NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 at Richmond Predictions & Picks
After a very contentious finish–to put it mildly–last weekend at Pocono, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season continues today with the Cook Out 400 at Richmond Raceway (3:00 pm ET, USA).
In the late stages of last Sunday’s HighPoint.com 400 at Pocono, the race turned when Denny Hamlin helped direct Kyle Larson up the track and ultimately off of the wall as the two were racing for the lead.
Hamlin went on to win–and get quite the lively reception from the crowd–while Larson, with a clearly diminished car, dropped all the way back to 21st.
While that won’t drive a wedge through their friendship off of the track, it could make for some drama on the track this week if Larson finds himself in a position to turn the tables.
Both drivers are among the Cook Out 400 favorites, and both have previously taken the checkered flag in this race. Will we see one of them in Victory Lane, or will another former winner take the win?
NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 Odds
Odds are via Bovada as of Sunday, July 30, 2023, at 8:30 am ET.
- Martin Truex Jr. +450
- Denny Hamlin +550
- Kevin Harvick +650
- Kyle Larson +750
- Christopher Bell +800
- Kyle Busch +850
- William Byron +900
- Chase Elliott +1600
- Joey Logano +2000
- Tyler Reddick +2000
- Ross Chastain +2200
- Ryan Blaney +2800
- Aric Almirola +3000
- Bubba Wallace +3000
- Ty Gibbs +4000
- Brad Keselowski +4000
- Alex Bowman +5000
- Chris Buescher +5000
Cook Out 400 Predictions and Betting Picks
After this race, there will be only four more opportunities for drivers to clinch a spot in the Cup Series championship playoffs.
So, Chase Elliott watch continues in Richmond, as the 2020 series champion still seeks the win that would secure his spot without needing results to close the gap on points. Entering this week, Elliott is 56 points behind Michael McDowell, who currently occupies the final playoff spot.
Elliott will start fourth in the Cook Out 400, which is his qualifying result of the season. Only four other times has he started in the top ten, and his best race result from those positions is fifth in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma.
He showed last week what he can do from the back of the field, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this prominent placement in the field. At Pocono, Elliott started 35th because of a spin in qualifying but finished tenth.
Current NASCAR Cup Series Points Standings (Through 21 Races)
- 1. Martin Truex Jr. – 711 points
- 2. William Byron – 681
- 3. Denny Hamlin – 656
- 4. Christopher Bell – 636
- 5. Ross Chastain – 611
- 6. Kyle Busch – 609
- t7. Kyle Larson – 601
- t7. Kevin Harvick – 601
- 9. Ryan Blaney – 591
- 10. Joey Logano – 575
- 11. Tyler Reddick – 563
- 12. Brad Keselowski – 560
- 13. Chris Buescher – 549
- 14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 494
- 15. Bubba Wallace – 465
- 16. Michael McDowell – 455
Drivers in bold have won this season and are already certain to be in the NASCAR Cup Series championship playoffs.
Of course, most of the headlines following the race centered around the late-race incident–or inchident as Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc (racing in the Belgian Grand Prix today) would say–between Hamlin and Larson.
While Larson qualified 14th for the Cook Out 400, Hamlin will start third. In his last 14 races, Hamlin has started 13th or better 12 times. Out of those 12 times, he went on to finish in the top five six times and picked up wins at Kansas and Pocono.
His win at Pocono was his 50th career Cup Series win, with five of them coming in what is now known as the HighPoint.com 400.
Hamlin has also had his share of success in this race, which is in its first year as the Cook Out 400. He is one of six drivers to win it three or more times, taking the checkered flag in 2009, 2010, and 2016.
Kevin Harvick is the other driver with exactly three wins in this race, and he is also the defending winner. Harvick will start eighth in today’s race, and he is coming off of consecutive fourth place finishes in the HighPoint.com 400 and Crayon 301 at New Hampshire.
Cook Out 400 Starting Lineup (Positions 1-15)
- Tyler Reddick
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Chase Elliott
- Bubba Wallace
- William Byron
- Ty Gibbs
- Kevin Harvick
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Ryan Preece
- Noah Gragson
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Larson
- Alex Bowman
None of them are this week’s race winner pick, but Elliott, Hamlin, and Harvick do each factor in this week’s picks.
At Bovada, Elliott is +600 to be the top Chevrolet in the field, and he is +175 to be the best finisher of Group E, which consists of him, polesitter Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney. Both of those picks have excellent value.
Hamlin is +125 to score a top-three finish and -140 to finish in the top five, and both of those are strong plays as well. A second straight win would likely make for another entertaining post-race reaction, but that might be just beyond his reach.
Speaking of winning, Harvick remains winless in 2023. It’s hard to see him going into retirement without a win in his final Cup Series season, but he is on track to comfortably make the playoff field on points. You never know what can happen from there.
Harvick has finished in the top five six times this season, and he is +105 to make it seven in the Cook Out 400 and also +130 to be the top Ford in the field.
In addition to his win last year, which added to his 2006 and 2011 wins–Harvick has finished no worse than eighth in this race since 2017, when he finished 15th.
Recent Cook Out 400 at Richmond Winners
- 2022: Kevin Harvick
- 2021: Martin Truex Jr.
- 2020: Brad Keselowski
- 2019: Martin Truex Jr.
- 2018: Kyle Busch
- 2017: Kyle Larson
- 2016: Denny Hamlin
- 2015: Matt Kenseth
- 2014: Brad Keselowski
- 2013: Carl Edwards
Who is today’s race winner pick? That would be Martin Truex Jr., who is starting tenth. Truex, the 2019 and 2021 winner of this race, finished third at Pocono, his fifth top-three finish in his last eight races.
The nine previous times that Truex has started in the top ten this season, he has finished in the top five six times and won twice (Sonoma and New Hampshire).
And with his recent success in this race–in addition to his two wins, he finished third in 2018, second in 2020, and eighth last year–all the pieces are in place for the points leader to pick up his fourth win of the season.
There are a couple other Cook Out 400 betting picks also worth considering.
Also, Brad Keselowski to finish in the top ten (-140 at Bovada but +175 at BetUS) is certainly worth a play. Along with his 2014 and 2020 wins, Keselowski, who will start 13th today, hasn’t finished outside the top 15 in this race since 2013.
Also, while Austin Dillon hasn’t had a fantastic year–he is currently 30th in the points standings–he has done well in this race in the past. At BetUS, Dillon is +650 to finish in the top ten for the sixth time this season.
Where to Bet on NASCAR
Also, odds on who will finish at the top of the championship standings are available at many reputable sportsbooks.
In addition to Bovada and BetUS, here are some of the sites that we recommend if you are interested in NASCAR betting:
Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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