Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Chastain, Elliott, Larson lead Nashville Cup drivers to watch

Several drivers have success at Nashville Superspeedway across the three national NASCAR series. However, Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Larson lead the list of those to watch Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC) due to their outright consistency.

The members of this trio have won the three Cup races at Nashville. Larson won the inaugural race in 2021 after leading 264 of the 300 laps. Elliott won in 2022 after leading 42 laps. Chastain won last season's race after leading 99 laps.

Wins are important, but they only tell one part of the story.

Take Larson for example. He has three Cup starts at Nashville and three top-five finishes. His worst finish was fifth last season, and his average finish is 3.3.

Chastain has been just as successful as Larson at Nashville Superspeedway. He also has three top-five finishes in three starts at the 1.33-mile paved track. Like Larson, his worst finish is fifth. However, Chastain has a better average finish (2.7). He finished second behind Larson in the 2021 race while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Elliott's average finish (14.7) is much lower than Larson's or Chastain's due to unexpected circumstances. He finished 13th in the 2021 race at Nashville, but NASCAR officials disqualified the No. 9 Chevrolet after the race due to five loose lug nuts.

The 2020 Cup champion rebounded the following season. Elliott won the 2022 race at Nashville after leading the final 39 laps of the race. He then finished fourth last season.

The expectation is that Larson will be in contention once again. He already has three wins this season, which includes other intermediate tracks in Las Vegas and Kansas.

Elliott only has one win this season, but it was at an intermediate track. He captured the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway. Elliott also has the best average finish among Cup drivers this season (9.6) through the first 18 races.

Chastain only has two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the first 18 races this season. He doesn't have a win like Elliott and Larson, nor does he have a secure spot in the playoffs. Though Chastain has the second-best average finish (12.3) this season.

Sunday's Ally 400 could be pivotal for the Trackhouse Racing driver, much like it was last season.

This situation is nothing new for Chastain. He was winless through the first 16 races last season, but he was in a solid points position. He ultimately broke through and won his first race of the season at Nashville.