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Making the Case for Each NASCAR Cup Series Finalist

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2017 Championship Four Drivers (L to R) Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick during Championship Media Day in Miami on Nov. 16, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2017 Championship Four Drivers (L to R) Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick during Championship Media Day in Miami on Nov. 16, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

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Martin Truex Jr. is the offshore sportsbook favorite to win the 2017 Ford Ecoboost 400, which makes him as well the fave to win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. He already is the 2017 Regular Season Champion, which is as meaningless as the first three quarters of a basketball game, but it does mean he has been the best driver this season – as well as the best on 1.5-mile tracks – so it’s only a matter of sustaining that momentum at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida on November 19th. Should he win it all, Truex will most likely dedicate his triumph to his cancer-battling girlfriend Sherry Pollex and heart attack-recovering team owner Barney Visser.  Truex’s best overall finish in the Cup Series has been a 4th place in 2015.
Unlike Truex, Kyle Busch has not only been a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, but has also won the Ford Ecoboost 400, both in the year 2015. Also a propos of Truex, of whom we said has been the best driver of the season and needs to sustain that momentum, Busch has been the best driver of the second half of season, winning 31% of the races since mid-July, leading laps in each of those races (his 1,980 laps led in 2017 is 307 more than he’s accrued in any season of his career) until the Can-Am 500, where, having already qualified for the Championship 4, he held back. Additionally, his eight poles this season are more than twice that of any other racer.
Kevin Harvick is also looking for his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title, speaking of which, all three champions under the current format have done so categorically by not just finishing ahead of their Championship 4 foes but actually winning the last race outright, a trend that Harvick started in 2014. In addition to that, Harvick has eight top 5 and 14 top 10 finishes in Miami, as well as 4,277 laps run, 15 lead-lap finishes, a 106.0 driver rating (the best of the four), and an average finish of 6.9 (second only to Truex’s) at Homestead. Finally, Harvick has finishing outside the top 10 on intermediate tracks just once this season.
A former champ looking for his first title in the current playoff format, Brad Keselowski’s two wins at Homestead both came while competing in the Xfinity Series, but he knows this track very well. He’s qualified in the top 10 for six straight years – five in the top five – and has finished sixth, third and third entering last season, where he qualified second but crashed out. Keselowski, however, has, unlike Truex and Busch, no momentum going into this Sunday, not that that matters to him. “I think momentum and Homestead is overrated,” he said. “If you look at last year I would have said the guy [Jimmie Johnson] with the least momentum won it all. I’m not too caught up on that. I’m excited about how we ran at Texas. I would look at Texas as being more of the momentum to Homestead than I would [Phoenix].”

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Posted by on November 17, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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