Sunday NASCAR returns to Nashville for the Ally 400 – the Eckel 4 pick Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, more
Ally 400, Nashville, Tenn., 3:30 p.m. TV: NBCS
NASCAR has not run a Cup Series race in Nashville since May of 1984.
How long ago was it that Darrell Waltrip won a controversial decision over Neil Bonnett at the Fairgrounds Speedway? Consider the fact that only six of today’s drivers were even born and Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski were two and three months old respectively.
Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. were both three years old when Waltrip won for the eighth time in Nasville. Ryan Newman was six years old. And Kevin Harvick, the oldest of the bunch, was a rousing eight years old.
Sunday NASACR’s Cup Series returns to Nashville for its first race at the Nashville Super Speedway and it’s anyone’s guess what to expect.
What is known is just as they did at Nashville’s counterpart in Dover, Delaware, teams will utilize the 750-horsepower, low-downforce package, which features shorter rear spoilers and front splitters.
The Eckel 4, which has been on a good roll, were all over the board in picking a winner Sunday. Seven different drivers were mentioned. Here’s how it all worked out.
Kyle Larson (5-2): Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis thought it best to go with the hottest driver to make up for the unknown and that would be Larson. Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker agreed. He’s the favorite this week for a reason. He’s had five straight races where he’s finished first or second.
Brad Keselowski (12-1): Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney went the other way, thinking Larson is due for a tough race, while Keselowski could use his second-place finish in the All-Star race to make a second-half run. Before that race, Keselowski had finished out of the top 10 five straight races and nine of his last 11.
Martin Truex Jr. (6-1): I’m not leaving out the New Jersey native. All three of his circuit-leading wins this season have come with 750 package, so why not make it four? “Tobacco Road’’ likes him as well.
Denny Hamlin (9-1): The current points leader is still looking for his first win of the season. It would only be fitting for it to come in Nashville’s return to Cup Series racing. He’s also been good with the 750 package.
Alex Bowman (12-1): He’s won twice this year, including the race at Dover, which is most similar to Nashville’s course. He’s also finished in the top 10 in five straight races.
Joey Logano (14-1): Just a hunch that Logano figures in this race. He has the third-most points in the 750 package this year (behind only Hamlin and Truex) and all seven of his top five finishes have come with the 750 package.