The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Indiana for the Pennzoil 150 which will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will take place on the Saturday of Kroger Super Weekend, a series of auto races held in July and surrounding the Brickyard 400.
This year, the Pennzoil 150 is booked for July 4, 2020, and it will be raced over 62 laps covering a distance of 151.21 miles around the 2.5-mile track. The race replaced the Kroger 200 which had been held a the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The first edition of the Pennzoil 150 was held in 2012 and was won by Brad Keselowski. Last year, Cup Series winner Kyle Busch won this event. The win was Busch’s 4th and he is the only driver to win this race more than once.
This year, Austin Cindric of Team Penske is the odds on favorite to win the Pennzoil 150. Cindric is currently 4th in the Xfinity Series standings with 453 points. He did not finish the last race of the Xfinity Series at Pocono last June 29th. AJ Allmendinger, who won in Atlanta, finished second at Homestead, and 7th in Talladega is second in the odds board at +250.
Here are the odds to win the Pennzoil 150 on July 4, 2020. These odds were taken from BetOnline as of 07/03/2020:
|Field (Any Driver)||+4000|
Who Are the Favorites?
Austin Cindric is probably the best road course driver on the circuit and it’s not a surprise why he is on top of the current odds board. The 21-year old from Columbus, Ohio won back to back at the Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio last year. He also finished second at Road America and was third at the Charlotte Roval.
AJ Allmendinger is second in the current odds board and it’s not just because he is the only Cup Series winner of a road course race. Allmendinger has won three road races in the Xfinity Series, although two of them came in 2013. He won at the Charlotte Roval last year and led the most laps at Watkins Glen, finishing second in the race, before failing inspection. This is his first career appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Xfinity Series and he’s never had success in this track even in the Cup Series. However, he’s won two out of his last six races overall in the Xfinity Series while averaging third-place finish in his last three races.
Justin Allgaier has not yet won a race this year so he’s due to win one soon and it could come as early as the 4th of July. He won at Mid-Ohio and Road America in 2018 while finishing 3rd at The Glen, 6th at Mid-Ohio, and 4th at Charlotte last year. He won this race in 2018 and finished in second place last year. Allgaier has a total of five Top 10 finishes this year and he’s finished fifth or higher in three out of his last four trips to the Brickyard. Given his history on this track, there’s a good chance that he breaks his winless streak here.
Chase Briscoe was sixth at Watkins Glen, seventh at Mid-Ohio with a Stage 1 win, seventh at Road America with a Stage 2 win, and ninth at the Charlotte Roval with a Stage 1 win and most laps led. Briscoe was a rookie last year so he does not have extensive road course knowledge. However, he was an excellent road course racer in the ARCA Racing Series in 2016 and his first Xfinity Series was on the Charlotte Roval in 2018.
Noah Gragson was fifth at Mid-Ohio last year and also fifth on the Charlotte Roval in 2019. He is currently second in the drivers’ championship and has finished in the Top 10 in all but three races this season. Gragson has cooled off a bit in the past two weeks but he still has four Top 5 finishes in his last six starts. He also finished third in this race last year, which was his first and only appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ross Chastain is another driver who hasn’t had much success at The Brickyard but he is currently in good form that it’s hard not to take a second look at him for this race. Chastain has finished third or better in each of his last three races. He has finished in the Top 5 in four out of his last seven races overall. I don’t see a reason why you should leave him out of your racecard for the week.
Justin Hailey is coming off a bad showing at Pocono the last time out but he has finished in the Top 5 in four out of his last six starts. Hailey won in Talladega and has finished at least sixth in half of his 10 races this year. He is hanging around in the Xfinity Series standings but is one of the most consistent drivers all season long. He could be a sleeper in this race as he finished 5th here last year in his first and only appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I like Allan Cindric but he is priced too low right now at +165. The only long shot I’m looking at is Jeremy Clements who was a winner at Road America in 2017 and finished third last week at Bristol.
On the other hand, Chase Briscoe and Allgaier have very good betting value at +600. It’s rare to see Briscoe at this price this season and considering how well he’s performed in the road races, he is a real threat to win this race. As stated earlier, Allgaier is probably the best road course racer in the series and he is an interesting play as well.
Prediction: Cindric is the safe bet here but if you want to win big on July 4th, go with Chase Briscoe or Justin Allgaier.