2021 Instacart 500: NASCAR CUP Series Preview, Odds, Picks, Longshots
Photo by Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Instacart 500
Saturday March 14, 2021 3:30pm EST
Sunday March 14, 2021 3:30pm EST Click Here for the Latest Odds
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NASCAR Cup Series finishes up the West Coast swing on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway with the running of the Instacart 500. Phoenix is a unique 1-mile tri-oval, turns 1 and 2 flat and sweeping, and turns 3 and 4 with a tighter axis with a higher degree of banking. Sunday’s race will consist of 312 laps that will make up the 500 kilometers the Cup Series will compete in at Phoenix. Expect the restarts to be 4 and 5-wide through the dog leg of the front stretch, which creates exciting racing.
Here are a few drivers to consider for the Instacart 500.
Chase Elliott +550- Chase will fire off from the 6th position to take the green flag in Sunday’s Instacart 400 at Phoenix Raceway. Chase led 153 of the 312 laps in November 2020 at Phoenix, winning the race as well as the 2020 Cup Series Championship. Now in a 5th year with Hendrick, Chase has 6 top 10 finishes and 3 top 5s to along at Phoenix in 10 starts. Chase has the 4th best average driver rating at Phoenix of 107.9 over the last 6 races at Phoenix, and we will see Chase have success here at Phoenix on Sunday.
Brad Keselowski +700- Brad rolls off from the pole position at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, and the Instacart 500 will be an excellent opportunity for Brad and the Penske crew to follow up on an excellent 2nd place finish at Las Vegas one week ago. Brad has 3 top 10 finishes, including 2 top 5 finishes over the last 6 races at Phoenix Raceway with an average finish of 9.83. Phoenix has been kind to Keselowski throughout his career and it’s hard to believe that Brad hasn’t picked up a Cup Series win at Phoenix. Sunday will be a great opportunity for Brad to compete for a victory once again, give him some consideration.
Kyle Busch +800- Kyle will begin from the 7th position on Sunday in the Instacart 500 for the NASCAR Cup Series. Kyle has improved finishes in each race in the 2021 Cup Series, and the 3rd place finish one week ago at Las Vegas was just what the team needed. Kyle has the best average driver rating of 125.9 as well as the best average finish of 3.33 over the last 6 races at Phoenix. 2 wins come along with the 5 top 5 finishes over the last 6 races here at Phoenix for Kyle Busch as well. Sunday will indeed be a superb opportunity for Kyle to win if the team can nail the setup on the car off the trailer. Look for Kyle to be on the top of the leaderboard by days end.
Joey Logano +800- Logano will take the green flag from the 9th starting spot at the Phoenix Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Logano won the first race at Phoenix in the Cup Series in 2020 and finished 3rd in the 2020 finale for the Cup Series at Phoenix, capping off 4 top 10 finishes in a row at the track. 2 top 10 finishes through the first 4 races on the season for Logano, but somewhat disappointing performance from the #22 team on the season. Phoenix is a great track for Logano historically, and I don’t see that changing here on Sunday.
Matt DiBenedetto +6000- Matt will start in the 20th position on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway for the Instacart 500 and will have a little work to do through the first stage to get to the front. In 2020, Matt carried top 10 green flag speed in both Cup Series events at Phoenix and finished 8th in the November race at Phoenix in 2020. Matt is no doubt looking for the first top 10 finish of the 2021 season in the Cup Series and I think he is worth a sprinkle here as a longshot on Sunday afternoon.