The roaring of the engines, the smell of exhaust, and the sounds of the crowd all say one thing: Nascar is back for a new season in 2023. The season kicks off with an exhibition race, Clash at the Coliseum (Sun, Feb 5, 2023.) The "silly" season showed a lot of action and drivers moving into different cars. A few notable offseason moves include Ryan Preece returning to the Cup Series who will be replacing Cole Custer in the 41 for Stewart-Haas. AJ Allmendinger has moved up to Cup full-time and will be racing with Kaulig in the 16-car, a rig that he is familiar with. Noah Gragson is moving up to Cup from the Xfinity Series and will be driving for Legacy Motor Club in car 42. Kevin Harvick announced that 2023 will be his final full-time season. We knew the move to 23XI was coming, but we weren't sure which car he’d acquire, we now know that Tyler Reddick will be taking over the 45 car for Kurt Busch. The biggest news of the offseason was Richard Childress Racing signing Kyle Busch who will now be driving the 8-car. The contract distractions for Busch will be gone and I expect him to have a good season. While we wait for The Clash Sunday, we can look at some futures for the upcoming season. All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Martin Truex under 1.5 (+150)
Truex missed the playoffs last year. Father time may be the culprit. Truex spoke of retirement last season but ultimately decided against it. Joe Gibbs Racing is going through a lot of changes. Kyle Busch has left, and Ty Dillon comes in. Denny Hamlin is getting up there in age as well. Truex’s long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex is having health issues which will have him focusing on things outside of Nascar. Truex won no races in the Next Gen car and is open about his distaste for the new one. I don’t expect him to get back to his old form. One win is attainable, but I think two wins are too much of a task. We’ll take the value on the under.
Kyle Busch over 1.5 (+100)
The Kyle Busch vs Joe Gibbs Racing saga was very public. Contract talks were a distraction. People were thinking Busch quit on his team at Martinsville where he was the slowest car. Busch signed with Richard Childress Racing and the contract negotiation is no longer a distraction. Busch won one race last year (Bristol Dirt Race). Kyle Busch is a two-time champion and he wants to prove to people that he is still in the prime of his career. I expect Busch to be in contention for the Cup Series Championship. From 2015-2019 Kyle Busch was dominant. He hasn’t won multiple races since 2019. The fact that he doesn’t have to worry about his future in Nascar is a huge lift off his shoulders. I expect the move to Richard Childress racing to energize Busch. He knows how to win and he’ll be motivated to prove the doubters wrong. I expect Kyle Busch to win multiple races and cash this ticket.