By David Caraviello | | 17 mins
Food City Dirt Race 2022 Odds & Predictions For NASCAR At Bristol
For drivers and NASCAR betting fans alike, it almost bordered on unfair. The rutted dirt surface chewed up tires and dust coated windshields, which in the glare of the late afternoon made it difficult for competitors to navigate the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. After Joey Logano won NASCAR’s first premier-series dirt race since 1970, many wondered if it would be wise to attempt such an undertaking again.
Well, here they go. Kyle Larson is the +550 NASCAR odds favorite in the 2022 edition of Bristol’s dirt race, but after what we witnessed a year ago, even the sport’s top dirt racers are vulnerable to the whims of 2,000 truckloads of Tennessee clay. NASCAR shifted the event to Sunday night to avoid the glare that became such a problem last season, and to prevent the surface from drying out so quickly and throwing up loads of dust. Will it work? Who knows.
It all leaves bettors in a quandary, given that the multitude of issues with this event left dirt-track aces like Larson and Christopher Bell in 29th and 34th place, respectively, last season. While a single-car test of the next-gen vehicle on the dirt seemed to go well, a full field could well offer a different story. It’s going to be place your bets, start your engines - and cross your fingers.
2022 Food City Dirt Race Odds
|Driver||Win||Top 3||Top 5|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1400||+400||+180|
Odds current as of publication from DraftKings and subject to change.
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Food City Dirt Race Betting Tips
Larson and Bell top the odds board on sportsbooks for a reason - they both have exceptional track records as dirt racers. Larson has won two of the past three Chili Bowl Nationals, the Daytona 500 of dirt racing, and is the 2016 winner of the Truck race on Eldora Speedway’s historic dirt surface. Bell has won everything on dirt: World of Outlaws, super late models, three straight Chili Bowls from 2017-19, and 26 dirt races in 2014 alone. Of course, that didn’t help either guy at Bristol last spring.
Logano, an asphalt racer to the core, won the inaugural Bristol dirt event last season after leading the final 61 laps. Daniel Suarez led 58 laps before finishing fourth, and Martin Truex Jr. led a race-high 126 laps before fading to 19th. Chase Briscoe, who started his career in 410 sprint cars that compete primarily on dirt, finished 20th in last year’s Cup event but fifth in the Truck race (won by Truex) held the same weekend.
Kyle and Kurt Busch, the leaders among active drivers on the Bristol asphalt with a combined 14 wins between them, finished 17th and 16th respectively in last year’s dirt race, making us hesitant to assume that success on one surface will translate to another. Your best bet might be to go with a dirt-racing expert and hope NASCAR has made enough changes to avoid a repeat of last season’s debacle.
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Food City Dirt Race Best Bets & Predictions
Christopher Bell to Win, +800
Did we mention that Bell is good on dirt? The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished second in the Chili Bowl Nationals earlier this year, continuing his run of success on the surface. We also like how Bell has been running overall recently, with a third-place run at Circuit of the Americas and a sixth-place finish at Richmond.
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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Top 5, +300
The JTG-Daugherty driver came out of nowhere to finish second behind Logano last year at Bristol, showing that the car control he developed during his career piloting asphalt sprints translated to the dirt. Stenhouse is having a pretty miserable season, with an average finish of 28th over his last six starts, so fire up your sports betting app and seize hold of any hope that you can find.
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Austin Dillon Top 5, +500
The Richard Childress Racing driver has shown flashes in this next-gen car, among them a runner-up result last weekend at Martinsville that marked his third consecutive finish in the top 10. Although Dillon finished back in the pack last year at Bristol, he won the inaugural Truck race at Eldora and competed extensively in dirt late models coming up.
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Food City Dirt Race Time, Date & TV
When: Sunday, April 17, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tenn.