How to watch NASCAR at COTA: Entry list, TV, weather, odds

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The most anticipated NASCAR race in recent history is finally here.

Circuit of the Americas (COTA), a 20-turn road course in Austin, Texas, will host the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend for the third straight season. This year though, the field of drivers is more stacked than ever.

Ross Chastain will look to defend his win from last year, but a number of worthy competitors will be eager to knock him off the throne.

Here’s everything you need to know for COTA this weekend:

What is the COTA entry list?

For the first time in NASCAR history, two former Formula One champions will compete in the same Cup race: Kimi Räikkönen in his second career start for Pitbull’s Trackhouse Racing and Jenson Button making his debut for Rick Ware Racing.

But that’s not all. With 2021 COTA winner Chase Elliott still sidelined due to a broken leg, two-time sports car champion Jordan Taylor will climb into the No. 9 for Hendrick Motorsports. Taylor is a seasoned road course veteran, with wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2015) and Daytona (2017, 2019, 2021).

And if that wasn’t enough, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will make his second start of 2023 after debuting for Legacy Motor Club, a team that he now co-owns, at Daytona last month. IndyCar driver Conor Daly will also make his third career Cup start for Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s team.

Here’s the full entry list:

No. 1, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing

No. 2, Austin Cindric, Team Penske

No. 3, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing

No. 4, Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing

No. 5, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports

No. 6, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing

No. 7, Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports

No. 8, Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing

No. 9, Jordan Taylor, Hendrick Motorsports

No. 10, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing

No. 11, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing

No. 12, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske

No. 14, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing

No. 15, Jenson Button, Rick Ware Racing

No. 16, A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing

No. 17, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing

No. 19, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing

No. 20, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing

No. 21, Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing

No. 22, Joey Logano, Team Penske

No. 23, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing

No. 24, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports

No. 31, Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing

No. 34, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports

No. 38, Todd Gilliland, Front Row Motorsports

No. 41, Ryan Preece, Stewart-Haas Racing

No. 42, Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club

No. 43, Erik Jones, Legacy Motor Club

No. 45, Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing

No. 47, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing

No. 48, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports

No. 50, Conor Daly, The Money Team Racing

No. 51, Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing

No. 54, Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing

No. 77, Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports

No. 78, B.J. McLeod, Live Fast Motorsports

No. 84, Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club

No. 91, Kimi Räikkönen, Trackhouse Racing

No. 99, Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing

When is the NASCAR race at COTA in 2023?

The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix is set for Sunday, March 26 at 12:30 p.m. PT.

Before the race on Sunday, there will be practice and qualifying sessions. All 39 drivers will participate in a free practice session on Friday from 11:05 p.m. to 11:55 a.m. PT.

Two-round qualifying will be held on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. PT. Here’s how it works:

  • The 39 drivers will be split into two groups.
  • First round: 15 minutes for each group. Drivers can make unlimited laps.
  • The five fastest drivers from each group advance to the second round. Starting positions 11 through 39 are set based on speeds from the first round.
  • Second round: 10 minutes for the 10 drivers who advanced. Drivers can make unlimited laps. The top 10 starting positions are determined based on single-lap speeds from the second round.

What is the NASCAR schedule at COTA?

Friday, March 24 (no TV or streaming)

  • Practice: 11:05 a.m. PT

Saturday, March 25 (FS1 and streaming)

Sunday, March 26 (FOX and streaming)

  • EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix: 12:30 p.m. PT, FOX, FoxSports.com

Who are the past winners at COTA?

Chastain scored his first career victory at COTA last March after a thrilling finish between him, Allmendinger and Bowman.

Elliott is the only other active driver to win at COTA (in 2021), but he’s out with a broken leg. Outside of Chastain, Suarez (Sonoma), Reddick (Road America, Indy), Larson (Watkins Glen) and Bell (Charlotte ROVAL) were the other road course winners in 2022.

In Formula One, Räikkönen won the United States Grand Prix at COTA in 2018. Taylor is a two-time winner at COTA in the IMSA SportsCar Series.

Who is favored to win NASCAR this weekend?

With so many different star drivers in the field, this race is nearly impossible to predict.

The two Formula One champions (Räikkönen, Button) have experience at the track but are unfamiliar with the car. The sports car champion (Taylor) has never raced in NASCAR. The former NASCAR champion (Johnson) has never raced a Cup car at COTA.

In reality, it’s more likely that a series regular bests all these talented part-time stars – and the odds reflect that. Larson (four career road course wins), Busch (four career road course wins) and Chastain (defending winner) are the favorites heading into the weekend.

Here’s a full look at some odds to win at COTA before practice and qualifying, courtesy of our partner, PointsBet:

  • Kyle Larson, +650
  • Kyle Busch, +750
  • Ross Chastain, +800
  • Tyler Reddick, +900
  • William Byron, +1000
  • A.J. Allmendinger, +1200
  • Christopher Bell, +1200
  • Austin Cindric, +1400
  • Alex Bowman, +1400
  • Daniel Suarez, +1400
  • Ryan Blaney, +1800
  • Chris Buescher, +2000
  • Chase Briscoe, +2500
  • Kevin Harvick, +2500
  • Joey Logano, +2500
  • Denny Hamlin, +2800
  • Martin Truex Jr., +2800
  • Kimi Räikkönen, +4000
  • Jimmie Johnson, +6000
  • Jenson Button, +10000
  • Conor Daly, +50000

 

What is the weather for NASCAR in Austin, Texas?

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth is predicting a hot weekend in Austin. Temperatures could reach 87 degrees on Friday, with thunderstorms in the morning before sunny conditions later. Saturday looks to be the best day, with a high of 83 degrees, sunny skies and a 0% chance of rain. For the race on Sunday, there’s a 16% chance of rain with partly cloudy skies and a high of 83 degrees expected.

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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