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2023 Cook Out 400 Sleeper Picks

By Jeff Stinger

NASCAR heads to Virginia for the 22nd race of the 2023 campaign. The relatively short 3⁄4-mile track features 14-degree banked turns and an eight-degree bump on the front straight. This format promises plenty of wheel-to-wheel action across 300 miles of racing. The Cook Out 400 comes right after an enthralling Pocono 400 where Denni Hamlin bumped and held off Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. for the win. This time, Nitrobetting addresses the race sleepers at the Richmond Raceway.

A Closer Look at the top 2023 Cook Out 400 Sleeper Picks

READ MORE: 2023 Cook Out 400 NASCAR Odds & Prediction

Todd Gilliland

  • 2023 Cook Out 400 Race Odds: +10,000

Todd Gilliland returned to the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford in the 2023 Cup Series. He moved to Cup level last year and logged his first top-five finish at the Indianapolis road course. A year before, he scored his second career Truck Series victory in his fourth full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He previously sported the Kyle Busch Motorsports uniform, claiming two consecutive titles in 2016 and 2017. Running the full-time season in both the ARCA Menards Series West and ARCA Menards Series East in 2017, it’s easy to see why Gilliland is a solid sleeper prospect this weekend.

The Statesville, North Carolina-born driver ranks 24th in the 2023 standings. He collected 358 points across 21 races, which includes three top-ten finishes. He holds an average start of 25.238 and an average finish of 20.381.

Ryan Preece

One of the more experienced drivers this year, Ryan Preece makes his way to the sleepers list thanks to years of experience in the sport. After his stint as a Stewart-Haas Racing reserve driver, the man from Connecticut pilots the No. 41 Ford for the 2023 Cup Series. He made select starts across all three national series in 2022 before picking up a permanent gig in the Cup Series. Preece won his first win of the season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Nashville. In 2021, he raced behind the wheel of the No. 37 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing. A year before that, he scored two top tens and an average finish of 24.3.

This season, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver ranks 27th overall with 341 points under his name. He is yet to find a top-five or a top-ten finish in 21 races, but already led 141 laps since the beginning of the season. Preece holds an average start of 23.571 and an average finish of 22.429.

B.J. McLeod

  • 2023 Cook Out 400 Race Odds: +10,000

Live Fast Motorsports co-owner B.J. McLeod drives the No. 78 Chevrolet full-time in 2023. This is the team’s first year sporting the Chevy moniker, and a memorable one for the rest of the crew. McLeod previously drove the No. 6 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports in the 2020 Xfinity Series season. He also owns an Xfinity Series team, B.J. McLeod Motorsports. His racing accolades include Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 in the Xfinity Series and finished 20th in points.

The Florida native ranks 34th in the 2023 Cup Series standings. Despite scoring just 116 points in 14 races, there’s a lot of potential to be unlocked here. The venue could work to his advantage given McLeod’s history with short tracks. The 39-year-old veteran driver holds an average start of 33.071 and an improving average finish of 28.714.

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