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June 16, 2024

Advance to Victory Lane: Kyle Larson to rake in an Iowa win

Editor’s note: Full race projection was updated on Sunday morning after Friday’s practice and Saturday’s qualifying.

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On Sunday, the Cup Series is set to debut at Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 350 powered by Ethanol (7 p.m. ET, USA, MRN Radio, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio), with Kyle Larson projected to cruise through the field en route to his fourth victory this year.

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Despite missing the Coca-Cola 600, Larson reclaimed the points lead after his Sonoma win last Sunday and is 14 points up on Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott.

It’s hard to find a track on the calendar that isn’t in Larson’s wheelhouse, but at Iowa Speedway, there wasn’t much data to prove it before this weekend when he captured the Busch Light Pole Award. Previously, Larson made four Xfinity starts at the 0.875-mile oval, netting two top-five finishes and two top 10s.

Larson was at the Goodyear tire test in May at Iowa, which is a slight feather in his cap heading into the weekend. At short tracks overall, Larson has finished sixth or better in nine of the last 10 contests, including two wins last year at Martinsville and Richmond. As a bonus, Larson is also the most recent Father’s Day winner (Nashville, 2021).

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin, Elliott, 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick (up from eighth) and RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski follow Larson in the projections. William Byron, Joey Logano, Christoper Bell (down from third), Ryan Blaney and Ross Chastain complete the projected top 10. Blaney and Chastain moved into the top 10 after practice and qualifying while Bubba Wallace and Martin Truex Jr. dropped out.

Sunday night’s race is set to be a thriller, with everyone in the Cup garage getting their first bite of Iowa Speedway in the Next Gen car.


DENNY HAMLIN: Hamlin has been the short-track king this season. He won at Bristol and Richmond and has finished top three in five of the last six short-track races. While he’s one of the few drivers with no experience at Iowa Speedway, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him respond to Larson’s Sonoma win with one of his own.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: The 2012 champ has been on a heater this season. Keselowski has routinely looked like a threat to win, and when you look at his Xfinity stats at Iowa, he should be in the mix this weekend. Keselowski has three wins, six top fives and seven top-10 finishes in seven starts at the circuit. He was also at the Goodyear tire test after the track’s repave.

JOEY LOGANO: Did someone say new track? Enter Joey Logano. The two-time champ seems to excel on debut tracks, winning the inaugural races at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and World Wide Technology Raceway. Logano’s best performance this season came in a runner-up finish at Richmond.

KYLE BUSCH: Busch has two Xfinity starts at Iowa, marking a win and a runner-up finish. It’s also been 37 races since Busch’s last win — the longest streak of his career — meaning Rowdy is due to visit Victory Lane soon.

RICKY STENHOUSE JR.: Similar to Keselowski, Stenhouse also has three Xfinity wins on the Hawkeye State short track, and with two drivers outside the top 16 already owning wins (Daniel Suárez and Austin Cindric), Stenhouse could further shake up the playoff picture.


Racing Insights’ advanced statistical formula includes current track, current track type, recent performance, team data and pit-crew data to arrive at a projected winner and full race results.

FinishCar NumberDriver
15Kyle Larson
211Denny Hamlin
39Chase Elliott
445Tyler Reddick
56Brad Keselowski
624William Byron
722Joey Logano
820Christopher Bell
912Ryan Blaney
101Ross Chastain
1123Bubba Wallace
1219Martin Truex Jr.
1314Chase Briscoe
148Kyle Busch
1517Chris Buescher
1648Alex Bowman
174Josh Berry
1854Ty Gibbs
1999Daniel Suárez
2034Michael McDowell
2116AJ Allmendinger
2241Ryan Preece
2310Noah Gragson
242Austin Cindric
2547Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2677Carson Hocevar
2738Todd Gilliland
2843Erik Jones
297Corey LaJoie
3051Justin Haley
313Austin Dillon
3242John H. Nemechek
3321Harrison Burton
3431Daniel Hemric
3571Zane Smith
3615Kaz Grala