NASCAR Slowly, But Surely Approaches | Bonehead Picks

NASCAR 2018 Slowly, But Surely Approaches

  • Pin It

With the season premiere of NASCAR Race Hub on FS1 later on today, I feel it is officially time to get into gear with the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season. Other than the usual package change that occurs once a year, there will be a whole lot of the same but different faces with every major team in NASCAR. Some that were unprecedented opened the door for newer talent to take their spot and prove themselves, and with some veterans retired they may do so.

Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth have stepped away from the sport along with Danica Patrick (well almost). Patrick however will run the Daytona 500 one last time with a different team sponsered by GoDaddy, while her replacement Aric Almirola will hope to bring more success to not only Stewart-Haas Racing but to his primary sponsor Smithfield. She is also attempting one last run at the Indianapolis 500 before she officially closes out her career.

Earnhardt and Kenseth have been replaced respectively by Alex Bowman and Erik Jones. Speaking of Bowman, Hendrick will have a new look with only veteran Jimmie Johnson teaching the new guns a thing or two. Chase Elliott will take back his dad Bill’s number 9, with William Byron taking over the 24 car in actuality replacing Kasey Kahne from the 5 car. Bowman filled in well for Earnhardt two years ago in the 88, and looks to become the favorite to become NASCAR Rookie Of The Year for 2018.

Ryan Blaney has moved from the legendary Wood Brothers Racing over to becoming the third driver for Team Penske and not a moment too soon. Among the 2016 rookie class, Blaney was the first to clinch a win, and with no need of an alliance package will have a full one racing beside new teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Paul Menard moved from Richard Childress Racing to take Blaney’s place which leaves Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman as the only two.

As mentioned earlier with Kenseth at Joe Gibbs Racing, they too will be short on veterans but will still have Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin plus rookie runner-up Daniel Suarez and rookie winner Erik Jones. Kyle almost had his second Monster Energy title in three years until he was held off by defending champion Martin Truex Jr who will once again race solo with the 77 car shut down.

Almirola will be surrounded by a whole new group involving Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and the newly re-signed Kurt Busch. A veteran presence could lead to Almirola becoming the next dark horse in the Monster Energy Series, if things go well. Darrell Wallace Jr replaces Almirola in the legendary 43 at Richard Petty Motorsports, and proved himself better than expected in relief. Wallace had an average finish of 17.8 including his surprisingly best finish of 11th at Kentucky.

Roush Fenway and Chip Ganassi Racing remain the same for 2018, but Kyle Larson would prove the biggest threat out of that group since having won four races last season and finishing as high as eighth in the playoffs in which both is his career best. Ricky Stenhouse Jr did win two of the four restrictor plate races, one each at Daytona and Talladega, which pretty much makes him the veteran leader within RFR.

No doubt there will be more to talk about on NASCAR Race Hub including the newly revamped 2018 schedule. If you want to check out what’s in store, be sure to watch!

You can follow Boneheadpicks on Facebook and Twitter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *