As the resident NASCAR guy on the airstaff, it’s time for me to make my best guess as to who will win this years championship.
Last year Joey Logano was the least likely driver to win going into the final round of 4, but he won his first title. So, will it be a surprise again this season at Homestead Miami or one of the drivers who has dominated this season? Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex have all won four races. Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski have won 3 each and Chase Elliot has won twice.
The first trio of races starts this weekend at Las Vegas where Joey Logano won the March race, with Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick finishing second and third. Then, it’s on to Richmond for a short track race that was won by Martin Truex, with Joey Logano and Harvick finishing in the top five. And then it’s the road course at Charlotte. The race on the Charlotte roval was won by Ryan Blaney last year. The road course races were won by Martin Truex this year at Sonoma and Chase Elliott at Watkins Glen with Truex finishing second.
Kevin Harvick has been in the playoffs for 10 consecutive years, that’s the longest streak now that Jimmie Johnson failed to qualify this year. William Byron is the lone first time qualifier, but he has Chad Knaus as his crew chief and he’s never missed the playoffs. One other note…nobody in the 16 driver playoff has won more than one NASCAR title.
Kyle Busch has the most points to start the playoffs and Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer have the least.
Popular picks are any of the Joe Gibbs cars. However Kyle Busch hasn’t won in 12 races and some think Denny Hamlin might win his first title. He’d have to prove he can win under pressure for me because he’s never been able to do that. Will Joey Logano be able to repeat? I’m not going with any of those drivers. I think it will come down to Martin Truex and Kevin Harvick.
My prediction for the winner is: Kevin Harvick. He’s gotten hot at the right time.