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O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 Preview Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona Preview and Best Bet

NASCAR Cup Series: O’Reilly Auto Parts 253
Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 3 p.m. ET (FOX) at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida

COVID-19 has caused NASCAR’s schedule makers to become creative.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 event was originally created in response to the bevy of Cup Series races being canceled or postponed during the 2020 pandemic chaos,

This season, the Auto Club Speedway’s event was cancelled due to restrictions related to the coronavirus. This event was originally planned for next week.

As a result of this cancellation, the Dixie Vodka 400 was moved to next week while the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 was moved to this weekend.

Betting sites have already released their odds for this event. So let’s get to the analysis.

Daytona, But Not Daytona

Like the Daytona 500, this event will take place at Daytona’s International Speedway, but not exactly on the same track that was used for last week’s Daytona 500.

Whereas the Daytona 500 was run on a 2.5-mile tri-oval, Sunday’s event will utilize Daytona’s road course.

Another change from last week to this week is that practice and qualifying will not take place.

Last week, trials were run before the actual race in order to determine the starting lineup.

Without practice or qualifying this week, the starting lineup will be determined in a way that NASCAR officials have yet to announce.

Starting Lineup Does Not Matter

This is an event where you do not want to be swayed in any direction by the starting lineup once it is published — as of now, only the entry list for the 40-car field is available to view.

To explain why the starting lineup does not matter, look no further than the Busch Clash.

The Busch Clash was an exhibition race held on February 9 that required only 35 laps to complete.

In that event, Chase Elliott started in the rear, yet still almost won. He finished second-place.

Elliott is by far not the only driver to establish that starting position does not matter on this course.

At the Busch Clash, Martin Truex Jr. started in 18th place, but was the leader on lap 14.

Race Info

A change has been made to this year’s rendition of the event at Daytona’s “roval” as the road circuit is likewise called.

Last year, this same event required 65 laps to be completed so that the event required a total of 235 miles.

This year, drivers will need to complete 70 laps. Because each lap on this road course is 3.61 miles, drivers will have accumulated 252.7 miles by the event’s completion.

In terms of racing surface, the drivers will compete on an asphalt track.

For each lap, competitors will complete 14 turns. There are also two chicanes, one on the front straightaway and another on the back straightaway.

There are three stages for this event.

Stage 1 will last the first 16 laps. Stage 2 will then require 18 laps. Finally, Stage 3 will require 36 laps.

Who To Avoid

There are some bigger names who you’ll want to avoid betting on to win Sunday’s event.

One is Denny Hamlin, who has won all of one road course event in 32 tries.

Even during his fantastic season in 2020, he suffered some awful racing performances on road courses.

Also stay away from Kyle Busch who has had minimal recent success on road courses. Like Joey Logano, he has zero wins on a road course since February of 2018.

While Logano’s average finishing position since February 2018 at a road course is 16.63, Busch’s is 19.63.

My Guy

I like to look for underdogs to bet on partly because it’s easier to want to bet the favorite and so it’s easier to overlook less favored competitors.

But in this case, you simply have to invest in the favorite, which is Chase Elliott.

As things stand, Elliott is NASCAR’s king of road courses.

In the 35-lap exhibition version on this track, he went from the rear to second-place.

Before this easy and meaningless effort, he had won four straight races on road courses.

For last year’s event at the Daytona Roval, he won after starting in seventh place. He led 34 laps.

Given his dominance on road courses, I recommend betting on Elliott to win Sunday’s event.

I consider plus money to be excellent value. These odds look attractive to me.

Best Bet: Chase Elliott Winner at +200 at Bovada

He Hate Me

Award Winning Blogger
It is hard not to bet on Chase. Blaney at +800 seems good after seeing what he did in the Clash.

I am looking to fade Harvick, who had two accidents/mishaps in the Clash and I think he wrecked in the 2020 version of this race. Hopefully, there is a good matchup against Harvick.

Truex also struggled in the Clash and had a couple of accidents/mishaps, but he finished 3rd in the 2020 version of this race. He may be someone to fade, pending the matchup, but he is one of the better road course drivers.

Chase Brisco always did well on road courses in the Xfinity Series.
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Well-Known Member
We should be back to a 'normal' Sunday, where only a handful of guys can win.

I think Briscoe will win a road course race before the season is over.

Truex made some really bad mistakes in the Clash but he's the most likely to beat Chase IMO.

I'm waiting more so on h2hs this week.

Kyle Busch at +1300 is probably my only outright. His overall road course record is pretty shitty, but I liked what I saw from him in the Clash.

Still probably Chase's race to lose. He still nearly ran down Blaney in the Clash, while on shittier tires,, because he'd already used them all and couldn't get fresh ones for the stretch run. Tires are a huge factor at the road course.

Harvick is a great fade in h2hs. As is Bubba. He is awful on road courses.

Also remember, weather could be a factor here. No rain delays this week. They run in the rain on road courses with rain tires.


Well-Known Member
Hard to see anyone besides Cindric or Allmendinger winning the Xfinity race. Two low of a price on either one so I'm looking at a h2h.

Andy Lally -136 over Ty Gibbs. Lally finished 5th in this race last year. Gibbs is the 18 year old grandson of Joe Gibbs and is making his Xfinity debut. He definitely has a bright future, but this is a tough task today. I'm going with the wiley veteran, Lally.


Well-Known Member
Shitty start for me. Blaney wrecked early last week, jumped on Logano, he wrecked. Then Ty Gibbs wins the Xfinity race in his debut yesterday. Oh well. Fade away.

Kyle Busch outright 14-1

Dillon -118 over Bubba. Dillon isn't the greatest road course driver, but strictly fading Bubba.

Truex +122 over Chase. Maybe one day I'll learn to quit fading Chase, but not today. Hes won the last 3 RC races and 4 out of the last 5. Will be tough to beat today, but Truex is one that can do it.

He Hate Me

Award Winning Blogger
If anyone can bet in the sportsbook at Draftkings, they have Chase at +150 to win the first stage. He is starting on the pole and is currently +185 to win the race.

The other good cars are starting outside of the Top 10, except Hamlin starting at 4.

Seems like a good bet, but I cannot bet Draftkings sportsbook.

He Hate Me

Award Winning Blogger
Larson wrecking at the end hurt as he was better than Harvick.
Allmendinger had a flat tire and a pit penalty and still finished 7th, but not Top 3. I would make that bet again.
Hopefully, some of you guys were able to bet Chase to win stage 1.

I need better luck next week.