NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400: Preview, Predictions And How To Watch

LEBANON, TENNESSEE - JUNE 25: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 25, 2023 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Cup Series will roll into Nashville on Sunday for the 19th race of the 2024 season. Sunday is a crucial race for the drivers sitting around the playoff bubble. Here is everything you need to know before the green flag.

The Track – Nashville Superspeedway

Nestled in Lebanon, Tennessee, this 1.33-mile concrete oval has previously hosted three NASCAR Cup Series races and a myriad of races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. While the track has only been on the Cup Series schedule for three years, there are a few drivers who have already begun to figure out the facility. With a wide groove and a slick surface expected on Sunday afternoon, drivers will have a wide range of options available when they send their cars into the 14 degrees of banking that comprise the track’s turns.

Current NASCAR Cup Series Standings:

Regular-season championship:

  1. Kyle Larson, 620
  2. Chase Elliott, 620 (-0)
  3. Denny Hamlin, 580 (-40)
  4. Martin Truex Jr, 572 (-48)
  5. Tyler Reddick, 560 (-60)

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson – both of whom are previous winners at Nashville – come into Sunday’s Ally 400 tied atop the regular-season points standings. With 15 crucial playoff points being awarded to the driver who comes out on top, every position will matter for both Elliott and Larson.

Playoff Bubble:

14. Alex Bowman (+59)

15. Chris Buescher (+50)

16. Joey Logano (+13)

17. Bubba Wallace (-13)

18. Chase Briscoe (-25)

19. Kyle Busch (-45)

20. Josh Berry (-73)

There are plenty of storylines to highlight for bubble drivers heading into Sunday’s Ally 400, but the most notable one might be the prolonged struggles of two-time champion Kyle Busch. After a 2023 season in which Busch won three races, 2024 has been extremely disappointing. Over the last four races, Busch has three finishes of 35th. Those are unacceptable results for a team and driver fighting desperately to be a part of the postseason field.

Nashville could serve as a huge race for Bubba Wallace and the No. 23 team. After falling out of the top 16 at New Hampshire, Wallace desperately needs a good showing in the Music City, especially with the Chicago Street Race looming on July 7. Expect the No. 23 team to show up with good speed off the truck. Wallace will be sporting a special paint scheme this weekend. Luke Combs, who will also be driving the pace car Sunday, will adorn the hood of hood of a camouflaged Toyota Camry.

Race Predictions

Chevrolet is a perfect three-for-three at Nashville in the Cup Series, with Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Ross Chastain winning the first three Cup Series events held at the track. Chastain seems to be a popular pick to win, and a potential victory would come at the perfect time for a No. 1 team that has struggled to find winning speed in 2024. Larson and Elliott will likely be in the mix as well but don’t count out their Hendrick Motorsports teammate in William Byron. With nine wins over the last season and a half, Byron has been one of the best drivers in the Next-Gen era and looks to add Nashville’s guitar to his trophy case on Sunday.

Chevy won’t be the only manufacturer with a say in who wins on Sunday, however. Christopher Bell has won twice in the last five races and could’ve made it three if not for engine issues in St. Louis. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammates in Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex are likely to make a splash, too. If the groove widens out on Sunday, don’t be surprised if Tyler Reddick makes some noise as well – he’s notorious for being able to rip the fence at intermediate tracks.

Ford is seen as the underdog heading into the weekend, but defending champion Ryan Blaney may be their best bet at victory. While he’s DNF’d in two of his Nashville starts, he finished third at the track in 2022. Don’t count out the RFK duo of Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher, either, as both drivers have contended for wins at multiple points in the season.

How to watch the Ally 400:

Practice: 6/29, 2:05 p.m. ET, USA Network, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Qualifying: 6/29, 2:50 p.m. ET, USA Network, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Race: 6/30, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

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