The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs have officially advanced to the Round of 12, and its time to speculate where each remaining playoff driver could win, and advance to the Round of 8. The Round of 12 features races at Las Vegas, Talladega, and the Charlotte Roval.
The Cup Series raced at Las Vegas before the pandemic, and Joey Logano was able to snag a win. I have four drivers who's best chance of winning is at Las Vegas. Las Vegas is Harvick's best chance because he can avoid the calamity of Talladega, and the Roval. Harvick's playoff points from his 9 wins has essentially already earned him a bye to the championship race. Brad Keselowski has been great at both Las Vegas and Talladega. Keselowski's best bet is to lock this up at Vegas so he can be as aggressive as possible at Talladega. Joey Logano the most recent winner at Las Vegas, has been fantastic here winning the last two spring races. Just like his teammate Brad Keselowski, Logano will be looking to win Vegas, so he can race for the win at Talladega. Las Vegas native Kyle Busch has had an awful season by his standards, but could he resurrect his season at his home track. Although he is not great at any of the three tracks in the round Las Vegas is a track where he runs well even though he only has one win there.
In June the Cup Series raced at Talladega in June, and Round of 16 boot Ryan Blaney won. I have four drivers who's best chance to win is at Talladega. Denny Hamlin entered the playoffs as a championship favorite. After a rough first round where he easily could've won at each of those three tracks, this round sets up less than perfect for Hamlin. Talladega is Hamlin's best chance because of his prowess at Daytona. Hamlin's regular season success should help him easily advance. Austin Dillon's magical playoff run hinges on success at Talladega. Another driver who struggles at the Roval, and is average at Las Vegas leaving Talladega as his best bet to win. Kurt Busch has a horrible round setup for him, even as a Las Vegas native he has never won at his home track. A decent history at the Roval helps, but the wildcard of Talladega proves to be his best bet. Aric Almirola the winner of the 2018 fall Talladega winner is one of the best superspeedway racers in NASCAR today. Talladega presents an awesome opportunity for Almirola to win and advance to the Round of 8. Clint Bowyer a 2 time winner at Talladega is a solid superspeedway racer. Although he is good at the Roval Clint has not had race winning speed this entire season.
The Cup Series returns to the Roval for the first time since Chase Elliott's win at the Roval in 2019. Although he didn't win in 2018 Martin Truex Jr, is one of the two best road course racers in the Cup Series. Truex has consistently been a competitor at both the Roval and Las Vegas, but I think the competition is a little easier at the Roval. Chase Elliott the 2019 Roval winner, and winner of the Daytona Road Course in August. Elliott is arguably the best road course racer in the Cup Series makes him the favorite in my opinion at the Roval. Clint Bowyer a 2 time winner at Talladega is a solid superspeedway racer, but he is one of two drivers with two top 5's at the Roval. The fact that others are not as competitive at the Roval makes this his best bet to win. The other driver with two top 5's is Alex Bowman, and finished second to Chase in 2019. Bowman is not seen as a good road course racer, but Bowman thrives here. Both Bowman and Bowyer are sleeper picks to win the Roval.