A year after Larson domination, second-annual Ally 400 appears wide open

Kyle Larson won the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway last year.

A year ago, Kyle Larson won the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway for one of his 10 Cup Series race wins on the way to winning the championship in a dominating 2021 season.

Forward to 2022, Larson is very much in the points chase, but with 10 races left before the 16-driver playoffs go green to start September, there is no dominant driver as the series returns from a rare in-season week off for Sunday’s 4 p.m. race at the Gladeville track.

Chase Elliott leads the points race with 536, followed by Ross Chastain with 520, Kyle Busch 513, Ryan Blaney 511, Joey Logano 506, Martin Truex Jr. 481 and, in seventh place, Larson with 476.

Twelve drivers have taken the checkered flag in the season’s first 16 races with Chastain, Logano, William Byron and Denny Hamlin with two victories each.

In other words: Unlike last year when Larson blew away the field, this year’s race appears to be wide open.

Also, Larson will be without crew chief Cliff Daniels and two of his crew members for the next four races as they serve four-race suspensions after a tire came off Larson’s car during the race at Sonoma on June 12.

Also returning to the track following a break is the Xfinity Series, which hasn’t run since June 4. The Tennessee Lottery 250 marks that series’ return to action at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ty Gibbs has won three of Xfinity’s 14 races thus far and his 530 points trail only A.J. Allmendinger’s 573. Allmendinger, Noah Gragson and Josh Berry have two victories apiece as six drivers have taken checkers thus far in ’22. Kyle Busch won his 100th career Xfinity race at last year’s event. It’s not known if he is entered in this year’s race. As a Cup regular, he’s not eligible for Xfinity points and is limited to five races a year.

The Truck Series will begin the weekend with the Rackley Roofing 200 at 7 p.m. Friday. Zane Smith has won three of the 13 races and is five points behind John Hunter Nemechek at the top of the standings. Cory Heim has two wins but has run only six races.

Tickets for all the races are available at NashvilleSuperspeedway.com or by calling 866-RACE-TIX.

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