We’re going to discuss common NASCAR betting mistakes in this betting guide. I’ve been a NASCAR fan for years. I’ve also worked as a motorsports journalist, author, and racing radio host.
For the last several years I’ve been more focused on NASCAR wagering and the different platforms that customers can find entertaining betting opportunities on. Due to this, I’ve settled on several common NASCAR betting mistakes that people often make.
This is especially true if a person is unfamiliar with what NASCAR is and they are new to the sport. However, I often come across people falling into the same traps even if they’ve been a fan of NASCAR for many years. No one hits on every wager they make when betting on NASCAR. If you pay attention to some of these basic tips then you may avoid some common NASCAR betting mistakes and improve your win rate.
Not Understanding What NASCAR Is
One of the biggest reasons many people fail when wagering on NASCAR is that they do not understand what NASCAR is. On the surface, NASCAR racing is a field of 30-something cars on a track making left turns for many laps, which equal several hundred miles. It is a driver behind the wheel of a car turning laps. But, NASCAR is much more than that.
First, NASCAR is a sanctioning body. This sanctioning body includes the top tier, which is the NASCAR Cup Series. The NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series follow. Then there is the ARCA Menards Series which is owned by NASCAR as well as NASCAR Mexico, Canada and Europe. Then there are NASCAR regional tracks and Series.
Why is this important? Drivers often earn their way up through the various Series by winning and logging laps during races in the underlying Series. Most often, when placing a wager on a “NASCAR” race, a person is betting on a “NASCAR Cup Series Race” which is the top of the line when it comes to stock car racing. Here’s where this is important – we as fans can look at a driver’s experience across different Series and tracks before wagering using NASCAR stats. More on that below.
Only Betting on the Big Name Drivers or Teams
Let’s jump to one of the obvious NASCAR betting mistakes. It is very easy to look at a list of names and gravitate to those that ring a bell in our memories. Or, it is easy to look at a list of players or teams and lean towards those that are ones we are familiar with because of our location or as being teams we like.
If you grow up in Dallas, then you may lean towards being a Dallas Cowboys fan. If you are a native of Pittsburgh, then you may be a Steelers fan. Did you grow up in the Smoky Mountains or East Tennessee region – Go Vols! You get the picture. The same applies to NASCAR racing – wagering fans may lean towards the biggest names in the sport such as Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
Here’s where this can often lead to poor results when wagering on NASCAR and any of its Series. The biggest-name driver does not always win the race. A perfect example of this comes from the 2022 season where a total of 19 different Cup drivers won a race during the season. Considering that there are only 36 races on the Cup schedule – this is an amazing statistic! The point is that, as with the PGA, NBA and NFL, sometimes you must look for value instead of the big name.
Not Understanding Track Types
Okay, big names do not always win. So, let’s pick back up on a topic touched on above. I mentioned driver performance and experience across different Series and tracks before wagering using NASCAR stats. One thing that is a common NASCAR betting mistake is that people too often only think about NASCAR drivers running races on oval tracks that are somehow all the same.
The NASCAR schedule for all of the top Series; Cup, Xfinity and Craftsman Truck – includes races on different types of tracks. There are Superspeedways which are 2.5 miles long. Intermediate tracks which average 1.5 miles long. There are short tracks, road courses and street courses. None of these tracks are the same. Differences can range from track surface material, how old that surface is, the amount of banking in the turns, how wide the pit row is and countless other factors.
It’s important to understand the type of track of the race you are wagering on. Some drivers may trend towards being good on superspeedways while others are known for their skills on road courses.
Not Taking Hot or Cold and Night or Day into Consideration
One of the most common NASCAR betting mistakes that people make is considering the type of track. The other issue is not taking something as simple as the time of the race or the weather into consideration. Believe it or not – daylight, darkness, hot and cold weather all are contributing factors when researching race weekends before placing your wagers.
This is especially important when a track venue holds two races at the track during the season. These tracks include Bristol, Atlanta, Daytona, Talladega and others. There is often a Spring race and a fall race.
Sometimes, as in the case of Bristol Motor Speedway, there is a day race and a night race. The temperature changes during the time of year, as well as if the race is held in daylight or under the lights.
Another consideration is if rain is in the forecast. NASCAR can use rain/wet tires on some road courses, but they are not feasible on high-speed ovals and superspeedways. In this case, a track may be called as being “official” if it reaches the halfway point. Or, in some instances, a race can be paused and resumed the next day.
Not Using Free NASCAR Stats
One of the biggest common NASCAR betting mistakes is not taking advantage of the massive amount of free stats that are available for NASCAR fans. The NASCAR website does a great job of providing statistics for the current race season. Other sites, such as Racing Reference, provide stats for every driver and every track that NASCAR has raced on. It is an amazing resource for people looking for driver trends on how they do on different types of race tracks.
I tend to look for trends on how a driver does on a certain type of track, but across different Series. For example, a driver may only have a few races at Bristol in a Cup Series car, but they may have several starts at the same track in another Series complete with a win and impressive top-ten finishes. This is a great way to help make wagering selections.
Avoiding Common NASCAR Betting Mistakes Can Be Easy
Some of the most common NASCAR betting mistakes can be avoided simply by doing a small amount of research. It also helps to avoid the common pitfalls listed above. Having a basic understanding of NASCAR and its Series is a great starting point. Understanding that the biggest names don’t win every race and that not every track is the same is the biggest hurdle to get past.
NASCAR is not a cookie-cutter sport and it is dependent on a love for statistics. If you watch a race on TV or listen to one on the radio then you’ll constantly hear references to stats such as fastest laps, past wins at the venue, most laps led at a track, and even weather-related statistics if weather is an issue. Avoid common NASCAR betting mistakes with some research to help improve your wagering results.