Ambetter 301 Predictions
Ignore Aric Almirola’s Chances at Your Own Peril This Weekend
Last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Aric Almirola caught lightning in a bottle and charged from his 22nd starting position to win the annual NASCAR Cup Series race at Loudon.
Though Almirola will be driving NASCAR’s Next Gen car this year, instead of the Gen 6 version that carried him to victory in 2021, the flat one-mile track remains the same, and it remains true that there are horses for courses.
In his last four New Hampshire starts, Almirola has posted an average finish of 5.5, and the Ambetter 301 may be his best chance to secure a Playoff berth with a victory.
No, we don’t expect lightning to strike twice in the same place, but Almirola is a decent bet to finish either second (+800) or third (+450) at a track that suits his style.
Ross Chastain Is an Excellent Pick, If He Can Avoid the Land Mines
With two wins, 10 top fives and 13 top 10s in 19 races this season, Ross Chastain has run up front more consistently than any other driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.
The driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet also has been the most aggressive in the series–sometimes overly so.
Accordingly, there’s a list of fellow competitors–led by Denny Hamlin–who would like to hold Chastain accountable for his past sins and take him down a peg.
That said, we think Chastain will be able to navigate New Hampshire Motor Speedway and avoid potential run-ins with his rivals. He’s coming off three straight top fives, most recently a runner-up result at Atlanta.
Chastain is our choice to win the Ambettrer 301 at a very attractive +750 via BetMGM.
With Playoffs Looming, Ryan Blaney Could Use a Win to Solidify His Spot
Here’s a broken record from last week. Ryan Blaney, who has never won a race at New Hampshire in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions, is the oddsmakers’ choice win the Ambetter 301.
Sure, Team Penske drivers historically have been strong at short, flat tracks, and Goodyear is using the same tire setup that teams have run at Phoenix, Richmond and Gateway.
But in nine starts at Loudon, Blaney has a pair of top fives and four top 10s to show for it. Even though he has extra incentive to win and lock up a Playoff spot, we don’t like Blaney to triumph in the Granite State.
Istead, we’ll take Chase Elliott, who comes to New Hampshire on a two race winning streak, to beat Blaney heads-up at +100. Elliott has one top five and two top 10s in eight starts at the Magic Mile, but Chevrolet drivers have been consistently better with the Next Gen car this year.
And if you want a real flier, take Kurt Busch as the top Toiyota, Kevin Harvick as the top Ford AND Elliott as the top Chevy. Both Busch and Harvick are three-time winners at the Magic Mile, and Elliott is on a roll.
Of course, it’s an absurd parlay, but a $10 bet will get you $2,000 if it hits, so have some fun.
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How to Watch the Ambetter 301
Event Information Race Ambetter 301 NASCAR Cup Series race Location New Hamsphire Motor Speedway (Loudon, N.H.) Time Sunday, July 17, 3 p.m. ET How to Watch USA