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The excitement has been building towards the first-ever NASCAR Cup series race at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, and the drivers are readying for a hectic day of events. The debut Cup race at Circuit of the Americas, the 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix, is at  2:30 p.m. ET and set for a 68-lap, 231-mile run. If anyone can deliver a stellar performance on such a compact schedule, it is Martin Truex Jr., who is the only Cup driver with multiple wins this season.

Truex has been a dominant figure in recent road course events at other tracks, as he has won the last two races and three overall at Sonoma, so it is no surprise that the 2021 Echopark Texas Grand Prix odds from William Hill Sportsbook list him at 7-2. In his last three starts at Watkins Glen, Truex has a win and two second-place showings. Before you scour the 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix starting lineup and make any NASCAR at COTA predictions, be sure to see the latest 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix picks from SportsLine's proven projection model.

Developed by daily Fantasy pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking into account factors such as track history and recent results.

The model began the 2020 season paying out big by picking Denny Hamlin to win his second consecutive Daytona 500 at 10-1. The model also called Kevin Harvick's win at Atlanta and nailed a whopping nine top-10 finishers in that race. McClure then used the model to lock in a 10-1 bet on Hamlin for his win at Miami.

At The Brickyard, the model called Harvick's fourth victory of the season. Then during the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, the model nailed its NASCAR picks in back-to-back races, calling Denny Hamlin to win at 17-2 at Talladega and Chase Elliott to win at 7-2 at the Charlotte Roval.

During the 2021 season, the model has correctly predicted at least seven top-10 finishers in six of the last 10 races. Last month, it had Martin Truex Jr. at the top of its projected leaderboard at Martinsville, nailing his victory for a 3-1 payout. Last week, the model was high on eventual winner Alex Bowman at Dover. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model simulated the 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix 10,000 times. Head to SportsLine to see the complete projected NASCAR at Circuit of the Americas leaderboard.

Top 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix predictions

One surprise: the model is high on Kevin Harvick, even though he's a 20-1 long shot in the latest NASCAR at Circuit of the Americas odds 2021. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. Harvick has not truly displayed his best form this season yet, as he has logged only four top-five finishes and no wins in 13 starts so far in 2021, but two of those have been in his last four races.

Harvick finished sixth at the Daytona Road Course in February and has a win and a second place finish in his past three starts at Sonoma. Dating back to Feb. 2018, Harvick has an average finish of 7.9 on road courses, which is third-best among all active drivers. Last season, Harvick scored his first win of the year in mid-May and won again in the first week of June.

And a massive shocker: Chase Elliott, the Vegas favorite at 9-5, stumbles big-time and fails to get to victory lane. There are far better values in this loaded 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix starting lineup. Five of Elliott's 11 career NASCAR Cup Series victories have come on road courses, but he's coming off a disappointing effort at the Daytona Road Course earlier this season.

Elliott led 44 laps in the race, but wound up finishing 21st after spinning out with six laps remaining in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 253. It ended a four-race win streak on road courses, and Elliott admitted to making too many mistakes on a rain-soaked track. Weather could be a factor again, with precipitation in the forecast on Sunday in Austin.

How to make 2021 NASCAR at COTA picks

The model is also targeting five other drivers with 2021 NASCAR at Austin odds longer than 15-1 to make a serious run at winning it all. Anyone who backs these drivers could hit it big. You can see all of the model's NASCAR picks over at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Check out the latest 2021 NASCAR at COTA odds below, then visit SportsLine now to see the full projected 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix leaderboard, all from the model that called at least seven of the top 10 drivers in six of the last 10 races and nailed Martin Truex Jr.'s win at Martinsville

2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix odds 

Chase Elliott 9-5
Martin Truex Jr. 7-2
Denny Hamlin 10-1
Kyle Busch 12-1
Kyle Larson 15-1
Ryan Blaney 17-1
Joey Logano 18-1
Austin Cindric 18-1
Kevin Harvick 20-1
Brad Keselowski 20-1
Christopher Bell 20-1
William Byron 20-1
Alex Bowman 20-1
A.J. Allmendinger 22-1
Kurt Busch 30-1
Michael McDowell 60-1
Matt DiBenedetto 75-1
Erik Jones 100-1
Daniel Suarez 100-1
Chase Briscoe 100-1
Cole Custer 100-1
Chris Buescher 100-1
Aric Almirola 125-1
Tyler Reddick 150-1
Austin Dillon 150-1
Ryan Newman 200-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 250-1
Bubba Wallace 300-1
Ryan Preece 300-1
Ross Chastain 500-1
Justin Haley 500-1
Ty Dillon 1000-1
James Davison 2500-1
Corey Lajoie 2500-1
Josh Bilicki 2500-1
Anthony Alfredo 2500-1
Kyle Tilley 2500-1
Garrett Smithley 5000-1
Quin Houff 5000-1
Cody Ware 5000-1