While the large majority of attention was justifiably on Championship 4 contenders, the underdogs of the NASCAR Cup Series sought to finish off their 2021 seasons strong at Phoenix Raceway (Nov. 7). The action matched the desert heat throughout the field, unfortunately scorching a few underdogs in catastrophic ways.
Several of them either crashed out or experienced setbacks in a rough race for underfunded teams. Outlasting them all was perhaps the underdog facing the most uncertainty: Ryan Preece. Preece headed into the 312-lap event with his future hanging in the balance, his No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing team closing up shop after the season. When will he be back behind the wheel of a Cup car? It could be next year, it could be multiple seasons, and it is very possible that it may never happen again.