Nashville Fantasy Spin – At Nashville, look for Kyle Busch to be fast. Busch is one of the hottest drivers in NASCAR, he was stellar at Dover, and he’s performed at a high-level at shorter-flat tracks this year. He also ran pretty well last year at Nashville until he had a sudden unexplained drop off over the last 100 laps, so there’s really nothing to not like about him. Since April minus Darlington and Sonoma, Busch has a 3.6 average finish. Over the last six races heading into the weekend, Busch’s Total Speed Ranking is the 3rd best. At Dover, the most similar track, Busch might’ve just had the best car and in that race he led a race high 103 laps, had the 4th best Total Speed Ranking and then finished an asterisk mark 7th (burned by a caution). At shorter-flat tracks, Busch nearly raced his way to victory lane at Gateway and over the three combined events, his Track Type Total Speed Ranking is the 2nd best.
Nashville Track History – Last year at Nashville, Kyle Busch was strong, but when the checkered flag waved he finished an asterisk mark 11th. I’ll note, that result doesn’t represent his performance. In the race he finished 4th in Stage #1, 5th in Stage #2 (lap 185) and had an 8.7 average running position. Early in the final Stage during a restart on lap 203, Kyle Busch was in 10th, but then for whatever reason he suddenly dropped like a rock and was back in 26th on lap 210. When his team radioed him, Busch said he had nothing to report. On lap 227, the next caution came out and from that point on he rebounded back up to 11th. In terms of Total Speed Rankings, Busch ranked 8th and his speed over the segments were 2nd, 4th, 17th and then 14th. Additionally, Busch had the 7th best Green Flag Speed and was the 10th Fastest Driver Late In A Run. Last year in the Xfinity series race at Nashville, Busch started 1st, finished 1st and led 122 laps.
Nashville Fantasy Spin – At Nashville, look for Chase Elliott to be a contender. The #9 car ranked as one of the best last year (3rd in PROS Ranking), and at Dover which is arguably the most similar track, Elliott raced his way to victory lane, had the best Total Speed Ranking and led 73 laps. At shorter-flat tracks this year, Elliott has some misleading results but his Total Speed Ranking on that sub-track type is the 6th best. At Nashville, I think Elliott will be a top five contender who’ll be a factor to win.
Nashville Track History – Last year at Nashville, nobody had a more misleading result than Chase Elliott. In the results column he finished 39th, but that penalty is the result of a five loose lugnuts disqualification. “Performance Wise”, Elliott was a top five contender, even though he technically crossed the finish line in 13th. In the race, Elliott had a 7.7 average running position, the 5th best Total Speed Ranking, the 10th best Green Flag Speed but was the 19th Fastest Driver Late In A Run. Over the final run of the race, the #9 was slow which tanked him in some analytics. On lap 240 at the start of the final green flag run he was running in 4th, but he had to conserve fuel which made him slow. In terms of speed over segments, Elliott ranked 5th, 9th, 3rd and then 17th.
Nashville Fantasy Spin – At Nashville, there’s no question Ross Chastain will be a factor. Chastain had a great performance last year, and at tracks where there’s correlation in 2022, he’s been stout across the board. Dover is arguably the most similar track visited, and at that venue, Chastain finished 3rd, had the 2nd best Total Speed Ranking and led the 2nd most laps (86). At shorter-flat tracks this year, Chastain’s been a top five contender in all the events (ran well at Richmond until he had contact with Blaney, 3rd in Stage #1 & 2). One attribute you have to like about Chastain is that he’s always fast over long runs, and in terms of season to date long run speed, Chastain currently ranks #1 in the series. In terms of Season To Date Total Speed Rankings, Chastain ranks 2nd. At Nashville, look for Chastain to be a top five contender who’ll be a factor to win.
Nashville Track History – Last year at Nashville, Ross Chastain had a great race and finished runner-up. Does that result represent his performance? No it doesn’t, but he certainly wasn’t a slouch. In the race, Chastain had a 10.2 average running position, was the 3rd Fastest Driver Late In A Run, had the 4th best Total Speed Ranking and the 4th best Green Flag Speed. The race ended with a long run, and Chastain had plenty of fuel and was able to run harder than others to the finish. On lap 240 at the start of the final green flag run to the finish, Chastain was running in 10th.