2022 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard NASCAR Predictions and Pick
Last week’s Cup Series race saw an outcome we haven’t seen in 60 years. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch crossed the finish line in first and second, but a post-race penalty gave the win to Chase Elliott.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter for my NASCAR picks as I didn’t have either driver in the lineup. Kyle Busch was my top pick, so things could’ve been dicey without his DQ.
The Cup Series heads to the Indianapolis Road Course this weekend. Each road course race has brought a first-time winner in 2022. How will that impact my Verizon 200 predictions?
Chase Elliott (+400)
Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. Chase Elliott didn’t have the best car at Pocono, but he had enough speed to finish top 10. He moved into the top three on a late-race restart. That move won him the race after the disqualification to Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
Don’t look now, but Elliott has five straight top-two finishes. He’s starting to give us glimpses of Kyle Larson’s 2021 season. Larson was a regular in my NASCAR predictions.
Surprisingly, Elliott hasn’t won a road course race in 2022, but he had the dominant car at Road America.
- Starting Position: 1st
- Finishing Position: 2nd
- Average Running Position: 2.0
- Laps Led: 28 of 62
Elliott had the dominant car but lost the lead to Tyler Reddick. Between that and losing a late lead at New Hampshire, Elliott could easily enter this race with five straight wins.
He was a top contender in last year’s Indianapolis Road Course race, recording the second-best average running position and driver rating. There’s no reason to leave him out of your NASCAR betting picks.
Elliott should be in contention for another victory. Can he make it four in six races?
Daniel Suarez (+1100)
Trackhouse Racing has been the gold standard on road courses. We’ll talk about Ross Chastain, but this spot belongs to Daniel Suarez. Suarez enters the Verizon 200 with four straight top 10 finishes.
There’s plenty of momentum, but he makes my free Verizon 200 picks because of his success on road courses. Suarez led 15 laps at COTA but couldn’t recover from a mid-race spin.
Chastain scored his first career win in that race. A few months later, Suarez replicated that feat at Sonoma.
- Starting Position: 8th
- Finishing Position: 1st
- Average Running Position: 4.0
- Laps Led: 47 of 110
It was a long time coming for Suarez, but Sonoma marked a turning point in his Cup Series career. That began a stretch of five top 10 finishes in six races. The Verizon 200 odds have him as a top contender.
His performance at Sonoma wasn’t a fluke. He started 17th at Road America, scoring a fourth-place finish. Road America was a tough track to pass, so a 13-place improvement is impressive.
Suarez would love to strengthen his playoff position with another victory. Indianapolis Road Course is his best chance ahead of the playoffs.
Chase Briscoe (+1600)
Chase Briscoe has been quiet since an early-season victory at Phoenix. A fourth-place finish at Charlotte is his only top 10 since Martinsville in early March. Still, my NASCAR picks can’t pass on Briscoe at Indianapolis Road Course.
The track holds a special place in his heart as he drew up in Indiana. Briscoe won the inaugural Xfinity Series race at the track in 2020.
It looked like he would accomplish this feat in last year’s Cup Series race, but a late race penalty ended his chances.
Memorable Moments of the 2021 NASCAR Season (according to @bobpockrass):— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) December 21, 2021
"No. 4 – Briscoe, who didn’t know he was under penalty for cutting the Indy road course, tangled with Hamlin coming to the white flag, allowing Allmendinger to capture Kaulig Racing's first Cup win." pic.twitter.com/sZexBMYaPn
Briscoe was a top contender throughout the race. He started second and led 12 laps. Briscoe and Denny Hamlin would’ve had an intense battle if not for Briscoe short cutting the track on the final restart.
Surprisingly, Briscoe hasn’t been strong on road courses in 2022. He won Stage 1 at Road America after starting second, but pit strategy set him back. Briscoe couldn’t recover, finishing 14th.
I have high hopes for Briscoe ahead of the Indianapolis Road Course. He’ll run the Xfinity Series race to gain experience at the track. We’ve seen road courses produce surprise winners in 2022. Can Briscoe join that group?
Chris Buescher (+2200)
We’ve seen three first-time winners in three road course races in 2022. Chris Buescher has one career victory, but it was a fog-shortened race in 2016. A victory at Indianapolis Road Course would feel much better than that victory.
Buescher needs a win to make the playoffs. Honestly, he probably has the best chance to win this race among non-race winners in 2022. He had a disappointing performance at COTA, but Buescher has been a top-five contender in the last two road course races.
|Average Running Position||3.0||6.0|
Daniel Suarez scored the victory at Sonoma, but Buescher led the field with a 3.0 average running position. He looked faster at times but couldn’t work his way around Suarez. My Verizon 200 predictions believe we’ll see a similar performance at the Indianapolis Road Course.
I love the Verizon 200 betting odds for Buescher. He’s not one of the favorites, but he’s not a longshot. He’s in the same range as Ross Chastain (COTA) and Tyler Reddick (Road America).
Buescher has always been sneaky good at road courses. Will he break through with a win on Sunday?
2022 Verizon 200 Prop Bets
Technically, my prop bets went 1/2 last week after Kurt Busch missed the race. Daniel Suarez easily came through on his top 10 prop.
Check out my favorite prop bets for the Verizon 200.
Michael McDowell Over Kevin Harvick (-110)
Like Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell has been an underrated road course driver in his career. We’ve seen that on display in 2022, as he has back-to-back top 10 finishes.
Kevin Harvick scored a strong top-five finish at Sonoma but wasn’t in contention at COTA or Road America. It’s hard to believe, but McDowell and Buescher have been the class of the field among ford drivers on road courses.
Harvick was in position for a strong finish at Pocono, but a late crash led to a poor result. Both drivers need a win to make the playoffs.
McDowell knows this is his best chance to score that victory. My NASCAR betting picks expect another fast car as he finishes ahead of Harvick.
Ross Chastain to Finish Top 3 (+230)
I imagine many NASCAR predictions will have Ross Chastain as their race winner. Chastain was in position to win at Pocono, but late contact with Denny Hamlin ended his day.
I mentioned Trackhouse Racing’s success on road courses in 2022. Daniel Suarez captured his first career win at Sonoma. Chastain kicked off the fun by winning at COTA. You can argue he has been the best overall driver on road courses in 2022.
- COTA: 1st
- Sonoma: 7th
- Road America: 4th
Chastain famously muscled his way around A.J. Allmendinger and Alex Bowman in the final corner to win at COTA. His aggression has rubbed many drivers the wrong way, but he continues to have speed.
My expert Verizon 200 picks give him a strong chance to win on Sunday, but I love the value of him scoring a top-three finish.
Cole Custer to Finish Top 10 (+350)
Road course racing allows you to look for value. The top NASCAR betting sites have a few intriguing bets, but my favorite is Cole Custer scoring a top 10 finish. Custer’s 2022 season has been disappointing, but don’t count him out on road courses.
It’s hard to look at his finishes because they aren’t indicative of his speed. Instead, let’s look at his average running position.
- COTA: 13.0
- Sonoma: 15.0
- Road America: 14.0
Obviously, you’d like a better performance, but Custer’s on the edge of a great finish at a road course. Last season, he had the fourth-highest average running position at the Indianapolis Road Course.
It’d be very tough for Custer to compete for the win, but a top 10 finish is within the realm of possibilities. Hopefully, he can stay out of trouble and score a solid finish.
Who Will Win the 2022 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard?
A few weeks ago, I took a chance on Christopher Bell at (+1600) at New Hampshire. Bell paid off with his second career win. I hope we’ll see the same, with Briscoe winning the Verizon 200.
Briscoe’s road course numbers haven’t been great in 2022, but I can’t forget about last year’s performance. Not to mention, he would’ve competed for the win if he had better pit strategy at Road America.
Please tune into NBC on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. to see if your Verizon 200 prediction visits victory lane. Bettors can view my Xfinity and Truck Series picks for more betting opportunities.