With the NASCAR season roaring to a close, many fans are speculating on who will be the final champion once the NASCAR Cup Series concludes this Sunday at the Phoenix Raceway in Arizona. According to our partners at BetOnline.AG, Kyle Larson has opened as the prospective favorite to not only win the race at the Phoenix Raceway but also to take home the NASCAR Cup Series Championship for 2021.
With Larson taking home three of the last four major races and the winner of nine total on the season, the native of Elk Grove, Calif. has turned in some dominating performances throughout the year. The 29-year old has also notched six second-place finishes this season which has given him a well-deserved pole position going into the final weekend of the NASCAR year. Larson’s record on the track this year has definitely placed him in a field all of his own when it comes to winning races. This does not guarantee a one-way ticket to the checkered flag this weekend, but his penchant for winning races certainly does help.
Though Larson has had some flare-ups this year (a 37th place finish at Talladega in October comes to mind), he still has had a remarkable year given the fact that he finished in 34th place in the final NASCAR Cup Series standings a year ago. With it being his first year driving under the Hendrick Motorsports banner, Larson has established himself as the odds-on favorite to take home the win and be first across the line. In fact, he has performed well at the Phoenix Raceway the past two seasons with a seventh-place finish earlier this year and also a fourth-place finish there in early 2020.
Trailing behind Larson is the trio of Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr. Of the three, Hamlin is the most recent winner of a race (the South Point 400) back in September and finished fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings a year ago. Competing during his whole career for Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin has racked up two wins on the season (Darlington and Las Vegas both in September) but is coming off a disappointing finish at the 2021 Xfinity 500 where he finished in 24th place.
Elliott, however, is the narrow second favorite to Larson to not only take home the overall title but also to win at Phoenix as well. Elliott is the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion and has had a handful of victories on the year as well with wins at Austin and Elkhart Lake earlier in the year. He did also finish in a competitive fifth place at Phoenix earlier this year, besting Larson and Hamlin. Watch out for Elliott to not give up his crown easily and put up a fight with the top of the field.
The final contender is Martin Truex Jr. who has had another great year with four victories to his name, including a win at the Phoenix Raceway back in March of this year. After his fast start (three wins in twelve races) Truex Jr. has slowed down a touch with a couple of double-digit finishes in his last five contests. That said, the field is heavily crowded at the top and Truex Jr. could make for an interesting wager given his prior history at the race track.
One driver that might emerge as an interesting contender is Kyle Busch. The crafty veteran is an accomplished racer that holds the most race wins in a season record across the top three NASCAR series, with 24 wins, which he accomplished in 2010. More recently, Busch locked up two wins earlier this season and is coming off of a second-place finish at the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway last month. Busch has higher odds than the foursome above and might make for a tasty play moving into the weekend and given his record as a two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion.
With all of this in mind, it would be hard to wager against Larson. He has racked up the most total wins on the year and is hungry for his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Though this is far from a guaranteed victory, Larson is the favorite for a reason and is the most consistent winner from the pack above during the 2021 season.
For more information on some other odds regarding the final NASCAR race this weekend, please check out the list below. These sites will go over all of the comprehensive picks you are looking for and are full of different contenders that could make a surprise run this weekend to the championship. Even if there are only four racers listed above that can win the NASCAR Cup Series championship, there are still plenty of competitors that can win take home the checkered flag this weekend in Phoenix. As always, good luck, and may the odds be in your favor!