2021 Goodyear 400: NASCAR CUP Preview, Odds, Picks, Longshots
Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Goodyear 400
Sunday May 9, 2021 3:30pm
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The NASCAR Cup Series will have throwback weekend at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on Sunday. Darlington affectionately know at the “Track Too Tough To Tame”, is a 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval and Sunday’s race will consist of 293 laps to make up the 400 mile advertised distance. Darlington’s surface is very rough on the Goodyear tires, a 2-3 second per lap fall off can happen between pitstops.
Here are a few drivers to consider for the Goodyear 400.
Kyle Larson +400- Larson will roll off from the 14th position for Sunday’s Cup Series race at Darlington. Larson is the favorite for a reason, last Sunday went from starting 32nd to the top 10 by the end of stage 1. Now heading into Darlington, finished 3rd in 2018 and 2nd in 2019. Drivers that have a background in dirt racing typically excel at Darlington as the track changes and the tires wear down. Larson’s dirt racing experience is lethal here at Darlington and don’t be surprised if Kyle is in victory lane at the end of the day.
Denny Hamlin +600- Hamlin will begin Sunday’s journey around the Darlington Raceway from the 7th position after a 12th place finish at Kansas last Sunday. Denny won the 2nd of 3 Cup Series races held at Darlington in 2020 and over the last 5 races at Kansas has 3 top 10s including 2 top 5 finishes. Denny finished 11th at Homestead and followed up with a 4th place finish at Atlanta, both tracks compare best to Darlington. Hard to believe that Denny hasn’t recorded a victory yet in 2021 in the Cup Series, Darlington on Sunday will be another opportunity will have a great chance.
Kevin Harvick +700- Brad fires off from the 2nd position for Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at the Darlington Raceway. Kevin has the best average driver rating with at least 5 starts at Darlington in the last 5 Cup Series races of 116.4. Kevin has 5 top 5 finishes, including 2 wins over the last 5 Cup Series races at Darlington. Usually Harvick is the heavy favorite heading into the Darlington Cup Series races, but understandably not coming in as the favorite for Sunday with a 5th place finish at Homestead along with a 10th at Atlanta. Harvick and team have struggled with the handling in some races in 2021, but the 2nd place effort at Kansas last Sunday could be a sign the team is turning the corner.
Kyle Busch +800- Busch rolls off on row 2 from the 3rd starting spot on Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway. Kyle picked up the victory at Kansas Speedway one week ago, much needed for the M&Ms team and for Kyle. Busch has 4 top 10 finishes, including 2 top 5 finishes at Darlington over the past 5 Cup Series races held. Kyle finished 10th at Homestead and improved to a 5th place finish at Atlanta. Although not from a dirt background, Kyle is one of the best on the Cup Series circuit at managing tires and equipment. Great track position to start Sunday’s Goodyear 400, look for Kyle to be up front much of the day.
Tyler Reddick +4000- Ryan will begin Sunday’s Cup Series race at Kansas from the 10th starting spot. Reddick comes from the dirt racing background that can be an advantage at Darlington. Tyler picked up a 7th place finish at the first of 3 Cup Series at Darlington in 2020 and finished 2nd at Homestead in the Cup race earlier here in 2021. Longshot worth sprinkling some action on here for Sunday, especially starting 10th close to the front.