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Hollywood Casino 400 Preview Article


CTG Junior Moderator
Hollywood Casino 400 Preview and Best Bet

NASCAR Cup Series: Hollywood Casino 400
Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 3 p.m. ET at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas

Playoff Update

Sunday's upcoming race follows last week's rendition at the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson dominated that race to become the first NASCAR driver to qualify for the Championship Four. In other words, he has clinched his spot in the next round.

Because his spot in the next round is secure, he has less incentive to perform well in this upcoming race. In a sense, he can already celebrate his victory.

In these playoffs as well as in prior seasons, we see drivers in this sort of situation. Denny Hamlin, for example, went so far as to claim that he will be a "professional" and still do the best he can.

But the reality is that drivers in Larson's situation are not as motivated. Therefore, for this race, we should avoid investing in Larson in any form.

There are other drivers available who are more worth investing in by virtue of their motivation and the incentive they have to do well.

In fact, there are seven drivers left who can clinch a spot in the next round by winning Sunday's race. These are the drivers who we will consider betting on.

Race Info

Drivers must complete a total of 267 laps for this race.

As has just about always been the case this season, this race will have three stages.

Stage 1 requires its drivers to complete 80 laps. Stage 2 likewise consists in 80 laps. Stage 3 consists in the remaining 67 laps.

An entry list gets published at the beginning of every week for the upcoming race. All of the available spots have been filled for this race.

So, barring any unexpected circumstances, we already know which drivers will compete in this race.

The starting lineup, meanwhile, gets posted on Wednesday morning for the next race.

Because the competing drivers are already quite familiar with the Kansas Speedway, there will not be qualifying -- or practice, for that matter -- for this race.

Instead, the starting lineup will be determined by NASCAR's predetermined formula.

Track Info

Kansas Speedway is a tri-oval with asphalt surface.

It is known for being wide in its construction, which should mean that passing is easy.

However, when everybody runs fast, it is harder to gain an edge speed-wise, so drivers can end up too close together as a result.

Each lap has four turns and is 1.5-miles long. So in completing 267 laps drivers accumulate just over 400 miles.

The turns are banked progressively, at 17 and 20 degrees, respectively, which is pretty decent. The frontstretch is banked at a very solid nine to 11 degrees while the backstretch is banked at five degrees.

Banking helps drivers increase their speeds by allowing them to corral more momentum for their vehicles.

Drivers To Avoid

I recommend avoiding any positive investment in Ryan Blaney.

Blaney's history at this track is filled with failures which Blaney has done just about nothing to offset.

His poor history at this track began with his first race and these struggles continue into his most recent history here.

In four of his last five races at Kansas, Blaney has failed to finish stronger than 20th.

My Guy

Chase Elliott's driver rating here partly explains why I like him at this track.

For comparison's sake, his driver rating at Kansas is nearly 30 times better than Blaney's since February of 2018.

He knows how to win at this track, unlike Blaney.

Plus, his success here is consistent. He has top-six finishes in six of his last seven tries at Kansas Speedway.

Based on driver history, Elliott enjoys a clear edge over Blaney.

Best Bet: Elliott ahead of Blaney at -110 with Bovada

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