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Goodyear 400 Predictions: NASCAR At Darlington Odds, Picks & Best Bets

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 15 mins

Goodyear 400 Predictions: NASCAR At Darlington Odds, Picks & Best Bets

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In NASCAR, the old(er) guys suddenly rule. One week after 42-year-old Martin Truex Jr. won at Dover to snap a 54-race winless skid, 42-year-old Denny Hamlin bumped Kyle Larson out of the way to win at Kansas and end a 33-race drought. 

Neither was the NASCAR odds favorite: Truex won with +1000 odds, Hamlin with +750. And now they head to a track where all that veteran experience is perhaps more important than anywhere else.

That would be Darlington Raceway, where Kyle Larson opened as the +500  betting apps favorite for Sunday’s 400-miler on the ancient, abrasive, egg-shaped track. Larson has never won there, though he’s finished second or third five times. 

The current Darlington master is his rival Hamlin, the No. 2 NASCAR betting choice at +600. His four wins there (the most recent coming in 2021) are the best among all active drivers, as is his career finishing average of 7.5. 

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Hamlin has led laps in 14 of his 21 career Darlington starts, including each of the past six races, and he was runner-up in the 500-mile night race last fall. So indeed there’s again potential for another 40-something in Victory Lane, given that 47-year-old Kevin Harvick has won at Darlington three times, and Truex twice. 

In fact, Hamlin, Harvick, and Truex combined to win five straight Darlington races until whippersnappers Joey Logano (32) and Erik Jones (26) claimed the first two events there last year in the next-gen car. On NASCAR’s oldest major speedway, it’s time to see if those old dogs can yet again show off some new tricks.

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Similar to Hamlin, Harvick has been a machine at Darlington—he finished in the top 10 there for 13 straight races until an exhaust issue last fall relegated him to a 33rd-place finish in the night race. 

But in the spring 400-miler, he was his old self in finishing fourth. Truex has been more hit-and-miss at the track, suffering a crash and a mechanical failure in the two races last year. Kyle Busch’s lone Darlington win came way back in 2008, and he’s finished in the 30s there in his past three starts.

Logano has been top-10 in five of his last six at Darlington, a span that includes a victory and a fourth-place result last year. 

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The real Darlington wild card is Jones, who won the track’s storied 500-miler back in 2019 as a 23-year-old with Joe Gibbs, and then again last year in a real shocker for Richard Petty’s former outfit. Jones that been top-10 in seven of his 10 career Darlington starts, so he clearly has a feel for the place, and he’s back with the rebranded Legacy Motor Club this time around.

Brad Keselowski is the only other active driver with a Darlington victory, and he also finished seventh there last fall in his current Roush-powered ride. Tyler Reddick showed real promise with finishes of second and third last year, while William Byron has been solid there for the past three seasons. 

Darlington is a place where drivers compete as much against the track as each other—some guys love that, others not so much—and bettors can occasionally unearth high-value gems like Austin Dillon, who’s been top-10 in three of his last five Darlington starts.

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William Byron to Win

Odds: +900 at DraftKings

It’s been a while since Byron scored his back-to-back victories at Las Vegas and Phoenix, but he’s been showing some of that form again lately in finishes of seventh at Talladega, fourth at Dover and third at Kansas. 

He’s led laps in each of the past three weeks, and has been really good at Darlington with top-10s in three of his last five, including a career best of fourth. And that Hendrick equipment, of course, never hurts.

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Martin Truex Jr. Top 3

Odds: +200 at DraftKings

The former series champion is on a nice little roll, with top-10s in four of his last five starts and laps led in each of his past three. 

We’re going to toss out the crash and water pump failure that ended his Darlington efforts last year, and focus more on the fact that he placed top-10 in seven of 10 starts before that. 

Truex has also led double-digit laps in five of his last six starts, so he’s certainly a proven commodity on the 1.366-mile track.

Erik Jones Top 5

Odds: TBA

Things have not been great as of late for the now Jimmie Johnson-fronted Legacy Motor Club, which has seen Jones finish 14th or worse in six of his last seven starts this season. 

But the kid still has talent worthy of a better ride, and in the South Carolina Pee Dee region “That Jones Boy” with his average career finish of 10.1 at Darlington becomes a force once again.

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Goodyear 400 Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 3 p.m. EDT

Where: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway

TV: FS1

About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.