NASCAR Cup Series: Who is the championship underdog?

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR playoffs (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR playoffs (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Last year, Joey Logano was listed as the underdog to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship heading to Phoenix Raceway. He won his second title.

The NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 field is set following Sunday afternoon’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney became the third driver to win his way into the Championship 4 during the round of 8, joining Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell.

Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron finished the round of 8 as the highest of the non-winners in points to lock himself in, eliminating Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick, and RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher.

Last year, Team Penske’s Joey Logano won his second championship after entering the Championship 4 as the title contender with the longest odds to pull it off. He beat out Bell, Trackhouse Racing Team’s Ross Chastain, and Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott to be crowned champion for the second time.

This year, Bell is listed as the longshot, though all four contenders are listed between +150 and +300 at FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving fans an additional $150 for a successful $5 bet.

Larson is listed as the NASCAR Cup Series title favorite, followed by Byron and Blaney tied for second.

All four championship contenders finished in the top six at Phoenix Raceway back in March, with Byron winning ahead of Blaney in second place, Larson in fourth, and Bell in sixth. But while Byron won stage one and Larson won stage two, Blaney and Bell did not lead any laps.

Of these drivers, the top finisher in last year’s championship race at the track was Blaney, who finished in second place behind Logano. Byron finished in sixth, Larson finished in ninth, and Bell finished in 10th.

Larson and Bell are the only two Championship 4 drivers with Championship 4 experience. With a Phoenix victory, Larson won the 2021 title in his first appearance, while Bell’s 10th place finish last November netted him a third place finish in the standings.

With the active FanDuel promotion, a successful $5 bet on any of these four drivers would pay an additional $150. For example, a successful $5 bet on Larson would pay $162.50 instead of $12.50.

Odds and availability are subject to change. Lock in your bonus now!

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NBC is set to broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race live from Phoenix Raceway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, November 5. If you have not yet begun a free trial of FuboTV, do so now!