NASCAR: New championship favorite emerges for 2023

Kyle Larson, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The NASCAR Cup Series has a new favorite to win the 2023 championship following Sunday afternoon’s race at Richmond Raceway.

Seven races into the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, there has not been a single dominant driver, just as there wasn’t one during the early stages of year number one of the Next Gen era last season.

Just one driver, Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron, has won more than one race. Sitting in fourth place in the point standings, he is the only driver in the top five who has won any races this year. All five of the other winners rank sixth or lower in points.

On Sunday afternoon at Richmond Raceway, the season’s sixth different winner emerged, marking the third straight season in which a season’s first seven races saw at least six drivers find victory lane.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson, who had experienced somewhat of a “what could have been” start to the 2023 season, finally took the checkered flag for the first time this year, winning the Toyota Owners 400.

It is still far too early to crown a true championship favorite, with 19 of 26 races remaining on the regular season schedule and 29 of 36 races remaining overall, but following his win on Sunday afternoon, Larson is now listed at FanDuel Sportsbook as a co-favorite to win this year’s championship.

The 2021 champion is tied with two-time champion Kyle Busch, who earned his first victory with Richard Childress Racing in the season’s second race at Auto Club Speedway, at +700 (bet $100 to win $700).

Here is the full list of NASCAR Cup Series championship odds for 2023.

  • Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports: +700
  • Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing: +700
  • Joey Logano, Team Penske: +800
  • William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports: +800
  • Ryan Blaney, Team Penske: +1000
  • Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing: +1100
  • Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports: +1100
  • Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing Team: +1200
  • Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing: +1200
  • Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing: +1200
  • Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing: +1400
  • Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing: +1400
  • Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports: +3000
  • Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing: +4000
  • Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing: +5000
  • Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing Team: +5000
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing: +5000
  • Ryan Preece, Stewart-Haas Racing: +6000
  • Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing: +6000
  • Austin Cindric, Team Penske: +6000
  • Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing: +6000
  • A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing: +10000
  • Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing: +10000
  • Erik Jones, Legacy Motor Club: +10000
  • Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club: +10000
  • Chris Buescher, RFK Racing: +10000
  • Todd Gilliland, Front Row Motorsports: +12000
  • Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports: +20000
  • Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing: +20000
  • Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports: +20000
  • Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing: +20000
  • B.J. McLeod, Live Fast Motorsports: +20000
  • Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing: +20000
  • Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports: +20000
  • Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing: +20000

Interestingly, the points leader, Alex Bowman, is only listed as the 13th favorite, and Ross Chastain, who sits in second after finishing last season in second with two wins, is only listed in an eighth place tie.

Former championship favorite Chase Elliott has dropped to a sixth place tie because of the continued uncertainty surrounding his return. His drop is more reflective of the fact that he has a lesser chance to qualify for the playoffs by missing multiple races with a broken leg, so if he is able to do so, his odds will surely shorten.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

The 2023 season’s eighth race, the Food City Dirt Race, is scheduled to take place on Easter Sunday, April 9. Fox is set to broadcast the race live from Bristol Motor Speedway starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!