A FanDuel bettor will not be lacking for gas money anytime soon after an unlikely four-leg parlay delivered a payout of nearly $1 million Sunday with the results of Sunday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
The bettor used a free wager of $13.49 to pick Cody Ware, B.J. McLeod, Landon Cassill, and David Ragan to all finish in the Top 10. The odds on any of the quartet to accomplish the feat individually ranged from +950 for Ragan to +2000 for Ware and McLeod, while Cassill was a bit of a reach at +1500. The four drivers started from the 33rd through 36th positions in the 37-car field, ahead of only Noah Gragson.
Picking them together to deliver a Top 10 finish swelled the odds to +7408700 — quite the longshot, though still notably better than the roughly 302 million-to-1 odds someone defied to win the $1.3 billion Mega Millions lottery in late July. The FanDuel bettor’s payout was $566.64 short of a cool $1 million.
Having a superspeedway strategy helps
𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐘 𝐖𝐎𝐍 𝐍𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐋𝐘 $𝟏 𝐌𝐈𝐋𝐋𝐈𝐎𝐍 🤯🤯🤯
This bettor took $13 and a dream and came out with one of the biggest wins I’ve ever seen.
Our finance department is in shambles 😅 pic.twitter.com/XoSkJOKpat
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) August 28, 2022
Stephen Young, head of motorsports for RotoGrinders, explained that second-tier drivers often race conservatively at superspeedway tracks like Daytona, whereas drivers on the lead lap will sometimes go three-wide and race aggressively. With the Coke Zero Sugar 400 being the final regular-season race on the Cup Series circuit, there were still two playoff spots up for grabs and plenty of racers dueling for the needed qualifying points.
“At Daytona and Talladega, some of the lower-funded teams will drive around in the back to avoid wrecks,” Young said. “This allows them to potentially save money and make money at the same time. With this strategy, if there is the ‘big one,’ they can move forward and finish well. The big wrecks don’t always happen, but they happen a lot more at tracks like Daytona and Talladega, thus opening up the potential for drivers to finish inside the Top 10 that don’t usually finish inside the Top 10.”
Rain also lends a helping hand
‘@AustinDillon3 would not be in the #NASCARPlayoffs if it wasn’t for this incredible wreck avoidance with 23 laps remaining at @Daytona.
The @RCRRacing driver made it through the mayhem, waited hours during a rain delay, and went on to win. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/4x65dQyWro
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 28, 2022
The “big one” occurred Sunday with 23 laps remaining in the 160-lap race, exacerbated by slick conditions, as rain had begun to fall. But even before that, Ragan, Cassill, Ware, and McLeod were able to move up the leaderboard due to other wrecks that thinned the field. By the time Austin Dillon claimed the checkered flag, only 17 of the 37 drivers finished the race with engines running.
Ragan and Cassill, though, were known to bettors as solid superspeedway options, and Young pointed out on ScoresandOdds that Ragan was a potential value pick at +900, given he had a pair of Top 10s in his last four superspeedway starts. Still, Ware had never finished in the Top 10 of a Cup race, while McLeod and Cassill had just two such finishes in 437 races between them.
Prior to this race, Cody Ware had 0 top 10s out of 80 Cup races, BJ McLeod had 1 top 10 out of 104 Cup races, Landon Cassill had 1 top 10 out of 333 Cup races and David Ragan had raced in just 5 Cup races in the last 3 years. This might be the most unbelievable hit ever. https://t.co/FYjOhMA2fP
— Sam Hays (@WichitaChiefSam) August 28, 2022
Young felt Ware, who finished sixth and had not finished inside the Top 20 since placing 18th in Charlotte in late May, was the biggest outlier of the four to help deliver the parlay payday. For his part, McLeod’s best finish this season prior to Sunday’s breakthrough was 19th in two events, while Cassill — who had nine Top 10 finishes in the Xfinity Series this season — had not placed higher than 19th in seven Cup Series starts.
Photo by Stan Szeto/USA TODAY