The final race of 2021 is on Sunday, and a Champion will be crowned as we have the Season Finale 500 from Phoenix Raceway. We did have practice and qualifying this weekend, with Brad Keselowski being the fastest on Friday in practice, and then Kyle Larson blowing everyone out of the water on speed during qualifying on Saturday. The algorithm this week is predicting pretty much what we’ve all come to expect with this race: the Champion will also be the race winner, and the four contending drivers are a notch above the field as well.
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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at this week’s track specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.
Before We Get To The Algorithm Results…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers
Martin Truex, Jr. – Coming into the weekend, Martin Truex, Jr. was the underdog for the Championship according to odds makers, and that hasn’t really changed. This #19 Toyota was the slowest of the Championship Four in practice on Friday and the same was true in qualifying on Saturday. You have to note, though, that Truex’s car didn’t seem to fall off as much as the other Playoff drivers over the long run, though. This #19 team brought the same car that they won with here in Phoenix back in the spring, and if you remember back to that race, Truex wasn’t super fast until about the halfway point. He still has a shot at this Championship.
Christopher Bell – We talked about him last weekend, and even though he disappointed quite a bit at Martinsville, I’m going to go ahead and talk about Christopher Bell again this weekend. The short, flat tracks are where CBell thrives. When you take out Martinsville, he has three top 5s in the four races on this track type in 2021, with a 9th-place finish here at Phoenix back in the spring the only exception there. That gives Bell the 3rd-best average finish on this track type in 2021. In practice this weekend, the #20 Toyota was just a bit off on speed, but Christopher qualified in 8th on Saturday and should be able to contend for a finish better than his 11th-place prediction by the algorithm.
Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order
|4.||Truex, Jr., Martin||38.11|
|19.||Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky||08.86|