The last three weeks have shown that Chevrolet is closing the gap on the field. With only four race wins in 2018, the least amount in a single season for them since 1982, they’ve already equaled that number at just past the midway mark of this season alone. In fact, a bowtie has won in each of the last three weeks for their first three race win streak since 2015.
Now, with JGR and Penske potentially opening up the door still, look for Hendrick Motorsports or Chip Ganassi Racing to steal another win on Sunday for give them four straight.
Kyle Larson has two runner-up finishes in his last three NHMS starts. He has three top 10’s in his last four. He has five top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts on the season. He had just two in the first nine races in 2019.
Kurt Busch celebrates in victory lane last Saturday night at the Kentucky Speedway
Kurt Busch has three top 10 finishes in his last four NHMS starts. He should have won Daytona. He nearly won Michigan. He did win at Kentucky. He can win on Sunday too.
Alex Bowman finished 11th in this race last year. He’s better now. Bowman, has six top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts on the year including a win and three runner-ups. He had zero top 10’s prior.
William Byron came home 14th in this race last year. He enters this weekend with four top 10 finishes in his last seven starts including a top five in Daytona.
Jimmie Johnson may not have scored a top five at New Hampshire since 2014 but did finish 10th in this race last year. He has two top five finishes in his last three starts on the season though and four top 10’s in his last seven overall.
Chase Elliott is slumping lately but was fifth in this race last year.
So, I feel better about HMS and CGR than I do JGR or Penske right now. That, has Jim Campbell, vice president of performance and motorsports for Chevrolet, wanting even more.
Campbell, joined “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday and spoke about Chevy’s recent string of races.
“I look at the trajectory,” Campbell said of the direction Chevy is going. “Are we on the trajectory up or are we flat or are we down? I would say the momentum is going up, but it’s all performance based. We’ve got to put wins on the board, more top 10s.”
Campbell, said that the trajectory started in the upward phase in Talladega. See, he nor other Chevy execs were pleased with the way Hendrick Motorsports teamed with a Toyota team in Joe Gibbs Racing for February’s Daytona 500. Back in February, the teams all knew that in order to stop the Fords from dominating, they needed strength in numbers to break them up.
HMS and JGR sought out each other because they knew they had eight strong cars on superspeedway’s. Together, they could work with one another in the draft and rival the Ford speed.
It worked, only for Toyota though. JGR finished 1-2-3 that day. Moving forward, Chevy didn’t want to see that happen again. They wanted teamwork within their teams. So, for the next superspeedway race at Talladega, they ensured no team went rogue and worked with another manufacturer.
HMS went 1-2 as Chevy had three cars finish in the top four that day. It was their first win of the season as that’s the point to where Campbell puts his thumb print on change the trajectory of Chevy’s production in NASCAR’s premiere series.
“We have really, really, I think, increased the collaboration to another level, and I think we need to because we’ve got to put more wins on the board,” Campbell said on Wednesday morning. “The Chevy camp is used to putting 10, 12, 15 wins on the board a year. Right now we’re at four. We expect more of ourselves. I know the teams are looking for more wins and I’ll call it top-five finishes. Talladega was kind of a turbocharger for us to get everyone really working at the next level.
“Over the years, Chevy results were pretty doggone strong without a massive work-together effort. I think we go back to ’16 and Toyota put together an effort to get some of the (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) guys working together and I think in the fall, the Ford camp was doing that. So, it was time, it was time that we just pulled ourselves together and really worked across all of our teams.”