Kyle Busch appears to have cooled off a bit. Joey Logano appears to be heating up a bit himself. Martin Truex Jr. has finally won on a short track. Denny Hamlin is off to a career start.
Who are the favorites for the championship now as we head into the first off week of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season?
We can’t overlook Busch, but his No. 18 Toyota has fallen back a bit over the last month. Yes, he won at Bristol just two races ago, but that was a byproduct of everyone else screwing up. Both Busch and his crew chief Adam Stevens admitted that his car wasn’t up to part in that race at Bristol and he still won.
The last race in Richmond, he sped on pit road and struggled to get back to the front. Yes, that’s part of a reason because of the aero package, but he has two finishes outside of the top five in the last three races.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s my favorite still with a top 10 in EVERY race in 2019. But, his once large advantage has shortened some.
Joey Logano has one win in 2019 but has two straight top three finishes and three in his last five starts on the year. He also does have five top 10 finishes in his last seven starts on the year overall and in my mind is right there with Busch.
Denny Hamlin is strong too. He has four straight top five finishes and five in his last six on the year. His worst finish since Phoenix is seventh. Hamlin, is third on this list.
Martin Truex Jr. gave JGR a win by three different teams in the first nine races of the year and got over the hump at Richmond. He has six top eight finishes over the last eight races on the season.
These are your Championship 4 favorites right now in my opinion.
The guys just on the outside have to be Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. Keselowski, does have two wins on the year but he also has three finishes of 18th or worse in his last six races on the season too.
Harvick, hasn’t finished better than fourth all year but that’s a byproduct on how well Penske and Gibbs have been running. The speed will come still for him which is scary for the rest of the field.
Clint Bowyer is the next best with four top seven finishes in-a-row and a chance to win the next two weeks. If he can, he may bump Truex out of the Championship 4 favorites.
In my opinion, these are the top seven drivers right now and it’s not even close for the rest.