Driver Rankings for Las Vegas


NASCAR promoted the Cup Series as, “The Best Season Ever.” Maybe they should have called it the “Craziest Season Ever.” We have now seen three drivers go to Victory Lane that were not on many people’s radar. Will we have another surprise in Victory Lane in Las Vegas? This could be the season to bet on a long-shot in Sin City. The Pennzoil 400 can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on Fox.

This has been the toughest NASCAR season to predict. I messaged a crew chief after the race at Homestead and asked him, “What the hell is going on?” He told me that the reason for the parity in the sport is because of the NexGen car and NASCAR rules for the 2021 season. He explained to me that in the past the lower funded teams had second and third generation cars so it was tough for them to compete. The higher funded teams wanted to get rid of their inventory of the current car since they will not need it after the 2021 season. They are selling the lower funded teams their cars from last year. For example… Daniel Suarez and the new TrackHouse Racing team have cars that were either used in races for Chip Ganassi Racing last year or were backup cars for Chip Ganassi last year. In the past, Trackhouse would have received junk cars.

The other factor is NASCAR’s rule to limit research and development (R&D) time and limited simulation time (CFD runs). Teams are limited to how much time they can spend in the wind tunnel perfecting the downforce of their cars. This brought teams like Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing closer to the top teams (Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske, Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing) in speed on the track. NASCAR also limited how many hours each week each team can use the simulator to help prepare their car for the race. This significantly evened out the playing field. I still expect the higher funded teams to gain an advantage as we get deeper into the season.

Here are the Driver Rankings for the Pennzoil 400


Driver Rankings for Las Vegas

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Kyle Larson
4. Joey Logano
5. Chase Elliott
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Alex Bowman
8. Brad Keselowski
9. William Byron
10. Kurt Busch
11. Kyle Busch
12. Ryan Blaney
13. Austin Dillon
14. Tyler Reddick
15. Michael McDowell
16. Cole Custer
17. Ryan Newman
18. Christopher Bell
19. Chris Buescher
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21. Matt DiBenedetto
22. Aric Almirola
23. Erik Jones
24. Ross Chastain
25. Chase Briscoe
26. Daniel Suarez
27. Bubba Wallace
28. Ryan Preece
29. Justin Haley
30. Anthony Alfredo
31. Corey LaJoie
32. Garrett Smithley
33. Quin Houff
34. Josh Bilicki
35. Cody Ware
36. B.J. McLeod
37. Joey Gase
38. Timmy Hill


* Photos from NASCAR Media


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