Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Well… this is it. This is for all the marbles in 2018. This is for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship and only four drivers are qualified to win it. Only one of them will.
There is something unique about the NASCAR Cup Championship. Many cars will be running the race but only four will be running the race to win the Championship. All of the others will be trying to win also but they cannot win the Championship. That’s what’s different about the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It is actually a race where it is possible to have two winners. One will win the Championship but that one only has to beat the other three qualified for the Championship four not the race. That means there can actually be two different winners by Sunday evening – one winning the Championship and one winning the race. Wow! That really sounds complicated but, at the same time, it sounds exciting and dramatic.
There has been a lot of talk about which of the four is the favorite to win. Maybe I should clarify by saying the one expected to win. If you ask Joey Logano, he will tell you he is the favorite. As for the others, well… since they’ve been there before, they will tell you they feel good about their chances but it is a long race.
Now, I’m not so sure I agree with Joey Logano’s assessment of himself and his chances but it is a long race and someone will step up to the plate and show why they deserve to be the Monster energy NASCAR Cup Champion for 2018 and it could be him. All four of the contenders know they have to beat the other three to be named the 2018 Champion and you and I both know it is all about winning for them.
Where the wrench in the works comes into play is because of all the other drivers and teams able to run for the race win. With this format, the Champion is determined by a race within a race and even though the four Championship contenders can win, there are a number of other drivers that can win or cause and accident or cause problems for the four contenders in some form or other.
For just a minute, let’s just consider some of the ones that could win the race Sunday afternoon but aren’t qualified to win the Championship.
First on the list for me would be Kurt Bush. After his disappointment last weekend, he is very motivated to win this weekend. He has the speed and he knows how to be there when it counts and he has to be considered as a possible winner of the race. Another would be Brad Keselowski. He is another that showed good speed in practice and could also contend for the win.
How about Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott? (Wow! That sounds strange to be talking about Chevys amongst all the Fords as possible winners of the Ford Ecoboost 400 especially with the way the Fords have performed this season. I only mention it because the Chevys have struggled so much during the regular season this year.) The best reason I can give for mentioning these two is because they have been the strongest running Chevys in the latter part of the season and it is possible one of them could win the race when it’s over Sunday night. Probably kinda long shots at best but still possible.
Along with all of those are Aric Almirola, Eric Jones, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and a host of others. Any one of these can win the race – not the Championship – and still finish off the year with motivation for next year. Two of them are trying to continue their streak of winning at least one race every year and that would be Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. You know for sure they intend to do everything they can to continue that streak. I have to admit, in this fan’s opinion I would like to see one of them do so and – I’m just being honest here – I’m pulling for it to be Jimmie Johnson over Denny Hamlin but I do admit, he has his work cut out for him.
No matter how you look at it, this Championship race is going to be full of all kinds of drama and most assuredly high emotions. All sentimentality aside, the winner of the race is most likely going to be one of the four contenders, either Kevin Harvick, Kyle Bush, Martin Truex Jr. or Joey Logano. I have no idea how it will turn out, only my hope of how it will turn out.
In usual fashion, the final race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2018 season is for everything being on the line whether it’s someone unexpected winning the race or to crown the Champ for 2018. I’m sure it will be an intense race with lots of unkowns and plenty of drama. There could be two winners but only one Champion and we will know the name of that person when the final checkered flag is dropped declaring the winner Sunday night…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© November 17, 2018 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated