Chase Elliott set to make NASCAR Cup return at Martinsville: See picks to win, full field odds

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FILE -Chase Elliott during driver introductions before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Chase Elliott will return to the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the April 16, 2023 NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway after recovering from a leg injury.(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

The NASCAR Cup Series is heading to one of its most iconic tracks in Martinsville, and there could be more excitement at the front than there’s been the past few weeks.

That’s because Hendrick Motorsports star driver Chase Elliott will make his return to the car at one of his favorites tracks after missing the past six races due to a broken leg suffered during a skiing accident back in early March.

Elliott was able to meet the six-week return timeline and admitted that returning to a demanding Martinsville track will be tough, but the oddsmakers still have him as one of the favorites to win.

While we’re not feeling Elliott this week in his return, we’ve got five other drivers that appear to offer value to reach victory lane as well as the complete odds list for all 36 drivers in the field.

FAST FIVE PICKS

Chalk play

William Byron (+650 to win)

Byron is the defending winner of the Martinsville spring race and has been even more impressive so far this season than he was in 2022. He and his teammate Chase Elliott are chalk favorites at +650, but we’re going with Byron since he’s been on a roll to start 2023 as the only Cup Series driver to have won multiple races.

Trending up

Denny Hamlin (+700 to win)

Hamlin is the most accomplished active Cup Series driver at Martinsville, and he’s still among the top contenders even though the Hendrick Motorsports drivers have had more wins as of late. Joe Gibbs Racing won for the first time in 2023 last week, and Hamlin could be the next of their drivers to break through considering he’s won here five times in his career.

Best value

Ross Chastain (+1700 to win)

The last time the Cup Series ran at Martinsville, Chastain’s car was wide open up against the wall on the final lap in a desperation move deemed as the “Hail Melon” to reach the next round of the playoffs. While he didn’t reach victory lane that day, Chastain showed he could run up front at Martinsville and offers serious value at 17-to-1 to win this week.

Mid-pack play

Kevin Harvick (+2500 to win)

This is another value play, as Harvick’s recent Martinsville results have been subpar for his standards, but he’s been competitive in almost every race this season in what’s been an improvement from last year. We’ll take our chances with Harvick at 25-to-1 considering he’s had success here earlier in his career.

Longshot play

Austin Dillon (+5000 to win)

Dillon nearly won the Bristol Dirt Race last week and has established himself as one Cup Series’ better drivers at short tracks. Dillon recorded a top-three finish here in 2022 and should deliver another strong run this time around considering Richard Childress Racing has seen an overall improvement with the addition of Kyle Busch.

2023 NOCO 400 FULL FIELD ODDS

Odds from Caesars Sportsbook

+650 to win

Chase Elliott

William Byron

+700 to win

Kyle Larson

Christopher Bell

Denny Hamlin

Martin Truex Jr.

+1100 to win

Ryan Blaney

+1200 to win

Joey Logano

+1400 to win

Kyle Busch

+1700 to win

Ross Chastain

+2200 to win

Alex Bowman

Brad Keselowski

+2500 to win

Kevin Harvick

+3000 to win

Tyler Reddick

+4500 to win

Chase Briscoe

+5000 to win

Ryan Preece

Bubba Wallace

Austin Dillon

Aric Almirola

+5500 to win

Daniel Suarez

Chris Buescher

+6000 to win

Ty Gibbs

+7500 to win

Austin Cindric

+20000 to win

A.J. Allmendinger

Erik Jones

+30000 to win

Justin Haley

Michael McDowell

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

+40000 to win

Harrison Burton

Todd Gilliland

+50000 to win

Noah Gragson

Zane Smith

+150000 to win

Corey LaJoie

+200000 to win

Ty Dillon

+300000 to win

Anthony Alfredo

J.J. Yeley

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