2018 NASCAR Cup playoff predictions: Experts pick a champion

Those berths are because of his proclivity for top and top finishes. Busch will be a tough out, but Harvick and Rodney Childers are relentless. By Brendan Marks bmarks charlotteobserver. Almirola finished in the teens in the standings for three seasons before dropping outside the top 20 in each of the past two seasons. Ricky Craven, ESPN NASCAR analyst

What are the betting odds for NASCAR at Fontana?

Mike Clay, ESPN

Larson runs well at Homestead, so it seems as though it would be appropriate for him to grab the win and take home the championship. That would open up a whole new discussion of the playoff system and who is and isn't worthy of being a champion.

Kyle Busch's team has executed well this year, and it just appears they are getting the most out of their cars on most days. Busch is still upset over losing a year ago.

The toughest cuts at the end of each round were: Harvick is locked in. He's been on a mission from the second they opened the gates at Daytona. Busch will be a tough out, but Harvick and Rodney Childers are relentless. Conventional wisdom says Harvick and Kyle Busch will be duking it out in the closing laps at Homestead, but I'm going to roll the dice and take Larson to steal the title.

Larson is a force at Homestead three straight top-5s, laps led in the past two races , where the fast top groove plays to his strengths, so the spoiler potential is real. That said, Larson is hardly a lock to make it that far. Although the speed is there, the No. I might regret not picking Keselowski, who's riding back-to-back wins, for the championship four. The same goes for Truex Jr.

Thanks to their bonus points, Kyle Busch and Harvick merely need to avoid two races of trouble in a round to not cruise into the round of eight, and I think both have no issues getting to the end. Keselowski usually owns plate tracks but has six DNF in his past eight races, so Talladega spells his end.

If Larson can get to Homestead still in it, he's the favorite, but the round of eight tracks are among his weakest. There have been seven races on 1. But I'll give Harvick the ever-so-slight edge at Homestead based on his track history. To help make this website better, to improve and personalize your experience and for advertising purposes, are you happy to accept cookies and other technologies? Three rounds, 1 champion: Brad Keselowski survives chaos for third straight win 7h Bob Pockrass.

Harvick blasts Goodyear 'piece of crap' tires 12h Bob Pockrass. Will the other 14 drivers make the playoffs again?

Most of them will. He had the fastest Chevrolet over the course of the season and was a blown engine away from making the third round of the playoffs.

Larson will easily make the playoffs thanks to an early-season win. Pencil in Larson for multiple victories before the playoffs begin and he could also win a race or two in the playoffs. McMurray has made the playoffs each of the past three seasons despite just 39 top three finishes in races. Those berths are because of his proclivity for top and top finishes. Expect McMurray to be the guy that capitalizes on the late-season trouble of another playoff contender.

And how the hell do you follow up a career year? Truex was the most dominant driver of the season and enters as one of the biggest favorites.

Not only was Truex a contender for wins at most tracks, he was always making his way towards the front at the end of stages too. Can anyone keep up in ? Johnson, 42, had a bizarre season in , winning three races but not really doing much else.

It was his worst season in the Cup Series. Three race wins before the playoffs in seems doable, as does another trip to the final four.

Wait, was that sentence originally typed in ? Or was it ? Busch is perhaps the most gifted all-around driver in the Cup Series and capable of winning on any type of track. But how much longer will his championship window continue to be open?

Hamlin was one of the favorites to make the final four for the first, oh, 8. But as soon as Elliott put him into the wall as retribution for what happened at Martinsville, Hamlin was having another Phoenix nightmare.

The best thing Hamlin can do is win at either Martinsville or Texas in the third round of the playoffs in and avoid playoff disaster striking at Phoenix yet again. Jones showed some serious speed in his one-season spin at Furniture Row Racing, though consistency was a bit of an issue.

As a rookie in , Suarez had six DNFs. Not great, but not terrible either. We think it can. Almirola finished in the teens in the standings for three seasons before dropping outside the top 20 in each of the past two seasons.

Anything else is a disappointment and, dare we say it, a failure.







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The season kicks off Sunday with the Daytona ( p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), with plenty of intrigue palpable. deutschenrwerotikkontakte.tk staff members go out on a limb to make their. Published on Apr. 15, Apr. 15, After a weekend in Texas, NASCAR heads to Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday for the eighth race of the Cup Series season. Cup Series champion: belonged to Truex in every way possible. Not only did he win the most races, lead the most laps and have the fastest car all season long, but he had a tremendous.

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