The excitement and intensity of a NASCAR season brings out the sports’ fans who cannot wait to feel the rumble of the cars roaring around the oval. It’s a phenomenon that overtook the country and hasn’t slowed down, and here in Arizona it’s no different. In fact, the championship race, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship, takes place right here at the Phoenix Raceway.
Now that sports betting is legal in Arizona, fans and bettors alike can wager on the race if they wish. We’ll introduce you to wagering on the NASCAR Cup Championship race and give you all the details you’ll need to get your engines started.
Betting on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship
To browse currently available sportsbooks in Arizona, you can do so by checking out the list below. Clicking on the sportsbook’s name will take you to that book’s homepage. From there you can sign up to create a new account, make a deposit, check out the latest NASCAR Cup Series Championship odds and start betting.
Having the right sportsbook is important in order to enjoy the hobby. You don’t want to end up frustrated every time you try to place a bet or deposit or withdraw money from your account.
Thankfully, there are plenty of sportsbooks to choose from, and you’ll be able to find the one that best meets your needs.
For example, fans who participate in daily fantasy sports are likely very familiar with the operations of Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Both of the companies began building their reputation in DFS before expanding into sports betting. The good news is, they brought their friendly customer service and their easy-to-navigate sites and apps. In addition, they continue to invest in their product.
Other veteran sportsbooks like BetMGM AZ app offer a user-friendly experience. You know you’ll be in good hands because BetMGM has built its entire reputation on betting and keeping its customers happy.
Why betting on NASCAR’s title race is so exciting
Imagine starting the season competing with a full field of professional NASCAR drivers and crews. By the end of the season, it ends up being just you and three others in the running for the championship.
That’s how NASCAR Cup Series racing works. The racers all compete to qualify for the playoffs, and the top 16 make it. From there, racers are whittled down to four who compete for the NASCAR title. The championship race, which takes place in Phoenix, crowns the champion.
Because those four are still racing in a field of 43 cars, there’s no telling what might happen. There are no bonus points, so all four of the potential champions have to fight for the highest place. In a sense, it’s just a four-way race for the title. But every car out there is still trying to win in order to get the first-place purse money.
The NASCAR Cup championship race is essentially two races in one, and that makes for a lot more excitement. You can wager on who will win the race itself, who will win the NASCAR title and more.
NASCAR betting data, research and statistics
Remember homework? Well, sports betting requires a lot of homework. You should never place a bet without thorough research, no matter how well you know the sport you’re wagering on. NASCAR is no different.
You’ll find a variety of online information regarding NASCAR. Important stats and data to look at include the practice and qualifying numbers for a particular race, recent trends and results, and even weather.
Compile as much of this information as you can to give yourself the best chance of winning. The fastest way to blow through your bankroll is by haphazardly making wagers.
How to bet on a NASCAR race
When you first dive into betting on NASCAR races, you’re going to find a slew of wagers that are quite different from what you’ll find betting on NFL and NBA. Here are the four most common wagers you’ll likely be making when it comes to NASCAR:
- Race winner: This is a simple bet to place, though it’s hardly ever simple to win. You wager on a driver to finish first overall in the race. If you’re right, you’ll come away with winnings based on your wager and the driver’s odds.
- Driver matchup: Choose between two drivers in a head-to-head matchup to determine which you think will have the higher finish. The driver you pick doesn’t need to win. It just comes down to who finishes better between the two.
- Group matchup: This is a lot like the head-to-head matchup. Instead of picking between just two drivers, however, you’ll have a group of drivers (usually four). The idea is the same. You need to pick which driver will finish highest among the group. Again, it doesn’t matter who wins the race.
- Betting on futures: Every wager is like trying to conjure up a crystal ball and see what the outcome is going to be. Who will win? Which driver will have the better finish? Futures betting is the same, though you are typically wagering on an event that is still a ways off on the calendar. Examples include betting on which driver will win the NASCAR Cup Series Championship, which team of drivers will have the most wins on the season, and more. You can start placing bets pretty much once the prior NASCAR season ends, and continue right up to the event. The closer you get to the actual event, though, the tighter the odds are likely to be. Earlier wagers have the best profit potential, but you have much less information on which to base a wager.
Some other bets you’ll come across include fastest lap time, fastest qualifier, and if a driver will finish in the top three or five.
Each sportsbook will have its own selection of potential wagers. You can browse for the one that fits you best.
NASCAR Cup Series Championship prop bets
Prop bets are a kind of “side bet” you make with a sportsbook about an event. You’ll likely see the most prop bets for the NFL’s Super Bowl, which will have well over 100 to choose from.
Most sportsbooks will also offer NASCAR prop bets. You will see wagers on things like the number of crashes during the Cup Series Championship race, how many caution flags, or even an over/under for the finishing position of a particular driver.
You’ll find most sportsbooks carry similar prop bets, but some do carry more than others. You’ll want to do some comparison between books if you’re looking to maximize the variety of props available.
Live betting on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship
Live betting takes place as a sporting event is happening. In NASCAR, that means you can place wagers as the cars race by. Since live betting is taking place during an event, the odds are shifting based on what is happening. If you see odds you like, place your bet before the numbers shift. A sportsbook app is generally the easiest way to do this.
You’ll find various bets that depend on the race, the sportsbook, and more. Here are three examples for live betting on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race, with many more options possible:
- Who will be the top three finishers?
- Which driver will hold the lead at Lap 150?
- Who will have led the most laps after the first 100 are complete?
Recent winners of the Cup Series Championship
Here are the last 10 winners of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship:
- 2020: Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)
- 2019: Kyle Busch (Toyota)
- 2018: Joey Logano (Ford)
- 2017: Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota)
- 2016: Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)
- 2015: Kyle Busch (Toyota)
- 2014: Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)
- 2013: Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)
- 2012: Brad Keselowski (Dodge)
- 2011: Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)
How is the annual NASCAR champion determined?
The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs have seen some changes following their inaugural year in 2004.
However, the system has been stable since 2014 when it became easier to qualify for the playoffs. Pretty much any driver who wins a Cup Series race earns the right to compete in the playoff. The top 16 drivers (if there are more than 16 who win races, then the spots go to the highest point earners who have wins) then compete in 10 races over four rounds to determine the champion. The first three rounds are three races each, while the final round is the single championship race in Phoenix.
Each round eliminates the four drivers who have collected the fewest points. The full field of 16 competitors will shrink to 12, then eight and finally the last four. Those four drivers then must race against a full field of 43 cars while trying to finish the highest among themselves in order to win the title.
Here are the current playoff venues:
- Darlington Raceway
- Richmond Raceway
- Bristol Motor Speedway
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- Talladega Speedway
- Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Texas Motor Speedway
- Kansas Speedway
- Martinsville Speedway
- Phoenix Raceway
The NASCAR Cup Series Championship and the Phoenix Raceway
The 2020 season marked the first year that the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race took place at the Phoenix Raceway.
In that race, Chase Elliott held off Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin to take the championship. His average speed throughout the 312 laps was 112.096 miles per hour.
During the race, there were 19 lead changes by nine different drivers over the course of 2 hours and 47 minutes. There were four caution flags lasting 27 laps and no red flags.