Five Hottest NASCAR Drivers After Pocono | Bonehead Picks

Five Hottest NASCAR Drivers After Pocono

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The 2017 runs at the Tricky Triangle has come to a close until next June, and now we look to close out the road course portion at Watkins Glen this weekend. Things finally shifted after the Overton’s 400 at Pocono and for the first time made the playoff picture even tighter. Number fourteen looks to be a possibility with the I Love New York 355 At The Glen but it could be either a plain old road course veteran or another first time winner. For now, here are the five hottest NASCAR drivers after Pocono.

  1. Kyle Busch: No matter where he finished, Kyle had practically been on a hot streak and it took him 36 races to build that momentum back up with his first win in 2017. Winning from the pole and leading the most laps with 74, destiny was finally going to be fulfilled with a win one way or another. With Joe Gibbs Racing’s second win in three races, the tide appears to be turning for Toyota and the entire team. Once JGR gets started, it is usually very hard to stop them.
  2. Kevin Harvick: It appears that Harvick is the best thing going for Stewart-Haas Racing for the time being. Five top tens in the last six and finishing a long distance second at Pocono is all that can come out. With Kurt Busch’s announcement of not returning to the team (at least for now), who knows if it may cause somewhat of a distraction even with Clint Bowyer having his ups and downs the last four races. Watkins Glen will be another hard test mentally for SHR.
  3. Martin Truex Jr.: If there is one thorn on the side of Kyle Busch, it would be the 78. Not counting the slip up at Indianapolis, three top fives including a win at Kentucky looks to be a building point if you also want to count four consecutive top ten starts. If he can survive Watkins Glen even with a great finish, there could a race to the end of the playoffs if they both survive. Even with a two car team, it appears he needs to help from anyone else.
  4. Denny Hamlin: With the odd pattern of fourth place finishes in the last seven races, a win from New Hampshire mixed in helped get JGR back where they should’ve been from the start. Staying fifth in points the last three weeks, Hamlin is now at his highest peak as they carry on towards the regular season finale at Richmond. With four consecutive top ten starts (three in the top five), averages like these could prove dangerous.
  5. Brad Keselowski: After some bumps and bruises between Charlotte and Kentucky, the blue deuce appears to be coming back finishing with three consecutive top tens along with a runner up finish at Indianapolis. Signing a contract extension with Team Penske could help boost morale within the organization with the recent slide both he and Joey Logano have had.

News and notes: Erik Jones’ car failed post-race inspection where NASCAR spotted a rear suspension violation. It cost the team its crew chief Chris Gayle for two races and fined him $50,000. They also assessed 25 owner and driver points which now encumbers his eighth place finish and drops Jones 150 points below the cutoff line. The team does not plan to appeal and team engineer James Small will serve as interim crew chief.

Others were lug nut violations which made three crew chiefs’ pockets $10,000 lighter. For the third time, Adam Stevens has been hit with the same fine which most likely makes him the most penalized crew chief in NASCAR. Others were Brian Pattie (Ricky Stenhouse Jr) and Matt Puccia (Trevor Bayne).

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