Four Drivers Enter, One Champion Leaves

Photo Courtesy: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Christopher Weil/Correspondent

Only one race remains in the 2017 NASCAR season; Homestead-Miami Speedway. At 1.5 miles, it’s the one race of the season where dreams are made and champions are crowned. All three of the top series of NASCAR, the Monster Energy Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series, are headed to Homestead this weekend with the sole purpose of finding the three respective champions; one for each series. There are no gimmicks and no twists, just pure racing with the champion being decided by the one driver who is able to finish ahead of the other 3 title contenders. While the season has been full of ups and downs for every driver in each field, each series has its respective favorites to win their title.

In the Truck Series, the statistical favorite is Christopher Bell; a 22 year old driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports, who has managed to win an impressive 5 races thus far, and will be looking to take his first ever championship title in Homestead. One of his biggest competitors includes veteran two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton. Being more experienced could lead Crafton to winning his 3rd title. The dark horse in the fight is last year’s champion, Johnny Sauter, who has proven he can beat Christopher Bell when it counts the most, including the past two races; one being at Texas, which is a similar track to Homestead as they are both 1.5 miles.

Moving on to the next tier of NASCAR, the Xfinity series has a clear favorite in rookie William Byron. This 19 year old driver for JR Motorsports hasn’t had the best year of his career, but he has been the points leader for nearly the entire season. His biggest competition is his own teammate, Elliot Sadler, and while Sadler hasn’t yet won a race this season, he’s had the consistency to contend for the title. Last year’s Xfinity finale did have a surprise champion in current Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez, so it will be interesting to see if another driver can spoil the JR Motorsports party.

For the main event, the Monster Energy Cup Series, the clear favorite is Martin Truex Jr. for Furniture Row Racing. Having won 6 times on one-and-a-half mile race tracks this season, Truex Jr. is looking to try to win another and take the championship to boot. He has only shown one weakness on the latest mile-and-a-half track where Stewart-Haas Racing’s top driver Kevin Harvick was able to pass him with 10 laps to go for the win at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin Truex Jr. is fighting for his first championship title, while Harvick is looking to take his second title. It has yet to be seen how each driver will perform at Homestead; however, all signs say that barring any bad luck, this is Truex’s title to lose.