Hendrick Motorsports teams have won three of the last four NASCAR Cup Series races here at the start of the 2022 season. Those victories have been shared among three of the organization’s four drivers with the only one being left out of victory lane so far being 2020 series champion Chase Elliott. Going into this weekend, the odds are strong that the company that has won the last two series championships will add another win on Sunday and that could very well complete the cycle of in-house winners.
Chase Elliott has become NASCAR’s road course ace over the past few seasons collecting seven checkered flags from the tracks that feature right and left hand turns. Among those wins was a triumph last year in a rain soaked event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and it is that very track where the Cup Series has journeyed to this weekend.
Elliott’s first career win came on the Watkins Glen road course back in 2018. He has only gotten stronger on those types of tracks having collected his other six wins over the last three years. As a matter of fact, the No. 9 Chevrolet has not won on an oval since he clinched the NASCAR Cup Series title in Phoenix back in 2020.
Last year, HMS completed a 1-2 sweep in the COTA race shortened by torrential rains and placed all four of its Chevrolets among the top-11 finishers. In all, HMS drivers claimed a total of five road course race wins in 2021 so it would logical to assume that those cars will be among the favorites at the Austin, Texas facility.
Ultimately, Larson won three road course races in 2021 while Elliott took two of those events.
That said, though, Elliott has a longer history of success on the twisting tracks than does Larson. The 26-year-old racer from Dawsonville, Georgia is virtually always thought of as the favorite going into one of these races and Sunday’s race at Circuit of the Americas is hardly any different.
Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed Elliott as a 2.5-to-1 favorite on Sunday with Larson rated as the second most likely to win at 3-to-1.
The chances that Hendrick Motorsports will claim another win are strong this weekend. And betting against Chase Elliott at the Circuit of the Americas facility would be a tough call to make.
Richard Allen has been covering NASCAR and other forms of motorsports since 2008.
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