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Season Finale 500: Power Rankings

Larson , Truex, Hamlin, and Elliott—who is going to win?

NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500 Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Race Information

Race: Season Finale 500
Laps: 312
Date: November 7th @ 3:00pm
Venue: Phoenix Raceway
2020 Winner: Chase Elliott (2:47:00)
Network: NBC

Track: Phoenix Raceway

Opened in 1964. It runs at 1 mile low bank asphalt track with turns curving between 8-11 degrees. Home to the FanShield 500 and Bluegreen Vacations 500 later in the playoffs, the desert is surrounded by Estrella Mountains. The tri-oval formation is a shape similar to Talladega, Daytona, and to a much lesser degree Poconos. The introduction of a dog-leg coupled with bumping up the angle slightly on two turns to allow for more side by side racing due to the speed around the turns and multi-grooves.

NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500 Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Power Rankings

  1. Kyle Larson (ninth selection this year) He has three wins in his last four races and seven consecutive top seven finishes at Phoenix including playoff and non. Larson continues to have a combination of car speed and skill to exceed through each playoff race.
  2. Martin Truex Jr. (tenth selection this year). He won here earlier this year in the non-playoff race. He finished 25th three races ago, seventh two races ago and fourth last week at Martinsville. He faced plenty of challenges – point disparity going into the race, getting rubbed into the wall by Busch, had car issues and a combination of grit and luck got him through, I’m riding this out.
  3. Denny Hamlin (tenth selection this year). Historically speaking, recently when a driver comes in angry, they don’t prevail in the final race. Whether it’s Truex vs. Logano in 2018, Keslowski’s chip last year or even Harvick’s dream season gone wrong in 2019. These final races have a way of really derailing the Cinderella story.
  4. Chase Elliot (tenth selection this year). It seems like blasphemy to make the winner from 2020 season be fourth in the rankings. That said I think Chase comes in last among the participants this year.

2021 Results

Favorite: Average Finish 14th (35th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Average Finish 16th (42nd Percent)
Dark Horse: Average Finish 18th (46th Percent)