Five Hottest NASCAR Drivers | Bonehead Picks

Five Hottest NASCAR Drivers After Kentucky

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As mentioned before the Quaker State 400, this is the last mile and a half track before the playoffs so hopefully they all enjoyed this one. All the remaining tracks during the regular season will be full of shorter tracks and one more road course before it is all said and done. Needless to say, the road to the playoffs will be even bumpier with eight races remaining. While all the Monster Energy drivers try to plan their way through these obstacles, it is time to see who is the hottest after Kentucky.

  1. Martin Truex Jr: After overpowering Kyle Busch and sweeping all stages once again, there is definitely no reason to keep Truex off the list even after trouble in the last two races. 13 total stage wins and 26 playoff points is just too much to overlook, and thanks to a post-race penalty to Kyle Larson has now retaken the points lead. For this week anyway, life is good for the 78.
  2. Erik Jones: With the expected news of becoming Matt Kenseth’s replacement in 2018, things cannot be starting to look up any better at the moment. Two consecutive top tens in the last two going back to Sonoma is so far the biggest improvement in his rookie campaign. Whether all this can be used as motivation to make the playoffs or raise his chances of Rookie of the Year or both remains to be seen.
  3. Chase Elliott: After four consecutive finishes of 24th or worst from Richmond to Charlotte, Elliott finally got Hendrick where they needed to be with five top tens in the last six including a third place Kentucky finish. Three of those finishes were in the top five which also involves a runner-up finish at Michigan behind Kyle Larson. If Jimmie Johnson were to somehow falter down the road, Elliott is his only hope of picking up the slack.
  4. Denny Hamlin: While his teammates still continue to find that elusive first win of 2017, Hamlin has practically been the closest with three top fours in the last four races. It is also a mixture of five top tens in the last seven which also holds four top fives. Unless the Kenseth distraction plays a part in the team’s continous winless streak. Hamlin may actually get his first win before Kyle does.
  5. Kevin Harvick: With his Sonoma win, the so called flagship driver has held in all together since Texas with nine top tens in the last 12, including six top fives. Harvick has stayed in the top five since his eighth place finish in Charlotte and looks to get his second win in 2017 at New Hampshire where he won during the playoffs last season in September.

News and Notes: Kyle Larson’s crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $75,000 and suspended for the next three Monster Energy races for the rear brake cooling assembly not meeting the required standards. The team was also assessed 35 driver and owner point and Larson’s second place finish at Kentucky is encumbered. As mentioned earlier, Truex now takes over the points lead.

After returning from a four race suspension, Kyle Busch’s crew chief Adam Stevens was fined $10,000 for one lug nut improperly installed. If my count is correct, this is the second time that Stevens has been hit with a penalty. Aric Almiorla is returning to the number 43 after his back injury at Kansas, and Harvick and his wife Delana announced they are expecting baby number two.

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