NASCAR driver totally removed from championship odds

Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

DraftKings Sportsbook has unsurprisingly completely taken down Noah Gragson’s odds to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Rookie Noah Gragson is facing an increasingly uncertain future in the NASCAR Cup Series. The only certainty is that that future won’t be with Legacy Motor Club.

Already on the hot seat due to poor performance after recording just two top 20 finishes in 21 starts this year, the last place full-time driver in the point standings was suspended indefinitely after being found to have “liked” an Instagram post featuring a The Little Mermaid-themed meme mocking the death of George Floyd.

There was no formal confirmation from Legacy Motor Club that they had cut ties with the 25-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native right away, but the consensus was that Gragson had driven the No. 42 Chevrolet for the final time.

That speculation proved accurate, as Gragson requested his release from his contract with the team, and it was granted.

JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry filled in for him this past weekend (and Monday) at Michigan International Speedway, and Mike Rockenfeller is set to return to the Cup Series to drive the No. 42 Chevrolet in the next two races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and Watkins Glen International.

Plans for the NASCAR Cup Series regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway and the 10-race playoff schedule have not been confirmed by the team.

But even before the announcement of Gragson’s release, the writing was on the wall.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering fans an instant $150 just for placing a single $5 wager, removed Gragson from their championship odds several days before he was released. They now list just 32 full-time drivers instead of 33.

Gragson remains listed at FanDuel Sportsbook, tied for the longest odds at +50000. But he might as well not be.

He would need to be allowed to return for the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway, be granted a playoff waiver, and win the regular season finale just to qualify for the playoffs.

He would also need to be on a race team.

All four are unlikely.

As far as DraftKings goes, this marks the second time this season that a full-time driver has been completely removed from the championship odds. Rick Ware Racing’s Cody Ware was removed following his April arrest and suspension, and he hasn’t competed in a race since.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. remains the championship favorite for a fourth straight week and is now listed at +400.

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