Like all motorsports, NASCAR is a thrilling spectacle, and NASCAR betting makes the sport all the more interesting!
Drivers push themselves and their cars to the absolute limit, often going over it, as they hit top speeds of just over 200 mph (322 km/h) in a tight and enclosed track where the margins are super fine and the risks are extremely high.
This guide will give you an overview of the sport, what sanctioned series make up the NASCAR National Series, and what to look out for. While learning more about the overall sport, you’ll develop a better understanding of how to bet on NASCAR races and drivers.
- NASCAR: What the Series Is All About
- What Are the Biggest NASCAR Races and Series?
- Types of Wagers in NASCAR
Each NASCAR race is different, giving each team and driver challenges to overcome. It takes a combination of driving skill, engineering mastery, car set-up skills, nerve, aggression, and racing strategy to come out on top.
NASCAR stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, the operating company is best known for stock-car racing. Founded in 1948, the championship series over the last 70 years have seen races held across America, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
Each year over 1,500 NASCAR races take place as the season spreads across 10 months. That’s enough racing for any die-hard fan to get their betting teeth into.
There are four major national racing series In NASCAR:
- NASCAR Cup Series
- NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Camping World Truck Series
- ARCA Menards Series
There are also international and regional racing series that come under the NASCAR umbrella.
The NASCAR Cup Series began in 1949, and has gone on to become what we know it as today. The championship is determined by a points system, where drivers earn points according to where they finish and the number of laps led. The season is divided into two segments, where the top 16 drivers in the championships are chosen for the NASCAR playoffs.
These 16 drivers are selected based on the total number of wins during the first 26 races. Heading into the last ten races, they compete to be top.
The NASCAR season revs up in February every year and finishes around November. The season is spread across 100 tracks in 48 US states, allowing every fan the opportunity to see a race at the track.
Some of the most popular races in the season to follow and bet on are:
- NASCAR Cup Series Championship
- Daytona 500
- GEICO 500
- Brickyard 400
- Coca-Cola 600
- Federated Auto Parts 400
- NASCAR All-Star Race
- Go Bowling at The Glen
- Southern 500
The GEICO 500 is notoriously known as the fastest track on the calendar, which holds the all-time track record of 212.8 mph (342.5 kmh) lap. The car race is held at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
However, the Daytona 500 wins the title of the most popular NASCAR race. Held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Florida, it’s the biggest race in NASCAR. The total prize purse of $23.6 million, distributed across the racers, is the highest total in American motorsports history.
If you’re familiar to racing sports bets, NASCAR betting is typically the same. It’s all about choosing which driver will win! But there are plenty of options other than betting on who will finish crossing the checkered flag first.
Futures bets are the most common bet for racing fans. You’re placing a bet on which driver you think is going to win a particular race before it happens.
The higher the odds the less likely the sportsbook will think they will finish first. Considering upsets like crashes happen all the time it means that you can cash in on some of those bets without laying down much.
Because you are betting on events in the future, you can place bets on the NASCAR Cup Championship or a particular race like the Daytona 500.
Head-to-head matchups are a great way to heat up that rivalry on track and keep events interesting. Sportsbooks will provide a list of given matchups of drivers for the day.
Don’t expect too many underdogs as most of the matchups will consist of drivers of the same calibre, giving similar odds to both drivers.
On some occasions, sportsbooks will cluster drivers into groups of three and four drivers. Exactly the same as individual matchups, bettors must choose which driver from the group will finish the highest. Since there’s more choice, odds for bets are slightly better.
Typically known as additional bets, Prop bets are related to specific outcomes or events in the race. You bet on whether or not the specific event is going to happen. Instead of picking on the final outcome of the NASCAR event, you bet on a variety of other results.
Some of the most popular prop bets include what driver will be on pole, how many caution flags or which manufacturer will win.
This bet is all about who you think will put in the quickest lap time of the day. The Fastest Lap Time is independent of the end result of the race, so it can be any driver. The driver might put in the fastest lap of the day at any point in the race, you never know. It’s a very interesting bet as any challenger can go for the record depending on what strategy they are on for the race.
Another bet apart from placing a bet on the clear winner is a podium finish. You’re betting on the rider(s) who will finish in the top 3 positions once they cross the checkered flag.
Be aware that bets are settled on the official result of the race, any changes to the results after the podium presentation such as disqualifications or penalties do not count.