For the first time ever, NASCAR is racing at a track that’s half oval and half road course. Sunday’s race on the 17-turn, 2.28 road course/oval, the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, also marks the final event of the Round of 16 in NASCAR’s playoffs.
Crew chiefs and motorists are having a tough time figuring out how to handle this particular track, and for bettors, things are just an unpredictable. We break down the Roval from a gambling prospective below.
MORE: Upgraded NASCAR title chances The way to handicap the Roval
The track isn’t a complete unknown to drivers, as several teams analyzed the Roval this spring and summertime. Most, though, had issues transitioning in the high rates on the large banks into slowing down entering the infield for Switch 1. Let us let Kurt Busch clarify the track by a driver’s view.
Yeah, it’s definitely going to be chaos, but breaking the tight and narrow Roval, we could discover similarities to other monitors. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have made the highest driver evaluations on the street courses of Sonoma and Watkins Glen within the last three years.
There is less margin for error on the Roval than there’s at Watkins Glen and Sonoma. Sunday’s race begins on the new infield road course and then uses the oval at its Turn 1 entrance. The cars remain on the speedway portion of the trail – navigating a chicane on the backstretch — before diving off into the street course again to finish the lap.
In terms of testing, on the final day of the final summer session, Kyle Busch set the quickest speed, followed by Joey Logano and A.J. Allmendinger.
The Roval is similar to the Rolex 24, a 24-hour sportscar race at Daytona in which cars race on the high banks and also on an infield program.
Several drivers in Sunday’s field have won on that Daytona road program. Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Jamie McMurray and Playoff driver Kyle Larson awakened to win the 2015 Rolex 24 overall. A.J. Allmendinger won the Rolex crown 2012 with Michael Shank Racing. Jimmie Johnson, another Playoff driver, completed runner-up in the Rolex 24 in both 2005 and 2008. Kurt Busch was third largest in 2008. And Paul Menard has a best finish of 15th at the Rolex at 2010.
Hurry favorite Kyle Busch led the very first clinic on the Charlotte road course Friday at a session that abandoned Aric Almirola, Hamlin, Chase Elliott along with Austin Dillon with minor damage.
With the track offering little room to maneuver, the starting lineup is essential. Kurt Busch (15/1) and road-warrior Allmendinger (30/1) will begin on the front . Alex Bowman (60/1), Elliott (8/1), Larson (20/1) and Johnson (25/1) round out the top-6.
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