EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix: Preview, Best Bets, Longshot Pick

The NASCAR Cup Series moves to the Circuit of the Americas for the first road course race of the season, the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, which begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix: Preview, Best Bets, Longshot Pick

The NASCAR Cup Series moves to the Circuit of the Americas for the first road course race of the season, the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, which begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

This is the fourth running of the event at COTA, which also hosts races for everything from Formula 1 and IndyCar to MotoGP and IMSA. The track has been partially re-paved from last year, with NASCAR also moving the restart zone to the exit of turn 20 after several issues with restarts in previous races.

Our motor racing experts preview the race and provide their five best bets to visit Victory Lane this weekend along with one longshot pick to keep an eye on.

ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE GRAND PRIX

Location: Circuit of the Americas, Austin

Date: Sunday, March 24, 3:30 p.m. ET

Distance: 68 laps around the 3.4-mile, 20-turn track

Defending champion: Tyler Reddick

Cup Series leader: Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr.

TV: FOX

Radio: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

5 BEST BETS

Tyler Reddick (+350 at BetMGM)

Reddick is the defending champion and owns an average finish of 4.5 on road courses, including three victories since 2022. The book’s third-biggest liability this week, Reddick’s odds have shortened from +500 while leading all drivers with 23.6 percent of the money wagered backing him to win.

Chase Elliott (+350)

Looking to snap a lengthy winless drought, Elliott owns seven career road course victories in the Cup Series but missed this race last year due to injury. He is the book’s second-biggest liability, with Elliott second in the field with 23.5 percent of the money backing him.

Shane van Gisbergen (+1200)

The noted road course specialist will be making just his third career Cup start and is competing full-time in the Xfinity Series this season. The former V8 Supercars champion won in his debut at Chicago last July and took 10th at Indianapolis last August. Van Gisbergen is the book’s biggest liability this week as he leads the field with 12.3 percent of the total bets and is third with 12.6 percent of the money.

A.J. Allmendinger (+1400)

Allmendinger has three career road-course victories in the Cup Series, with the most recent coming just last fall at the Charlotte Roval. He was leading at COTA in 2022 until a final-lap wreck and was in the top 10 until issues late in last year’s race. Allmendinger and van Gisbergen are teammates this week while racing two of the three Kaulig entries.

Alex Bowman (+3000)

Solid odds for a driver who owns an average finish of 4.3 in three previous races at COTA, where he finished runner-up in 2022 and third last year. Bowman has a pair of top-five finishes so far this year following a 2023 season hampered by a back injury.

LONGSHOT PICK

Kamui Kobayashi (+6600)

Making just his second career Cup start, Kobayashi is a former F1 driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans champion. His first Cup start came at Indianapolis last summer.