I still believe Chase Elliott will win this second championship this Saturday. He’s been on fire all year and runs relatively well at Phoenix (he won the fall race in 2020 to win the championship, after all). I’m going to put his odds at 50-50. While Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain have impressed many this year, I think it will be a more experienced driver who wins the title. In my opinion, Joey Logano (who won the title in 2018 and has two wins at Phoenix) will be Elliott’s biggest challenger at Phoenix. Regardless of which driver wins, I’ve got a hunch that we won’t see a first-time champion this year.
This is one of those 50-50 answers. Half of me says there’s no replacement for experience, and that edge unquestionably goes to Joey Logano, who is a former Cup champion. On the other hand is the other half of me, the same guy who has been saying we will see a new first-time champ emerge at Phoenix. Since Chase Elliott is a former champ, that kind of rules him out (although I can see him potentially overtaking Logano to win the crown), leaving us with two first-time champ possibilities: Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell. Because Ryan Blaney failed to make it to the Championship 4 round and have a chance at the title, I’m going with Logano to win the title. However, if things happen the right way, I can see Christopher Bell pull out a surprise championship for himself and Joe Gibbs Racing. He’s really impressed me in the last few weeks and I can easily see him beat the other three drivers if the chips fall the right way. As for the 1-10 scale, I’d say probably a 7 for Logano and a 5 for Bell.
I was right as far as my four picks for the final four with Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell to join Joey Logano. This is a tough question to answer. After seeing what Chastain did at Martinsville, it’s just further proof that anything can happen at Phoenix and anyone can win there as well. As I write this, I’m going with Chastain to win the Cup Series championship. But I believe it will be done is some kind of crazy-never saw it coming- type of way. What I mean is, some type of scenario that puts him in position to win it all that’s bizarre and a bit unorthodox.. Could it be possible that Elliott, Logano and Bell have mechanical, pit road or track issues and Chastain is the last man standing? We’ve seen everything happen this year and nothing would surprise me at this point. Nothing! Who knows what will happen.