The NASCAR Cup Series continues today with the 2021 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Winner: AJ Allmendinger- An Xfinity Series regular and former Cup Series driver, Allmendinger is the OG road course king, being a threat to win at any road course track in any series. Allmendinger has 10 career top 10’s on road courses in his Cup Career, including his lone victory coming at Watkins Glen in 2014 and a 7th place showing in his most recent Cup start at the Daytona Road Course earlier this season. Allmendinger also has 8 top 10’s in the Xfinity Series on road courses, including 2 victories and a runner up in yesterday’s Xfinity race at COTA. All of this adds up to a victory for the Dinger today!
Top 10: Chase Elliott- Elliott has been the pick of the field on road courses, with 5 wins in 13 career road course starts, including a stretch of 4 in a row. Elliott is coming off of 3 straight top 10 results this season and is just starting to heat up. A top 10 is a lock today, but I expect him to be in the top 5 contending for the win at race end.
Dark Horse: Cole Custer- After a slow start to the year, Custer is starting to round into form, finishing in the top 10 in 2 of his last 4 starts. Custer has shown speed at COTA so far, finishing 7th in yesterday’s Xfinity Race and finishing 12th in Cup Series practice yesterday before qualifying 14th today. I believe Custer will capitalize on his momentum and bring home a top 12 finish.
Driver to fade: Ryan Newman- Road Courses have not been kind to Ryan Newman of late, where he has had only 4 top 10s in his last 30 starts on this style of track. Newman was 34th in practice and qualified 34th as well. I expect Newman to struggle today and finish outside the top 20 at day’s end.