As it stands right now, I think we have to anoint Martin Truex, Jr the favorite for the Sprint Cup championship, although NASCAR is so unpredictable, especially with this new format, that I'd only lay down a minimum bet and no more. (Consider that Talladega is in the next round of eliminations). Still, over all, the 78 has been stellar and what a story it would be for the one-car, Colorado team to win (although, they are essentially an equal step-brother to JGR). After Martin, I guess I'd place Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in the next tier. I'd much prefer to see a new winner so I'd be pleased to see Truex hoist the trophy versus a previous champion.
Unless, of course, we're talking about Jimmie. Then, all the "new winner" stuff is out the window. "Revvin' for Seven" is, and always will be, my motto until it happens. I'd love to see Chase Elliott prevail (speaking of a fairy tale ending) but I don't think that's going to happen. He's doing great for a rookie but next year will be his year to really shine, I think.
The one I hated to see fall out was Kyle Larson. I didn't think he'd go all the way but I at least hoped he would make it into the second round. I'm sure it was a heartbreaker for Ganassi to see both their cars out of the Chase so soon due to parts issues. Kyle was fast until that point and he'd have most likely made it in without that kick in the teeth from Lady Luck.
But that's what I mean about unpredictable. It doesn't take much to knock you down. For the 48, which seemed like the only team that could maybe match Truex, it was a pit road penalty for a man over the wall too soon. Thank heavens, he was high enough in the points to live to fight another day in spite of that. We never expected Buescher to make it but he's got nothing to be ashamed of this year. Poor Tony, he just didn't have the car, which has been a chronic condition this year. But he made the Chase and won a race in his last year so he can leave with his head high.
I've only been a NASCAR fan since 2008 and I have never seen a race before with only 6 cars on the lead lap at the finish. Matter of fact, I've never understood the big deal about laps. I mean I know they are important as far as trying to finish farther ahead but what do they matter in the scheme of things at the end? Jimmie finished 7th and was a lap down. So what? Seventh is seventh whether you are a lap down or not, right? You get the same number of points. Does it mostly have to do with pride?
I was thrilled that Daniel Suarez won the Xfinity race in Dover. He's who I'm rooting for in the Xfinity championship. He was the first Mexican to win a NASCAR race and he did it during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which made it even more special. I expect there was lots of cheering both in the U.S. and south of the border.
And now we wait on Mother Nature. Hurricane Matthew had his say and race is currently scheduled for Sunday. I hope no one dominates. It's more fun when they mix it up a little more....and when more than six cars finish on the lead lap.