Four races remain until we crown the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Champion. Vegas weekend storylines are quickly amounting- everything from solar eclipses to practice mishaps, and the green flag has yet to fly. What are the odds your favorite driver takes home the checkered flag? Let’s roll the dice and find out at 2:30 PM EST on NBC.
Sorry, amigos…contact with the inside wall during practice yesterday will push the #99 team to a backup ride this afternoon, starting 36th. Simply put, it’s frustrating, given Daniel Suarez’s late race debacle with Christopher Bell last weekend at the Roval that also dropped him from contention. That said, will Suarez have his revenge on the #20 team (and race pole sitter) should the two cross paths? Not to mention, in his last 5 starts here, he’s nabbed just one Top 10.
The young driver is bound to win one sooner rather than later, and his results as of late seem to point in said direction. Ninth quickest in practice, and starting 11th today, Ty Gibbs looks to have a car that can hang up front all day long. Also worth noting is that, at Kansas (comparable to Vegas) a few weeks back, Gibbs produced a 14th place finish- possibly signaling an upward shift in performance on intermediate tracks. He’ll be hungry.
In some respect, we almost feel as if he could be our race winner. But, to play it safe, we’ll take RFK’s lone remaining playoff contestant for a Top 10 finish. Chris Buescher starts 5th today, was 2nd fastest in practice, and currently sits on the bubble of the Championship 4 cutline in the 5th position. Buescher is the real deal and is set to come out swingin’. Not to mention, his wrap for the weekend is killer.
Kyle Larson has, perhaps, not had as comfortable a playoff run as he would’ve hoped. His teammate William Byron (also considered a favorite to win today’s showdown) has largely stolen the Hendrick spotlight all season and appears to be headed for a Championship 4 appearance, barring a catastrophic Round of 8. However, Larson is an enticing pick this week given his runner-up finishes here over the past two Spring races. His dismal 35th place finish at this race last year should be considered an outlier- it came as the result of a tantrum from the #23 team (not a knock on Bubba Wallace, considering we saw the same thing from Larson’s teammate at the 600 this past Spring). But, back to the matter at hand…we’re taking Kyle Larson to win the South Point 400 today at LVMS. Who you taking?