NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Nashville


NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Nashville

After the only off weekend of the regular season, the Cup Series returns to competition Sunday (5 p.m. ET, NBC) with a 399-mile race at Nashville Superspeedway near Lebanon, Tennessee.

The race will only be the second cup event on the 1.33 mile course. Kyle Larson won in outstanding fashion on the track’s Cup debut last season. Previously, the Xfinity and Truck series raced in Nashville. They are also on the program for this weekend.

The Cup race begins with a 10-week, 10-race run through to the end of the regular season. The 10-race playoffs are scheduled to begin September 4 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.


Kyle Larson

  • points position: 7
  • The last three races: 15th at Sonoma; 12. at Gateway; 9th in Charlotte
  • Past Nashville: Won in 2021

Larson defined the term “front runner” in Nashville. Last year he led 264 of the 300 laps of the race, winning by 4.33 seconds, practically a calendar page ahead of second-placed Ross Chastain.

Larson is on a 14-race win streak and will compete in Nashville with interim crew chief Kevin Meendering replacing Cliff Daniels, who was suspended after Larson’s Chevrolet lost a wheel in Sonoma.

Ross Chastain

  • points position: 2
  • The last three races: 7th at Sonoma; 8. at Gateway; 15th at Charlotte
  • Past Nashville: 2nd in 2021

Chastain, one of only four drivers with multiple wins this season, finished second to winner Kyle Larson in Nashville last year in what proved to be a good fuel mileage.

In the last eight races of the season, Chastain finished eighth or better five times. He has seven top five finishes (including two wins) in the last 14 events.

William Byron

  • points position: 8th
  • The last three races: 9th at Sonoma; 19th at Gateway; 32nd at Charlotte
  • Past Nashville: 3rd in 2021

Byron, who won in Atlanta and Martinsville this season, has been relatively quiet lately. He has led 570 laps this year, but 482 of those have been completed in the first eight races. Byron has only led 88 laps in the past eight races.

However, his Nashville run last year puts him on the watch list for this weekend. Despite starting the race from behind due to incorrect settings, he rolled through the field and finished third.


Kevin Harvick

  • points position: 12
  • The last three races: 4th at Sonoma; 33rd at Gateway; 3rd in Charlotte
  • Past Nashville: 5th in 2021

Harvick remains the most prominent driver still out looking for a playoff spot. He is the first rider under the points barrier, seven points behind Aric Almirola. Harvick has competed in 12 straight playoffs, the most among the active drivers.

Harvick’s season has been an uphill battle, but he’s finished fourth or better twice in the last four races and has finished in the top 10 in five of the last seven races. He did well in Nashville last year, finishing fifth after him ran out of fuel on the last lap and gave up fourth place. He owns two Xfinity wins at the track.

Harvick is on a winning streak of 59 races, a track in which he has finished second four times.

Daniel Suarez

  • points position: 17
  • The last three races: Won at Sonoma; 23rd at Gateway; 25th at Charlotte
  • Past Nashville: 7th in 2021

So Daniel, can you do it again? Suarez broke into the winners’ circle at Sonoma and has four top-10 finishes in the last 14 races. Now he has to prove he can fight for victories on big ovals.

Suarez was seventh in Nashville last year after starting 22nd.

Martin Truex Jr.

  • points position: 6
  • The last three races: 26th at Sonoma; 6. at Gateway; 12th at Charlotte
  • Past Nashville: 22nd in 2021

Truex remains winless this season after a run in 2021 in which he won four times. At this point he had six top five finishes last year; now he only has two.

Truex, currently 14th in playoff points, was twice penalized during last year’s Nashville race and finished 22nd after searching for gas with 10 laps to go.

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