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Best Matchup to bet now for the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

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The “Roval” is a combination of the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval and some road course elements on the infield of that track. The 2.28-mile track starts with a loop the infield. The course then returns to turns 1/2 of the oval and runs down the oval backstretch. About midway through the normal backstretch there is a chicane to break up the speed drivers would be otherwise be building up. After the chicane the course returns to turns 3/4 of the oval. This means turns 9 and 10, (turns 1/2 of the oval) and turns 13 and 14 (turns 3/4 of the oval) are banked 24 degrees. There is nothing like this on any other road course.

Looking to incident adjusted speed correlation last year, there simply wasn’t a lot between the Roval and any other track. The strongest correlation was an r squared of just .632 between the Roval and Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Correlation to other road courses was fairly average. In fact the Indy Road Course and Watkins Glen had correlation well below .5. Despite this, a combination of 2022 road course speed blended with recent speed heading into the race remained the best predictor for the race. So this year that’s what I’m turning to again. With that in mind there is a matchups that I’m targeting as mispriced.

Alex Bowman over Chase Briscoe | -135 (Caesars Sportsbook)

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Both of these drivers would probably like to see 2023 in the rearview mirror/camera as soon as possible. Bowman had a good start to 2023 but has not looked the same since his sprint car injury. For Briscoe the entire season has been bad. With the exception of Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Hass Racing in general has been sending out cars with anchors on them. Despite his poor second half of the year, Bowman is still light years ahead of Briscoe right now. Given their performance records since Bowman has returned from his injury, Bowman should be favored even more than he currently is.

First, while it was pre-injury, it is worth noting that at COTA, Bowman had an average running position around 9 spots better than Briscoe. If we look at just the four road/street course races since Bowman returned from injury, he has an average running position over 5 spots better than Briscoe. Briscoe has beaten Bowman exactly once at a road or street course in 2023. The lone victory for Briscoe in this matchup was at the Chicago Street Course, the least similar track, and it required Bowman wrecking.

If we look at recent speed in general, Bowman is also well ahead of Briscoe. The last time the Briscoe had a better incident adjusted speed than Bowman was at Richmond back in July. Neither driver will be racing for stage points, they will simply be running to get the best finish possible. Under these circumstances Bowman should be heavily favored. I wouldn’t go under this number, but at -135 this is still a good bet.

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