2021 Pennzoil 400: NASCAR CUP Preview, Odds, Picks, Longshots
Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Pennzoil 400
Sunday March 7, 2021 3:30pm EST
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NASCAR Cup Series heads west for stop 1 of the year to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon for the running of the 2021 Pennzoil 400. Las Vegas is a 1.5-mile cookie-cutter oval and has steep banking in the corners. Las Vegas is a medium tire wear track, and we should see a competitive race on Sunday. The restarts at Las Vegas are going to be crazy just like 1 week ago at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sunday’s race will begin and end during the daytime, so I don’t expect the track to go through the drastic changes we experienced at Homestead last Sunday.
Here are a few drivers to consider for the Pennzoil 400.
Chase Elliott +800- Chase will fire off from the 8th position to take the green flag in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas. Elliott led the 2nd most laps, 72 of the 267 total laps in the 2020 Pennzoil 400 finishing 26th after a late race incident. At Las Vegas in the 2020, again Chase led 73 of the 267 total laps and only managed to finish 22nd. On paper, Elliott would not look like the best play of the weekend, but Chase and the Napa team will be tough to beat on Sunday so consider him heavily at Vegas on Sunday.
Joey Logano +800- Logano rolls off from the 15th starting position at Las Vegas on Sunday, and the Pennzoil 400 will be an excellent opportunity for Logano and the Penske crew to rebound after a dismal showing at Homestead one week ago. Over the last 6 races at Vegas, Logano has 5 top 10 finishes including 3 top 5s with 2 victories. Logano has the 2nd best average driver rating of 117.1 over the last 6 races at Vegas. Sunday’s race will not finish under the lights outside of any weather and we should see Logano perform well.
Kyle Larson +1000- Logano will begin from the 3rd position on Sunday in the Pennzoil 400 for the NASCAR Cup Series. Larson passed the test last week at Homestead with the move to Hendrick in the off season, seemed to have the most complete car on the day. Now heading into Las Vegas, Larson has the 4th best average driver rating over the last 6 races at Las Vegas at an even 100. 4 top 10 finishes, including 2 top 5 finishes complement the success Larson has at Las Vegas, as performs very well on the steeply banked racetracks. Great track position for Larson to begin the race on Sunday, look for Kyle to be a top 5 car all day.
Ryan Blaney +1300- Ryan will take the green flag from the 26th starting spot at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Blaney had the fastest green flag speed in the 2020 Pennzoil 400 as well as the best passing quality of 89.9%, indicating he was the fastest car through the race. Over the last 6 races at Las Vegas, Ryan has an average finish of 9.17 with 4 top 10 finishes including 3 top 5s. Starting 26th is concerning, but a lot happens in a 400-mile race and Blaney could be up front by the final stage.
William Byron +1800- Byron will start in the 2nd position on Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fresh off a victory at the Homestead-Miami Speedway one week ago. Bryon the 2nd fastest green flag speed in the 2020 Pennzoil 400 behind Blaney. Byron has been just ok at Las Vegas in the Cup career with only 1 top 10 finish, but William has a lot to prove in 2021. Great track position to begin Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 for William, I look for another valiant effort from the #24 team on Sunday.