We are just about to reach the halfway point in the 2017 season, and can you believe the way the points standings look? Kyle Larson on the top in first? Whaaaat?!? I’d like to thank NASCAR for the addition of the stages. It’s definitely shaken things up a bit, and the races aren’t typically so boring. It’s keeping me on the edge of my seat some weekends.
Let’s talk about a few drivers.
Kyle Busch - I don’t know what is going on with the whole Joe Gibbs Racing team, but there’s definitely something. Kyle isn’t having too much trouble running up in the top 5 or 10, and he’s even won a few stages, but the problem comes towards the end of the race when it really matters. He either gets passed because he stayed out during a caution and doesn’t have fresh tires, or he’s just got a slower car than the leader. It’s frustrating for us fans, and I’m sure even more so for him.
Martin Truex Jr. - This guy. A few years ago I was asking the question, “Who is MTJ?” because he consistently ran in the back and just ultimately seemed distracted by life. Perhaps that was because of his girlfriends battle with cancer. Once she offically became cancer free, his racing changed. He became a different person. He won races. Now he is the leader in stage wins with TEN! This guy will be a strong contender for the Championship.
Ryan Blaney/Chase Elliott/Erik Jones (The Rookies) - Whoa at these guys. These guys are fierce. And they are on a mission to win. Both Ryan and Chase have some big shoes to fill, and they’re doing a heck of a job. Ryan just got his first win, and Chase isn’t too far from getting his first. Erik shows consistency and a LOT of promise. All three of these guys are going to be Championship winners. I promise!
Seeing drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne outside of the top 16, is frightening. In fact, if the Chase started today, based on points/wins, Clint Bowyer would be out also. How crazy is that?
Stage wins. Race wins. It all adds up. Drivers need to be trying to collect more points if they can’t win races. Fingers crossed some can figure it out.
On to Sonoma….