My 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Series Cup PredictionsPosted by in NASCAR
Two races into the playoffs and I am just now making my predictions as to who will win the cup.
Speaking of the cup- surely by now you have seen the new trophy? I have seen and heard both positive and negative comments about the trophy. Personally I like it- I love the section at the top that at a glance to the non-NASCAR trained eye just looks like a random squirrelly design but is really comprised of the outline of the tracks. I LOVE that part of the trophy the most. I have no problem with the new series sponsor making a new series trophy.
Back to my predictions though. I am going to say that Martin Truex Jr is going to win the championship. I feel that is pretty safe bet to take don’t you? He has all those championship stage win points to carry him through to the final four so unless he has a pretty disastrous stage two I do not see a “final four” in Homestead-Miami without Martin Truex Jr in it. So since my bet on Martin Truex Jr is so safe- who should I say will be the other drivers he is up against in that last race? I would put my money on Kyle Busch for sure but who else? As much as I would love to see Ryan Blaney or Kasey Kahne or one of the other one win underdogs in the final four I think the other two drivers will be Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson.
The Stewart-Haas Racing fan in me would love to see Harvick take home the cup but I really think that the Toyotas have something that the Fords just do not seem to have under the hood. Not sure what it is not being a technical person with my nose under the hood of either car but it is quite obvious to this race fan that there is something that is favoring the Toyotas this season while leaving the Chevys and Fords in the dust. I also wouldn’t mine seeing Kyle win the Championship- I have always liked Kyle as a driver. He’s got a certain something. And I wouldn’t mind seeing Jimmie Johnson win- if only to get that mythical championship number 8. You can say what you want about Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus and that Lowes 48 team but this is a legacy in the making.
I am still not thrilled much with this new format. Drivers are points racing just as much as they ever did in other types of formats. What I am mostly not a fan of is carrying the stage win championship points with you THROUGH the first three stages of the Championship. I could see maybe carrying them up to the championship and helping you get into the championship but to me it takes away from the championship to know that a drive could DNF in a championship race and make it to the final four. This is racing and you should get a championship trophy from only winning the race. Not because you made it up to the 1/3 mark of a race or 2/3 mark of a bunch of races.
That said this “stage” format has done exactly what it was engineered to do- interject an (false sense of) excitement into parts of the race that usually are deemed boring or “unexciting” on the cookie cutter tracks. Say what you will about the stages- I still view winning a stage as akin to a participation trophy. That’s just how I personally feel- you may agree- you may not.
It will be interesting to see who gets cut this weekend after the Dover elimination race and if that threat of championship elimination ups the aggressiveness on track.
So tell me- who do you think will get eliminated this weekend? Who do you see being in the “final four?” What about the winner of the Championship?
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