Martin Truex Jr. leads NASCAR with seven Cup Series victories this season and has an average finish of 10th place, according to racing-reference.info. This is just one of the reasons I’ve pegged Truex to win NASCAR’s Cup Series championship Sunday, but to do so, he’ll have a long road ahead of him. Good thing the race is 400 miles long.
Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are the other Cup Series drivers to make the Championship Four. Busch and Hamlin are teammates of Truex at Joe Gibbs Racing, and will probably be his biggest competition over the weekend. Harvick races for Stewart-Hass.
Harvick is a good driver, but I see him as a wild card this weekend. As a team, Stewart-Haas is on the move upwards, but I don’t think they can build a car that can compete against three championship-caliber cars. With that being said, he can get lucky with restarts late in the race or he can downright dominate, but I don’t see him hoisting the championship trophy when it’s all said and done.
Hamlin has been stellar this season, and many believe this is the year he finally picks up his first championship. Of the Championship Four, Hamlin is the only contender without a Cup Series championship. Last week’s win at Phoenix secured him a shot for the championship, but he needed a lot of help from Busch on the final restart, and Busch won’t be that helpful this weekend.
I see Busch being Truex’s biggest competition come Sunday. The younger of the Busch brothers won his only Cup Series championship four years ago, has accumulated over 200 wins in NASCAR sanctioned events and looks to be in his prime. He started this season hot, winning four races in the first half of the season, but has cooled down as the season has progressed. He doesn’t mind the pressure, though, and knows how to win when everyone’s eyes are on him.
No matter the outcome Sunday, hopefully we’ll see some good, hard racing.