NASCAR Playoffs Sunday: Eckel 4 pick South Point 400 as Round of 12 begins in Las Vegas – Kyle Larson favored
South Point 400, Las Vegas, 7 p.m. TV: NBCSN
The Round of 12 begins Sunday night when NASCAR rolls into Las Vegas for the South Point 400.
Four drivers — Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch — were eliminated from the playoffs a week ago. Four more will go between Sunday night and Oct. 10 in Charlotte.
Regular-season point champion, current leader and pole sitter Kyle Larson comes in as the favorite for Sunday’s race.
And he’s also the favorite of The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis.
Here’s how “The 4’’ see Sunday’s race unfolding.
Kyle Larson (3-1): He’s the favorite for a reason. He has a win in Vegas and has been in the top five in his last four races here. He has also not been very good at Talladega and Charlotte the next two sites in this round. So he’s going to be all out Sunday night. Three of The 4 picked him to win and the fourth mentioned him.
Martin Truex Jr. (7-1): “Tobacco Road’’ the only non-Larson picker put New Jersey native Truex on top and he got a second-best from another of The 4. The 2017 Cup Champion has been hot and he’s good in Vegas with two wins in his last seven races here. If you don’t want to go with the chalk and Larson, this might be a good bet.
Joey Logano (12-1): The 2018 champ is on the cut line right now so he needs to race well over the next three weeks and he starts at a track where he has two wins in his last five races and an average finish of 8.4 (best of all active drivers) in all of his races here. Those odds are enticing.
Kyle Busch (6-1): The two-time Cup Champion (2015, 2019) opens the Round of 12 in his home town. The home track hasn’t been very kind to Busch, however. As a matter of fact none of the three tracks for the Round of 12 have. He has just two wins in 55 starts at Vegas, Talladega and Charlotte. He needs to step up now or risk being eliminated.
Longshot Play: Ryan Blaney (14-1)