John Locher/Associated Press
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12 begins Sunday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with 38 Cup cars all hoping Lady Luck will help lead them to victory.
Kyle Larson will be on the pole after winning at Bristol Motor Speedway, with his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet leading off from the first spot.
In addition to Larson, 11 other drivers, including Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch, will be racing the South Point 400 for a championship.
Sunday’s 400.5-mile race should be competitive and will feature the 550-horsepower, higher-downforce package.
Next stop after Las Vegas is the YellaWood 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3.
Here’s a quick look at the lineup of top drivers, schedule and odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
South Point 400 Information
Date: Sunday, September 26
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports app
Kyle Larson: +330 (bet $100 to win $330)
Kyle Busch: +600
Denny Hamlin: +700
Chase Elliott: +800
Martin Truex Jr.: +900
Kevin Harvick: +1000
Joey Logano: +1100
William Byron: +1200
Ryan Blaney: +1400
Brad Keselowski: +1500
Larson was the 9-2 favorite at Bristol and raced away with the victory, and he’s keeping that same energy as the 11-4 favorite coming into Sunday’s race in Las Vegas.
The 29-year old is looking to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship, and he’s in a commanding position with 59 playoffs points, which is more than Truex and Hamlin’s combined 53.
This time last year, Larson couldn’t have seen this kind of dominance coming. After the racial slur he used in a private online game setting was brought to light, he lost sponsors, was dropped by Chip Ganassi Racing and was suspended.
A little more than a year later, Larson finds himself experiencing a rebirth of sorts, winning races and hopefully changing minds.
“I don’t really have an opinion of people using it, but I don’t view what I’m doing now as redemption at all,” Larson told Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass. “I just want to show people that I am a great race-car driver, but I’m also a great person, and I’m not who some people think I was from that one night.”
Busch hasn’t won a Cup Series race in Las Vegas since 2009, but he has managed to finish in the top 10 five times in his past seven starts, so he’s a threat to finish first on Sunday.
Truex, who will be next to Larson on the front row, has won twice in Vegas, so he’s a 15-2 favorite.
Last year’s Cup winner, Chase Elliott, has the fastest lap of any driver in Sin City this season and isn’t too far behind with 8-1 odds.