By Walker Polivka
The NASCAR Cup Series continues today with the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the race, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Driver to Fade: Cole Custer- Currently sitting in 27th place in the point standings, Custer has had very little success in 2022, with just 3 top 15’s and 5 top 20’s in 16 starts. Custer qualified in 7th place for this race last year, but struggled all race long on the way to a 30th place finish. With Custer’s struggles in 2022, we don’t expect things to get much better, as he was among the 10 slowest cars in Practice, lacking both short and long run speed. Custer has an average starting position of 17.706 and an average finish position of 22.25 in 2022. With Custer rolling off in the 17th position to start today’s race, we find it only fitting to predict that he will finish outside the top 22 today.
Dark Horse: Bubba Wallace- 2022 has been a mixed bag for Wallace, with 1 top 5, 2 top 10’s, and 7 top 20 finishes. Although Nashville Superspeedway is 1.33 miles in length, it will run similarly to a mile and a half track. Wallace has shown solid speed at mile and a half tracks of late, finishing 10th at Kansas and showing great speed early at Charlotte before finishing in 28th after a wreck. With that being said, today could be a huge step in the right direction for Wallace. Wallace was the fastest car in Practice on Friday and showed excellent pace on both short and long runs, leading the field on 10 lap and 15 lap runs. Wallace had some issues in Qualifying and will be charging to the front from the 30th position today. Anything is possible at this point, but a top 12 finish is certainly within reach for Wallace today.
Top 10: Ross Chastain- Chastain is in the midst of a banner year, with 2 wins, 7 top 5’s, and 10 top 10’s through 16 races. Chastain has done quite well on similarly set up mile and a half tracks this year, finishing 3rd at Las Vegas, 2nd at Atlanta, 7th at Kansas, and 15th at Charlotte after wrecking late while battling for the lead. Nashville proved to be a great track for Chastain last season, as he finished runner-up here to Kyle Larson. Chastain was fast in Practice and Qualifying this weekend and appears to be a lock for another top 10 finish at Nashville Superspeedway.
Winner: Kyle Larson- The defending champion at Nashville Superspeedway, Larson has had a solid 2022 campaign, with 1 win, 6 top 5’s, and 8 top 10 finishes. Like Chastain above, Larson has been a stud on mile and a half tracks this season, finishing 2nd at both Las Vegas and Kansas and 9th at Charlotte after wrecking from the lead late. Larson had top 5 speed in both Practice and Qualifying and was top 5 in both long and short run speed. Larson starts the race from 3rd position and will quickly find his way to the front. All of this adds up to Kyle Larson winning his second race of the season and winning at Nashville Superspeedway for the second straight year!