NASCAR Cup Series Kyle Larson clocked in with a smart, conservative effort during the Round of 8 finale, placing P6 during Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
With his trip to the Championship 4 already clinched, Larson didn’t have to be aggressive with a second-tier machine at a track that often causes chaos.
“I was glad we weren’t fighting for points, just because our car wasn’t that good so that would have been difficult to advance,” Larson told NBC Sports. “My team made some good strategy calls there in the final stage to get some track position and come away with the best finish possible.”
The 2021 Cup champion, Larson enters next Sunday’s main event at Phoenix Raceway as the odds-on favorite (+150) to claim his second title.
Ryan Blaney (+215), who claimed Sunday’s event at Martinsville, and William Byron (+250) will be making their first career final four appearances, while Christopher Bell (+300) returns for the second straight season.
Who will embrace their championship chances?
The sweetest kiss. pic.twitter.com/MfuvYlRREe
— Team Penske (@Team_Penske) October 29, 2023
Denny Hamlin’s Title Aspirations Fall Short – Again
Is Denny Hamlin a future Hall of Famer?
With 51 Cup wins, his path seems secure. But he still seeks his first circuit championship.
A Round of 8 qualifier, Hamlin was eliminated at Martinsville along with regular-season champ Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher.
Hamlin’s elusive championship bid ended Sunday after claiming Stage 1 points, but developing power steering problems.
“That sealed our fate,” Hamlin told NBC Sports. “The 12 car was the best car today, so congrats to them. All the final four that made it. It’s going to be great.
“Hate we’re not in it.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 29, 2023
NASCAR Cup Series Championship Driver Odds
Here is a look at the updated NASCAR Cup Series Championship race odds, according to Betonline Sportsbook:
|Driver||NASCAR Cup Series Championship Odds||Play|
* Odds released Monday
— Ricky Hardin (@HardintheWall) October 30, 2023