The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series concludes today with the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. 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: Kyle Larson- Larson has been the man to beat all season, with 9 wins, 19 top 5’s, and 25 top 10 finishes. Larson has yet to win at Phoenix, but has raced well here in his career, with 5 top 5’s and 8 top 10’s in 14 starts. Larson already has 4 wins in the playoffs and will be starting from the Pole in today’s race. I predict that Larson will complete his championship march with win #10 today and will be the new NASCAR Cup Series Champion!
Top 10: Kevin Harvick- Harvick has had about as good of a year as you can have without a win, with 10 top 5’s and 23 top 10 finishes. Phoenix Raceway has been a playground for Harvick over the years, with 9 wins, 18 top 5’s, 26 top 10’s, and 1,662 laps led in 37 starts. Even more impressive is that Harvick has finished in the top 10 in 16 consecutive Phoenix races and in 20 of the last 22 held there. He may not have the speed to win, but I predict that Happy Harvick will keep his top 10 streak alive today.
Dark Horse: Aric Almirola- With the exception of his win at New Hampshire, 2021 has been a season to forget for Aric Almirola, as he has just 2 top 5’s and 4 top 10 finishes to show for it. Almirola is coming off of a 6th place finish last week at Martinsville and brings that momentum into one of his better tracks, as Almirola has finished inside the top 10 at Phoenix in 5 of his last 8 starts and has finished outside the top 15 just once during that stretch. A win is improbable, but I predict that Almirola will be in line for a solid top 12 run today.
Driver to Fade: Corey LaJoie- Phoenix Raceway has not been kind to LaJoie in his career, with a best finish of 26th in 8 career starts. LaJoie has had 3 straight top 25’s coming into this race, but I predict that that streak will come to an end as LaJoie will finish outside the top 25.