NASCAR's Championship 4 Contenders Are Set For Battle
Who will win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway?
Sixteen drivers qualified for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs and embarked on their journey to become NASCAR’s newest champion, but only four remain as contenders. Heading into last week’s race at Phoenix, five of the round of eight drivers were in the quest to secure the final playoff spot to be part of the Championship 4 – Brad Keselowski was the lucky driver to clinch the final spot after Matt Kenseth, a non-playoff driver, won that race. Keselowski will join Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick as the Championship 4 competing for the championship title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Each driver is capable of winning the final race of the season and becoming NASCAR’s newest champ, but who will it be?
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.’s performance has been impressive, the 14-year veteran dominated the field and has been nothing short of flawless with seven victories this season. Closing out the season with an impressive 18 top 5’s and 25 top 10’s, once again Martin Truex Jr. finds himself in the Championship 4. Although his best finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway was second in 2006, he is definitely the favorite to win the race and become NASCAR’s newest champion. Ironically, he is the only driver of the Championship 4 that has never won a championship.
“Rowdy,” as most NASCAR fans like to call him, is a three-time Championship 4 contender. His lone championship win was in 2015, a season filled with adversity and victory. After recovering from a broken leg and foot sustained in the season opener, Busch finished the season as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Champion with five wins. That year, his fifth win was at Homestead-Miami in the championship race. Heading into the final race this season, Busch already has five wins.
Four years removed from his one and only championship, Kevin Harvick seems to be peaking at the right time. Harvick has only two wins this season, but his last win was two races ago. He took home the checkered flag at Texas and finished fifth last week at Phoenix, bringing his top-5 race finishes to 13 for the season. Harvick has won on every level at Homestead-Miami. He won the Cup race in 2014, the 2004 Xfinity Series race, and the Camping World Truck Series race in 2009.
Unlike the other drivers competing in the Championship 4, "Bad Brad" was able to secure the final spot in the playoffs without winning and raced his way in based on points. As the final driver to advance to the final round of the playoffs, Keselowski drives into Homestead-Miami with 15 top-5 finishes, 20 top 10s, and three wins this season. In his 10 years as a full-time Cup driver, Keselowski has only managed to win the NASCAR Cup championship once.