NASCAR Championship 4 For 2017 | Bonehead Picks

MENCS Championship 4 For 2017

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The latest edition of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season has been a memorable one. Only things that were different starting from the Daytona 500 all the way up to the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead is a brand new primary sponsor along with a new stage format which has made a huge difference in which I feel is positive. Several full time drivers once again made the push for a championship while down the road others would be making changes at season’s end.

With the usual 16 drivers making the postseason after 35 races, it has come down to the Championship 4 at Homestead and has had some big surprises. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final race meaning the end of an era and Danica Patrick’s last race with Stewart-Haas Racing with no idea if we will ever see another female driver in the top series for a while. Even after the final lap at Homestead, there may still be some unanswered questions when it is all over. With this the final weekend, there is still a lot to discuss.

This edition of the Championship 4 has battled through a lot on and off the track and a couple of drivers who looked to be untouchable. The other two were a big surprise with the luck they have had as far as staying competitive with other manufacturers, and managed to pull a win or point their way in one way or another. But when the checkered flag drops at Homestead, it will be whoever finishes the highest no matter which non-playoff driver wins. Here is the Championship 4 and what they have endured.

  1. Kevin Harvick: With the switch to a new manufacturer after driving for Chevrolet throughout his career, it would be an uphill battle to keep up with the other competitors. While there wasn’t much change as far as competing, winning races proved to be a much bigger challenge than expected with Ford. While current Daytona 500 champion Kurt Busch struggled from the get go despite more experience with Ford, Harvick found a way to perservere late.
  2. Kyle Busch: While it started as an up and down first half which is very unusual, Kyle did managed to eventually catch fire late winning five races on his way to the end of the regular season. With a career best eight poles in one season and 20 laps shy of leading 2,000, you cannot say he doesn’t pose a threat. Toyota has owned the second half of the regular season and most of the playoffs and battled out of the bottom four once. Even with only four career playoffs wins, Kyle is Kyle and always poses a threat.
  3. Martin Truex Jr: By far has had the biggest career year you could ever imagine after 14 years in the Monster Energy Series. Even with six DNFs, Truex managed to pull out seven wins with another career best of 18 top 5 finishes. It could have easily been 15 wins and with his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex continuing to battle cancer, Truex could not be any more inspired at the moment. Winning the first ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup regular season title and leading the entire playoff standings have been the key to make Truex the heavy favorite to win the championship.
  4. Brad Keselowski: After a hot start early in the season winning two races, Keselowski fell into slump late towards the end of the regular season which included four DNFs during that point. He did however find his footing early in the Round of 16 and manage to pull out a win at Talladega to stay alive. Even finishing strong at Martinsville and Texas, Keselowski barely held on at Phoenix getting in by points thanks to Denny Hamlin’s blowout when he was bumped by Chase Elliott.

This is the most intriguing Championship 4 yet, with a lot of unknowns but what cannot be overlooked is the two evenly favored drivers in the mix. All one has to do without winning is finish higher than the rest, and so far the champion has won all three races since its inception. Even with Jimmie Johnson winning number seven last season, this will be showdown for the ages.

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