2021 Yellawood 500: NASCAR CUP Picks, Predictions, Odds, Longshots
Photo by Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Yellawood 500
Sunday October 3, 2021 2:00pm
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The NASCAR Cup Series will head to Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon for the 2nd race in the Round of 12 of the 2021 Playoffs. Talladega is the famous 2.66 -mile tri-oval Super Speedway with 33 degrees of banking in the turns and 188 laps will make up the 500-mile advertised distance on Sunday afternoon. With the Charlotte Roval on deck for next week, Talladega will be the best opportunity for a few of the playoff contenders to secure a spot in the Round of 8 upcoming.
Here are 5 drivers to consider for Yellawood 500 on Sunday afternoon.
Joey Logano +1000- Joey will share the 4th row with teammate Brad Keselowski and will start from the 8th spot for Sunday’s Yellawood 500. Over the past 7 Cup races at Talladega, Joey has the best average driver rating of 104.8 with 3 top 5 finishes and 1 victory. Logano has led 211 laps at Talladega over the last 7 Cup races at Talladega, by far the most of any driver heading into Sunday’s race. Logano is only 6 points above the cut line for the next round of the playoffs, great opportunity for the win on Sunday.
Ryan Blaney +1000- Blaney will roll off from the 4th position on Sunday afternoon at Talladega for the Yellawood 500. Ryan is 24 points above the cutline heading into Sunday’s race, off the 5th place finish at Las Vegas one week ago. Blaney has the 2nd best average driver rating over the last 7 races at Talladega, just behind teammate Joey Logano. With 3 top 5 finishes including 2 wins over the last 7 races at Talladega, hard to believe Blaney isn’t the outright favorite. Blaney should once again be strong on Sunday afternoon.
William Byron +1100- Byron will take the green flag from the 10th starting spot for the Yellawood 500 on Sunday afternoon. Byron is 4 points below the cutline into the Round of 8 in the 2021 Cup Series Playoffs currently. The last 7 Cup races at Talladega have appeared average for Bryon but 2 DNFs really skewed how well he has performed. Over the last 7 Cup races at Talladega has 3 top 10 finishes including 2 consecutive top 5 finishes over the last 2 races here. Byron and team have figured out to dodge the big wrecks and he needs a strong finish Sunday, give Willy B a look.
Aric Almirola +2000- Aric comes into Sunday’s race starting from the 20th position and is my dark horse play of the week. With an exit to the 2021 playoffs after Bristol, Aric is looking for the win and finish the season on positive notes. Almirola has the best average finish of 10.86 over the last 7 Cup Series races with an average driver rating of 87.5. With 5 top 10 finishes including 3 top 5s and 1 victory, look for Almirola to make a late charge to the front in the final stage.
Matt DiBenedetto +2500- Matt fires off from the 15th starting spot on Sunday afternoon for the Yellawood 500. Matt will exit the Wood Brothers Team with no plans for 2022 as it stands heading into Talladega on Sunday afternoon. Matt has 1 top 5 finish over the last 6 Cup Series races Talladega that came in the previous race here in April. The alliance of the Penske organization behind the Wood Brothers makes Matt able to draft with Blaney, Logano, and Keselowski. Look for Matt to go after the checkered flag on Sunday afternoon, best opportunity here for the long shot.