Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson’s Duo Lead the Pack as They Snub Michael Jordan and Joe Gibbs’ Stars as the Favourites at The Glen

Published 08/17/2023, 1:11 PM EDT

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This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series drivers head to Watkins Glen International. The race makes the penultimate event in the regular season before the playoffs begin. It also happens to be the second to last road course race on the 2023 Cup Series calendar. Owing to the close proximity of the playoffs, and the fact that there are still some spots left, the pressure has ramped up. No one knows this more than Hendrick Motorsports or their drivers, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.

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Rick Hendrick’s team has not enjoyed such a great campaign, with just two drivers in the playoffs so far. Naturally, both Elliott and Bowman are under pressure to win the last two regular-season races. To start off is the Cup race at The Glen, which provides a great opportunity. So the question is, what are the driver’s odds of winning at the 3.45-mile circuit?

Chase Elliott

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Despite his rough form this year, Elliott is undoubtedly a favorite to win at The Glen. This is because he has won at the venue twice in a row, and would have won last year, if not for his teammate Kyle Larson. However, given his form in the past couple of visits, he could be in with a shout of victory.

Add to that, the fact that he was so close to winning last weekend at Indianapolis will only fire him up even more. Furthermore, he was fifth at Circuit of The Americas and third at Chicago, so will he go one better at Watkins Glen?

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Kyle Larson

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Like his teammate, Kyle Larson has been in excellent form at Watkins Glen. In fact, he won the last two editions of the race, though he did nudge Chase Elliott out of the lead in 2022 to do it. That being said, he is also another driver who could be a favorite to triumph at Watkins Glen.

Since he has been in better form and is in the playoffs already, he will be keen to show why he is one of the strongest drivers.

Michael McDowell

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In all honesty, Michael McDowell was an unexpected spanner in the works at Indianapolis last weekend. Not many people expected him to come out really strong and snatch victory and a coveted playoff berth. As a result, one really has to wonder if the #34 driver will keep up the momentum and nab a second consecutive Cup win.

Last year, he finished 6th at Watkins Glen International, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to expect a win from him.

Martin Truex Jr

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The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has been on a heck of a mission in 2023. With the driver well into his 40s, there were plenty of questions asked about his future in the sport. Kevin Harvick’s retirement at the end of the current campaign was slowly turning a spotlight on Martin Truex Jr.

However, he has since flipped off several of his critics with three wins this season. In addition to that, he has been in rock-solid form, with a number of top-five and top-ten finishes. It is also worth mentioning that he nearly won a fourth race at Michigan, had it not been for Chris Buescher’s iron defense.

Tyler Reddick

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The 23XI Racing star is regarded as one of the most talented drivers of his age. Tyler Reddick has racked up a fair number of road course wins in the past couple of seasons. This explains why the odds are fairly high for him to win at Watkins Glen. In fact, he even won at the Circuit of The Americas, which is another point in his favor.

According to some oddsmakers, he could very well be considered a threat at The Glen.

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With different agendas at stake, it is all set up perfectly for the race at Watkins Glen. Who do you think will triumph on Sunday? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a Senior Motorsports Writer at EssentiallySports, with an impressive track record of over 13K articles. He not only writes engaging content but regularly connects readers with some of the biggest racing names thanks to his ability to churn out exclusive interviews. From F1 driver Pierre Gasly to Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino, Dhruv has established himself as an authoritative voice in the world of motorsports.
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Edited by:

Priyank Mithani

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