During NASCAR season, you are probably already familiar with the safest drivers to bet on during the 36-race stretch from February to November.
However, drivers do change. Your Big Seven race teams do not.
It’s not only the drivers who you can consider being safe bets, but also the team they’re racing for. The reasoning is simple: Such teams have adequate sponsors, equipment, tires, pit crews, and front offices to woo the most talented drivers in NASCAR.
And while there are other factors you need to consider going into the NASCAR season, such as how well drivers fare at specific race tracks, the first thing you must realize is that even drivers of lesser talent perform their best on the following race teams.
1 – Stewart-Haas Racing
Founded in 2002 as Haas CNC Racing, this team gained prominence when Tony Stewart bought a 50% stake in the team. The rest is history. Stewart-Haas Racing has combined for 65 Cup wins and two NASCAR Cup Championships since Stewart joined the squad, and they continue to grow.
The team now houses four cars, and each one of their drivers threatens to finish well and win races each season; they are always in contention for the NASCAR Cup Championship.
Drivers like Aric Almirola (#10), Clint Bowyer (#14), and Cole Custer (#41) have gone from either anonymity in the NASCAR Cup to fielding a championship-caliber team. And their appearances in the NASCAR playoff definitely shows it.
They perform so well on the NASCAR circuit, it’s not uncommon for you to take a flyer on Custer for your fantasy NASCAR team or to bet that he will end races with respectable finishes. Oh, and we all know what Kevin Harvick (#4) is capable of, judging from his performance over the past few seasons.
Regardless of who hops behind the wheel, you can bet each Stewart-Haas driver may just earn you a profit.
2 – Hendrick Motorsports
They’re one of the oldest teams in NASCAR. If you’ve been following the sport since the 1980s, you know who they are. Hendrick Motorsports will always feature drivers that are a solid choice at pretty much any real money sportsbook.
Even with a young team featuring Chase Elliott (#9), William Byron (#24), Alex Bowman (#48 starting in 2021), and a soon-to-be-named successor to Bowman’s #88, you still see these drivers in the NASCAR playoffs and winning races.
And if the team remains as is, you can only expect more of the same from Hendrick Motorsports for years to come. Perhaps the two safest drivers to bet on here are Elliott and Bowman; each of whom aren’t just solid bets for the NASCAR Cup Championship, but for every race they enter.
With Bowman migrating from the #88 to the #48 team, you can bet on him to make the leap come 2021—as with any driver who will take over his current ride.
Byron is also coming on strong after he recorded his first career win earlier in 2020. Even if he still has his ups and downs, remember who the 23-year-old is driving for. There’s a lot to like about him talent-wise, and there’s even more to enjoy regarding Hendrick Motorsports.
Like with the drivers for Stewart-Haas, Hendrick’s sponsorships and equipment help their drivers overachieve. There’s experience in the pit box and a team that has stood the test of time.
3 – Team Penske
You’ll find fewer cars racing for Team Penske, but they’re just as good—if not better—contenders than the teams listed above. With that said, you can often bet that regardless of who is behind the wheel of the #2, #12, and #22 car, they will overachieve.
And like Hendrick Motorsports, longevity is key when it comes to Penske. This is one reason why they’ve hung onto sponsorships like Miller, Pennzoil, and Menards, among other popular names on the hoods. Perhaps the longest-tenured is Miller, which has been with the #2 since 1991.
Add the high-end equipment at Team Penske—plus the experience in the pit box—along with the fact that drivers often stay with Roger Penske and company, and you have a solid race team that is a solid bet every week. And they’re a solid bet whether the field is racing at short tracks, speedways, super speedways, or road courses.
Sure, wrecks and unfortunate events plague every NASCAR team. But you can hardly go wrong with factors that you can control when betting on drivers to win races, fuel your NASCAR fantasy team, or at least clinch a top-10 finish.
4 – Joe Gibbs Racing
Owned by former Super Bowl Champion head coach of the NFL’s Washington Football Team, Joe Gibbs has also become a champion in the world of NASCAR.
With four cars at his disposal, plus experience all over the place from loyal drivers, Joe Gibbs Racing is another team that is a more sensible bet on the NASCAR circuit.
Since Gibbs and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith explored opportunities all the way back in 1991, Joe Gibbs Racing has seen five NASCAR Cup Championships, 183 wins, and 127 starts on the pole position.
These days, it doesn’t matter if Erik Jones (#20) or Denny Hamlin (#11) is behind the driver’s seat. There’s a lot of good reason to place your bets on Joe’s cars. Drivers like Hamlin, Kyle Busch (#18), and Martin Truex Jr. (#19) have experience.
But when you couple such experience with loyal sponsorships like M&Ms, Bass Pro Shops, FedEx, and others that we have become so accustomed to seeing with the Gibbs racecars, you know they hold an edge in investing in the latest and greatest equipment for their drivers.
Even newbies like Jones are safer bets than most. So, add them to your weekly fantasy NASCAR team or simply place an over/under bet on these talented drivers.
5 – Richard Childress Racing
RCR has seen its difficulties, but boy, is it up when they combine the right driver with top-of-the-line equipment. Perhaps the team’s most famous member of all time was the legendary Dale Earnhardt, whose number took a hiatus until the 2014 season when Austin Dillon entered the Cup Series.
Today, RCR is once again becoming a force within NASCAR, with Dillon (#3) and Tyler Reddick (#8) becoming serious contenders on a race-to-race basis. Dillon and his team are reaching the stage where they are making annual trips to the NASCAR Playoffs.
And you can expect Reddick or whoever sits behind the wheel of the #8 to do the same, given the slow, but steady return to prominence among this race team. Just a rookie at the time of this writing, Reddick has shown flashes at almost every track.
As the team again becomes more stable, you can rest assured that barring anything unforeseen like wrecks, engine failure, etc., you’ve got a couple of safe bets here at RCR.
6 – Chip Ganassi Racing
Like RCR, Ganassi Racing had taken a backseat for a while now. But with a solid driver in Kurt Busch (#1), and the up-and-coming Ross Chastain taking over the #42 ride from fill-in driver Matt Kenseth, you can expect this dynamic duo to threaten everything from top-10 finishes to even wins.
Heck, as I write this article, Kurt Busch is in serious contention to bring Ganassi Racing its first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Championship. This team is once again finding itself on the ascent, and they’re definitely one you need to be aware of for 2021 and beyond.
Combining talent like Busch and Chastain to their top-end equipment should show you that Busch and Chastain are among safer, more sensible bets from every cornerstone of NASCAR-related betting. The talent is there, as is the equipment, pit crew, and sponsorship to get them to the next level.
Don’t be surprised if you see Busch and Chastain compete for the NASCAR Cup Championship for years to come. And whether you’re betting over/under, playing fantasy NASCAR, or betting a little in every realm, you can do no wrong here barring unforeseen circumstances.
7 – Roush-Fenway Racing
Roush-Fenway remains a big player in the game, even if they have taken a bit of a hit in recent years. Fielding just two cars with Chris Buescher (#17) and Ryan Newman (#6), they’re still a team that boasts ample amounts of talent.
They have also stood the test of time and continue to boast an edge in both sponsorships and equipment. They can also boast a strong resume that includes two Cup championships, 137 Cup wins, and 89 pole positions in the Cup series.
So, while Roush-Fenway isn’t the major player it once was, it is still a solid bet in the Cup series.
If you’re playing fantasy NASCAR, the Roush cars are still solid additions to your team. They’re also more likely to finish in the top half of the field, so they remain safe over/under bets. You can expect the team to boast continued success for years to come, given their longevity and proven drivers.
And when you look at the rest of the chartered field of NASCAR teams, it’s still Roush-Fenway all the way.
NASCAR teams come and go, and some even become big players in the game. Teams like Furniture Row Motorsports was one such team that came in and made their mark.
But the seven teams listed above have stood the test of time and continue to succeed with talented drivers, outstanding sponsorships, top-end equipment, and excellent pit crew members.
With that said, they’re almost always a safer bet on race day when you’re looking to bet on winners, over/unders, or to put together your fantasy NASCAR team. For the foreseeable future, it’s best to stick to the seven teams listed above unless another makes their mark. But it’s rare.
Which teams and drivers are your favorite bets, and why? Let us know in the comments.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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