set of drivers that fared well at each, laid out in the picks above. 

Another factor is Hendrick Motorsports. All four of their drivers have won a race already this season. Also, HMS drivers have won four of the last seven inaugural races dating back to 2020. However, among those, three were on road courses, and the one on an oval (Nashville) isn’t anything like Gateway. 

On the season, HMS is starting to peak again: Chase Elliott has five Top-10 finishes in the last seven races. Alex Bowman has five Top 10s in the last six, while Kyle Larson has five Top-9 results in the last six. William Byron is the only one struggling with finishes 13th or worse in six straight. 

Joey Logano has won two of the last three inaugural races on ovals, although one was on dirt and the other in a football stadium. That’s why I feel like this race is more wide-open than ever.

Enjoy Illinois 300 key stat

Gateway is a who’s who of winners. In the Xfinity Series’ history, names like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Carl Edwards highlighted a star-studded list of race victors.

In INDYCAR, you get names like Paul Tracy, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Will Power, and Takuma Sato as winners.

Only the best win here.

Enjoy Illinois 300 betting trend to watch

  • Two of the last three weeks, the race winner led the most laps. It was a feat that happened just once in the previous five races.  

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