Ross Chastain is inexplicably still only the 10th favorite to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Trackhouse Racing Team’s Ross Chastain capitalized on his and his team’s first career NASCAR Cup Series pole position on Sunday night at Nashville Superspeedway,.
The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet led 99 of 300 laps around the four-turn, 1.33-mile (2.140-kilometer) Lebanon, Tennessee oval to secure the Ally 400 victory, which was his and the team’s first win of the 2023 season.
Despite the victory and the fact that Chastain now sits in a second place tie in the point standings, DraftKings Sportsbook, which is offering fans an instant $150 just for signing up and placing a single $5 wager, lists Chastain as only the 10th favorite to win the 2023 championship.
His odds are +1200.
Here’s a full look at the latest odds.
In addition to the $150 you get simply for signing up and betting $5, that’s $60 more you can potentially win with a $5 bet on Chastain if he wins the championship.
Of course, Chastain will hardly care about his sportsbook odds to win the championship. Heading into last year, nobody viewed him as a threat to do much, and yet look at what he achieved.
In his first season with Trackhouse Racing Team, he earned the first two victories of his career to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in his career. He ended up going all the way to the Championship 4 and finished runner-up in the point standings.
While he hadn’t won a race since April 2022 before winning on Sunday night, Chastain had spent time at the top of the point standings this season for the first time in his career. He has led the standings after seven of the first 17 races, more than any other driver, and is the highest-ranking driver in the standings among those with one win.
The 2023 season isn’t even halfway over, yet Chastain has led 447 laps, more than 100 laps more than half of his total from last year (692). His average finish is 13.1, which is slightly better than his mark from last season (13.3). He appears to be even better than he was a year ago.
So why is Ross Chastain still being overlooked in the NASCAR Cup Series championship odds?
Yes, there is a feeling surrounding Chastain that the rest of the Cup Series won’t allow him to win the championship, given how many enemies he has made on the race track going back to last year.
After all, under the current playoff format, any sort of an issue in the Championship 4, no matter what it is and who causes it, is effectively a championship death sentence.
But if he continues to drive like he has driven recently and shows clear improvement in regard to how he races others, that won’t go unnoticed.
Rick Hendrick even said after the race at Darlington Raceway, when Chastain and Kyle Larson crashed out together on a late restart, that Chastain would have more success and win more races if he cleaned things up, and that is exactly what the NASCAR world saw on Sunday night at Nashville Superspeedway.
He may not be deserving of being the favorite, but 10th? Are there really nine drivers with a better chance to win the title than Chastain, especially coming off of his most impressive win with Trackhouse Racing Team yet?