O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 odds, preview, and value picks
After a wild Daytona 500, the NASCAR Cup Series season continues with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on the recently-introduced Daytona Road Course this Sunday (3 p.m. ET, FOX).
Chase Elliott – who has won the Cup Series’ last four points-paying road races – was awarded the pole via NASCAR’s performance-metrics formula. It’s not surprising to see him as the +200 favorite for this event, though his odds are anything but appealing.
The only driver aside from Elliott listed below double-digit odds is Martin Truex Jr. at +450. He’s won two of the Cup Series’ last eight road races, but again, his odds are not inspiring.
Let’s go looking for value as we make our selections for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253
Sun, February 21 2021, 8:10 PM
Truex Jr, Martin
Allmendinger, A J
Ryan Blaney would have won last Tuesday night’s Busch Clash – a 35-lap exhibition event over this course – if Elliott didn’t spin him around in an attempt to make a last-gasp pass. That disastrous result helped land Blaney in the latter half of the Daytona 500 field, which in turn led to him getting collected in a large Lap 14 crash.
Blaney will begin the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 in 27th thanks in part to his unfortunate Daytona 500 result, but his odds to overcome that handicap are enticing enough.
It was no fluke that Blaney was leading the Busch Clash over this course – the No. 12 Ford driver hit the Top 10 in five of his prior six road races. That includes his victory over the Charlotte Roval in September of 2018.
Don’t be surprised to see Blaney taking the checkered flag on Sunday.
Kyle Busch was the beneficiary of the Blaney-Bowman wreck at the end of the Busch Clash, but he had to be good as well as lucky to get the win that night.
Busch was the Cup Series’ resident road specialist prior to Elliott and Truex taking over – his career average finishing position in road races is a solid 14.92. “Rowdy” is also the active leader in laps led on road courses (364).
Busch has four career road course victories in points-paying races, the most recent of which came at Sonoma in 2015. He’ll roll off the grid in 14th on Sunday.
Kevin Harvick was shut out on road courses in 2020, but last season’s leader in wins (nine) is being dangled by oddsmakers at a tantalizing price.
Harvick has two career victories on road courses (Sonoma 2017, Watkins Glen 2006) and is second only to Elliott in average finishing position (12.57) among active drivers. His No. 4 Ford will begin in 5th place.