NASCAR: There’s a new favorite to win the 2023 championship

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Denny Hamlin is the new betting favorite to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship after closing out the round of 16 with a win.

Only twice in the last several months has there been a new favorite to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson had been the favorite for quite some time before Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. took over following his mid-July win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Truex retained his status as the favorite through the regular season, winning the regular season title along the way. But after Larson won the playoff opener at Darlington Raceway, he became the favorite once again.

Now, however, there is a new favorite, and he is not a former NASCAR Cup Series champion like Truex and Larson are.

After winning Saturday night’s round of 16 finale at Bristol Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is the betting favorite to win this year’s championship.

Hamlin has had the car to beat in all three playoff races so far, but things didn’t work out for him in the first two races at Darlington and Kansas Speedway. His Bristol win was his third of the season, as he also won at Kansas in May and at Pocono Raceway in July.

The driver of the No. 11 Toyota is in his 18th full season in the Cup Series, and his Bristol victory officially made him the winningest non-champion in series history, with win number 51 moving him ahead of Junior Johnson on that list.

Hamlin’s top finish in the championship standings is second place, which he recorded in 2010 when Jimmie Johnson won the fifth of his record-tying seven titles. Since the modern playoff format was introduced in 2014, Hamlin has been to the Championship 4 on four occasions, including three in a row from 2019 to 2021.

Is this finally his year?

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving fans an instant and guaranteed $200 just for betting $5, lists Hamlin at +430 to win this year’s title, slightly ahead of Truex, Larson, and Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron at +450.

Odds and availability are always subject to change, so lock in your $200 now!

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

The round of 12 opener is the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 24 at Texas Motor Speedway. The live broadcast is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now if you have not yet done so!