Predictions for the Alsco Uniforms 300 – NASCAR Xfinity Series (March 5, 2022)
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will continue its west coast swing at Las Vegas. The 1.5-mile track will host the first of two Xfinity Series races this season.
Last week, three of my four picks led laps, with my biggest longshot, Anthony Alfredo, scoring a fifth-place finish. As the season moves along, we’ll begin to better understand the contenders for the 2022 season.
It’s a big transition from the 2.0-mile Auto Club to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas. Here are my top picks for the 2022 Alsco Uniforms 300.
Noah Gragson (+450)
Noah Gragson’s 2022 season is off to a great start. The JR Motorsports driver has led 12+ laps in both races, finishing third and second, respectively. I bet Gragson would love to start his season with a third, second, and first place finish.
Luckily, Gragson heads to a track that has brought him much success in his career. Check out his finishes in six starts.
- 2019: 3rd
- 2019: 6th
- 2020: 4th
- 2020: 2nd
- 2021: 5th
- 2021: 3rd
The only issue with Gragson’s Las Vegas numbers is leading laps. He only has three laps led, so he’ll need to improve if he wants to compete for the victory. Something tells me we’ll see that number rise on Saturday.
There is an extra incentive for Gragson this weekend. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, so this will serve as a home race. Those races are always more meaningful for drivers. Gragson should push a little harder to score his first career victory at Las Vegas.
If he continues to run this strong, it’s only a matter of time before he scores his first victory at the track, and of 2022.
Justin Allgaier (+700)
Justin Allgaier is quietly off to a nice start this season. He finished fifth at Daytona, and backed it up with an eighth-place finish at Auto Club. Allgaier led seven laps in the latter race. This week, he’ll aim for his first win at Las Vegas.
Over his last eight starts at the track, Allgaier has been in contention nearly every time. Check out his laps led in each race during that stretch.
- 2018: 12
- 2018: 16
- 2019: 0
- 2019: 15
- 2020: 63
- 2020: 0
- 2021: 4
- 2021: 90
Allgaier finished top 10 in six of those eight races. His best chance to win at Las Vegas came in last season’s fall race. He led a race-high 90 laps but was battling Josh Berry late in the race. Berry passed him with under 20 laps to go to score the victory.
That marked the third runner-up finish at Las Vegas for Allgaier. It’s time to put that behind him and do one better.
He has flown under the radar this season. Can he make his name known with a big victory at Las Vegas? We’ll find out on Saturday.
A.J. Allmendinger (+800)
I mentioned Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier are off to good starts, but they’re both looking up at points leader A.J. Allmendinger.
Allmendinger was less than a half-lap away from winning at Daytona, but Austin Hill passed him moments before a race-ending caution. Last week, he recovered from a tire issue to score a seventh-place finish. He has led 13+ laps in both races. That gives him momentum for Las Vegas.
It looked like Allmendinger would sweep the Las Vegas races. In the fall race, he led 20 laps, winning stage one. Unfortunately, a slow pit stop set him back, and he never made it back to the front. Allmendinger managed to finish seventh.
Those are his only starts at Las Vegas in the Xfinity Series, but that’s enough to show his speed. There’s no reason to believe his speed won’t carry over to 2022. He should be one of the cars to beat in Saturday’s race.
Josh Berry (+1000)
Josh Berry’s success in a part-time role earned him a full-time ride with JR Motorsports for the 2022 season. We haven’t heard much about Berry this season, but he scored a solid fourth-place finish last week.
Last season, Berry was only expecting to race in the first half of the season. However, an injury to Michael Annett left an opening at JR Motorsports. He drove the No. 1 car for five races, including Las Vegas.
Check out his performance in the Fall race.
- Starting Position: 15th
- Finishing Position: 1st
- Laps Led (of 201): 38
It looked like Justin Allgaier had the car to beat, but Berry’s car came alive in the final 50 laps. He led the final 17 laps to score his second career Xfinity Series victory.
Berry made a name for himself on short tracks, so it was great to see him score a victory on a 1.5-mile track. That played a big hand in him earning a full-time ride for the 2022 season.
We should see Berry in contention once again. Can he make it two in a row at Las Vegas? It’d be big for his race team.
Who Will Win the 2022 Alsco Uniforms 300?
I know it’s only two races, but I love what I’m seeing from Noah Gragson. He has quickly established himself as a championship contender. He had a slow start to the 2021 season, so it was imperative he started 2022 on the right foot.
He’ll have extra motivation to win at his home track. I believe he scores the victory and makes his claim as a championship favorite.
Make sure you tune into Saturday’s race at 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Before that, head over to the top NASCAR betting sites to wager on your favorite pick.