Denny Hamlin is consistently good at NASCAR racing and winning. You could argue that since he won the Nationwide Series twice, he deserves to be in the top spot. But what about those times he has been out of the races and not won? These are called the losing streaks and Denny knows it, and he would do anything to get those wins back.
The latest bad drop in Denny’s nascar standings came from a car crash at Chicagoland. He is now out of the running for the next month’s playoff. This is the first time it has happened since he was traded to ARCA (American Racing Car Association) in the offseason. This move by ARCA to change their series criteria caused him to drop out of the running and force him into retirement.
So what now? Denny will miss another month of racing. Will he quit? No, he is just taking time off for the holidays. He will miss being able to see how his team and drivers are fairing in the regular-season championship races, but he is fine and will be back in action soon.
So who will have the top NASCAR standings after the holidays? Well, that will be decided by who wins the next two cups. In addition to Denny Hamlin’s big loss, there is also Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, and Matt Kenseth. I put those six in the same group as Denny because all of them raced for the championship last season and all six are still contenders for the title this year.
NASCAR Standings Facts
Who will finish second? That would be Matt DiBergia, who ended last season tied for fourth. Next up would be Keviniffer and rookies Cole Pearn and rookies Ryan Briscoe and rookie Martin Truex. If Briscoe and Truex don’t win the next two races, then I have a gut feeling that Matt DiBergia will take the second slot and Matt Kenseth could slip into third or fourth.
So which of those drivers has the best chance of winning the ultimate championship this year? I vote for Aric Almirola, because he has more wins than anyone else even though he only has one career start. While he might not be fast enough to win the Cup this season, he has more playoff wins (four) than anyone else does.
Is it possible for Joe Gibbs to win the drivers’ championship this year? Certainly it is. I really like backup driver Sage Jackson, but my prediction for this year is that rookie phenom Keviniffs will win the drivers’ title. At least we can hope for that because rookie drivers don’t usually get a chance to prove themselves until the teams get to the pit crew for the post-season race. So that leaves only two races for Almirola, Logano and Penske. I don’t think either of them will embarrass themselves in those races, although it will be interesting to see how much support Team Penske has for its young star, Chase Briscoe.
Will Team Penske actually make it to the playoffs this year? Only time will tell. What I do know is that having Matt DiBergia as your main driver definitely makes things interesting in pit racing because you never know what he might pull out. That is something that I have never seen in my seven years of watching NASCAR racing. Sure, there are super drivers who will hit a few short drives and get a few extra laps on the track, but very seldom do you find a driver with that kind of skill.