Two NASCAR Prop Bets for Sunday’s Auto Club 400
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Auto Club Speedway owns the oldest asphalt surface in the series, meaning it’s very worn and abrasive, and therefore hard on tires. As a result, tires wear out very quickly, resulting in poor-handling racecars that are difficult to drive. While that sounds like a bad thing, it actually leads to fantastic racing.
The harder the cars are to drive, the more that drivers are forced to lift off the throttle, resulting in more side-by-side racing and better opportunities for faster cars to make passes.
By analyzing track history, practice speeds, and qualifying results, there are currently two driver matchups offering plenty of value for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
Ryan Newman (+110) over Alex Bowman (The Greek)
Over the past three races at Auto Club Speedway, Newman’s average finish of 11.3 ranks 7th among all drivers. The Rocketman also qualifed 9th, while Bowman was one of 13 cars that did not pass pre-qualifying inspection and has therefore been relegated to a 28th-place spot on the starting grid.
The combination of Newman’s recent performances at Auto Club Speedway and a far superior starting position make him a very nice value, especially at plus-money.
Paul Menard (-115) over Daniel Suarez (The Greek)
Menard has been rock-solid so far this season and that has continued throughout practice and qualifying this weekend. Menard qualifed 14th for the race while also posting the 12th best 10-lap average in Saturday’s final practice session. Suarez, on the other hand, has had an eventful couple of days, highlighted by a wreck in Friday’s first practice session that forced the team to a backup car, meaning he’ll have to start last for Sunday’s race.
At -115, I really like the value with Menard, who has the luxury of a much better starting spot and a solid long-run car against Suarez who will have to navigate from the rear of the field in a backup car.
Top Photo: NASCAR Cup series driver Joey Logano leads a group of cars with driver Daniel Suarez ; credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports