Welcome to the most recent version of the NASCAR Roundtable.
Martin Truex Jr. has received the earlier two races at Chicagoland and enters this weekend’s race recent off of his win in Sonoma. How seemingly do you suppose it’s he can rating a 3rd win in a row at Chicagoland?
Jim: Effectively, it is not onerous to say Truex, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch – who’ve mixed to win 12 of the season’s first 16 races – will not all be within the combine this weekend for the win. The whole teamwork evident in Truex’s win at Sonoma reveals that crew remains to be on high of its recreation and having received the final two Cup races at Chicagoland, he is actually in place to choose up a 3rd consecutive victory.
Kenny: The Sonoma win will give Truex and his crew a shot of momentum, however they’ll want greater than that. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have been a tick higher on the 1.5-mile layouts this yr – Truex received on the massive tracks (Auto Membership and Pocono) earlier than scoring on a highway course Sunday. He’s obtained a shot, however he’ll need to get previous the opposite two to drag it off.
Nick: I need to say sure, however Kevin Harvick and SHR have simply been so sturdy this yr at intermediate tracks that I can not guess in opposition to them. Kyle Busch is one other apparent selection, however I must go together with Harvick for the win in Chicago.
Tim: I believe he might do it, sure, however he’ll need to high Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to get it accomplished this weekend. Harvick received the primary two races held on the observe. Truex clearly has momentum after his win at Sonoma, however it wasn’t like Harvick and Busch have fallen off the tempo as they each completed within the high 5 at Sonoma.
There have been 15 completely different race winners throughout the 2017 season, however to date in 2018 there’s solely been six. Do you suppose we’ll match final yr’s complete, fall quick or exceed the variety of completely different race winners in Cup races?
Jim: At this fee, I believe now we have clearly seen the Cup collection’ high groups rise to the highest and it will be a giant shock to me if there out of the blue developed a fourth or fifth crew that may choose up a number of victories. I believe we fall far in need of final yr’s complete and I do not anticipate greater than 10 completely different winners this season and we could also be fortunate to get to that quantity.
Kenny: I believe we fall quick, effectively quick the truth is, of 15 winners. With 20 races remaining, there would must be a special winner each two races or so from right here on out to achieve that mark. With the way in which Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex have dominated races this yr, I don’t see that taking place. Ten or 11 completely different winners for the season would most likely be extra sensible.
Nick: We won’t. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have such a stranglehold on the entrance of the sector, drivers resembling Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson profitable can be an upset in some regard. By season’s finish, we’ll attain ten, however not 15.
Tim: I believe we’ll be fortunate to see 10 completely different winners this season with the dominating performances of three drivers who’ve mixed to win 12 of the primary 16 factors races of the yr. Kevin Harvick has 5, Kyle Busch is at 4 after which Truex with three wins. Whereas I really feel we’ll nonetheless see a few completely different winners all through the season, we received’t even get near final yr’s complete.
What has been the largest shock to you within the Xfinity Collection this season?
Jim: I believe the largest shock for me is that the three drivers atop the collection standings – Elliott Sadler, Cole Custer and Daniel Hemric – have but to win a race this season. Probably the most stunning of the three I might say is Sadler, who has been a constant performer and presence atop the collection standings the final couple of years however has come up quick within the wins column.
Kenny: How effectively Daniel Hemric and the No. 21 crew have carried out out of Richard Childress Racing. Hemric is a gifted driver however I didn’t anticipate that crew to be third in factors at this juncture. Significantly when RCR’s Cup groups aren’t working within the high 10 and contending for wins regularly. An XFINITY program is usually a mirrored image of a bunch’s Cup effort – Joe Gibbs Racing is a main instance – however Hemric’s outcomes appear to return despite RCR’s present Cup struggles.
Nick: Sadler not but profitable is unquestionably a shock, however Kaz Grala’s efficiency with the all new Fury Race Vehicles crew has been very spectacular to me — two high tens in 4 races with no end result worse than 16th. I’m excited to see extra out of them of their upcoming races.
Tim: I might agree with my colleagues on one driver – Daniel Hemric. He’s ran effectively sufficient at instances that he might have already got a few wins however has but to go to Victory Lane. I really feel he’ll rating a win earlier than the top of the season, however I assumed he would have at the least one win by now.
Justin Haley turned latest first-time winner within the NASCAR Tenting World Truck Collection this season final weekend. Do you suppose we might see one other one Friday at Chicagoland?
Jim: I actually suppose one other first time winner is feasible and if there may be one, I would need to go together with Stewart Friesen. He is accomplished all the pieces however win this season, racing constantly up entrance, main laps and has solely began exterior the High 10 in a single race to date this yr. He’s proven is able to profitable and I believe it is only a matter of time.
Kenny: I believe with the collection heading again to a 1.5-mile observe, the chances of seeing one other first-time winner aren’t nice. However there are a few of us who’ve run constantly effectively this yr and will step up. Stewart Friesen doesn’t have a ton of asphalt expertise however he’s completed sixth or higher in all 5 races this yr on intermediate tracks, together with a runner-up at Texas. And Todd Gilliland continues to impress within the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. four Toyota entry.
Nick: It is solely a matter of time earlier than Stewart Friesen finds his strategy to Victory Lane, however Johnny Sauter has been so sturdy this yr, particularly on the intermediate tracks. However he virtually beat the veteran at Texas, so I can no purpose why he cannot take the combat to him at Chicagoland.
Tim: I believe Stewart Friesen would be the subsequent driver to attain a win within the CWTS and in addition to he’s been competing, a win is good across the nook. Moreover, he’s ran effectively effectively on 1.5-mile tracks regardless of not having a lot expertise on them previous to this season.