Ranking the Best NASCAR Races in States With Legal Mobile Sports Betting
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Fans cheer during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway
I recently asked my followers on Twitter to vote on the best way for someone new to get into NASCAR. Here were the results:
What do you think?
— PJ Walsh (@PJWalsh24) March 1, 2020
As you can see, attending a race in person and betting/playing DFS dominated my poll. But that got me thinking — why do we have to choose between going to a race or betting on it when we can easily do both?
I’m certainly biased, but I’ve sweated races in person with plenty of betting action and it’s just incredible.
Considering NASCAR is currently postponed due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, I decided to rank the best NASCAR events of the 2020 season from purely a sports betting perspective.
While I clearly have my own opinions regarding which tracks produce the most entertaining racing, those are not factored into these rankings.
Also, I included mostly just races in states that offer legal mobile wagering.
For example, sports betting is now legal in Michigan, which hosts two Cup Series races, but only at physical sportsbooks. The need to visit a brick-and-mortar casino instead of driving directly to the track, parking, cracking a beverage and betting via your mobile device is simply too much friction for my tastes.
Similarly, the June 21 race at Chicagoland Speedway is out of my rankings until Illinois’ in-person registration requirement expires.
So if you’re considering a NASCAR betting trip once cars are back on track, here are my top races to attend in states that offer legal mobile sports wagering.
Honorable Mention: Bristol Motor Speedway
Date: Sept. 19
I listed Bristol as an honorable mention because while Tennessee has legalized sports betting, there is no clear timetable on when it will actually begin taking place.
If and when mobile sports betting is legal in Tennessee, Bristol will vault up my rankings. But for now, Thunder Valley remains an honorable mention.
Learn more about mobile sports betting in Tennessee.
7. Richmond Raceway
Henrico County, Va.
Date: Sept. 12
Like Bristol, Richmond will move up my rankings if mobile betting is in place by race weekend. Current estimates hope to see it live in Virginia by the start of football season, which is right around Richmond’s race weekend.
Because the fall race at Martinsville Speedway, also in Virginia, isn’t until November, I felt comfortable giving it a better ranking (more on that below) as the chances of legal mobile wagering in the state are much more likely by that point of the season.
Learn more about mobile sports betting in Virginia.
6. Dover International Speedway
Dates: Aug. 23 & TBD
These race weekends are unique because the state of Delaware doesn’t offer mobile betting, but the racetrack, which doubles as the Dover Downs horse racing track, allows NASCAR fans to bet on the race at the venue itself.
Therefore, there isn’t much friction between fans and betting, but the lack of mobile options makes line shopping and finding the best values less attractive than in states with multiple sportsbooks competing for business.
Dover’s first race, originally scheduled for May 3, has been postponed due to COVID-19 with no makeup date announced yet.
Learn more about legal sports betting in Delaware.
5. New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Date: July 19
Mobile betting is available in New Hampshire, which is great from an ease-of-wagering standpoint, but just one mobile operator — DraftKings — is permitted in the state.
Again, having a mobile option like DraftKings makes wagering extremely easy for fans attending the race, but having just one option also eliminates the ability to shop and find the best odds possible.
For that reason, NHMS checks in at No. 5 in my rankings.
Learn more about mobile sports betting in New Hampshire.
4. Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
Date: Sept. 27
The O.G. of sports betting in the United States requires in-person registration like Michigan and Chicago, which I left out of my rankings.
However, I gave Vegas a pass because most people attending the race will be staying in or near a casino hotel that offers mobile sports betting, so there’s much less friction to get set up before hitting the racetrack.
And even if bettors don’t want to jump through the hoops of registering for mobile Las Vegas betting apps, there’s also the opportunity to place wagers at the counter before visiting the track, which, again, means less friction between fans and betting.
Learn more about mobile sports betting in Nevada.
3. Martinsville Speedway
Date: Nov. 1
Mobile wagering isn’t yet available in Virginia, but because it seems on track to start before the beginning of the 2020 college and pro football seasons, I felt more confident putting Martinsville in my rankings as opposed to Bristol, which is on the outside looking in.
And a bill that is very bullish on mobile betting makes this race very attractive from a wagering standpoint.
Learn more about mobile sports betting in Virginia.
2. Pocono Raceway
Long Pond, Pa.
Date: June 27-28
Pocono is offering a NASCAR bettor’s dream this season. The Tricky Triangle recently hosted two separate NASCAR weekends, however, they were condensed into one weekend this season with two different Cup Series races.
In addition, the Trucks and XFINITY Series will also hold races, meaning that bettors can wager on one Truck race, one XFINITY race and two Cup races over the course of 18 hours.
That’s NASCAR betting heaven, folks.
Learn more about mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania.
1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Dates: July 4-5
When I first published my rankings, Fourth of July weekend at Indy checked in at No. 3.
However, now that IndyCar’s GMR Grand Prix has been moved from May 9 to July 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers a loaded weekend of motorsports across the country’s two largest racing series.
The GMR Grand Prix will run on Saturday, followed immediately by NASCAR’s XFINITY Series race (with Tony Stewart in the field), with both races on the road course.
On Sunday, NASCAR’s Cup Series will hit the oval for the Brickyard 400.
To make this even more attractive, Indiana offers multiple mobile wagering options.
Betting at the Brickyard on Independence Day Weekend? What’s more American that that?
Learn more about mobile sports betting in Indiana.