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NASCAR’s new craze? Forget the ‘Big 3’ — 2019 is shaping up as the yr of the Big 2.

Auto Racing

NASCAR’s new craze? Forget the ‘Big 3’ — 2019 is shaping up as the yr of the Big 2.


Last season, all the unrest in NASCAR turned into about “the Big Three” this, “Big 3” that. Not anymore. We’re nevertheless most uncomplicated six weeks into the 2019 Cup Series season, yet it’s already glaring what this year’s new craze may be. It was so lengthy compared to the times of Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch versus the sector. So long to the Big 3. Everyone, welcome the Big 2.

Those were Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske. It’s no longer as amusing or handy (or specific) while it’s far whole groups excelling rather than individual drivers, but in this case, the results communicate for themselves. JGR and Penske drivers have received every race thus far this year, and while that would exchange as soon as this week — Stewart-Haas Racing’s Harvick to win at Texas, anyone? It’s now not something we can forge apart. Gibbs’ roster includes Busch, Truex, Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, and Erik Jones.

Penske has reigning Cup champions Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney. Six are currently within the top eight of the points standings, with Jones in 14th as the lone exception. That is, in reality, something. The one’s organizations are buoyed by using their respective stars. Busch and Truex stand out for Gibbs, having advanced to the championship race each of the closing two years. Logano is glaringly the reigning champ, and Keselowski has a title of his own, plus two wins already in 2019.

That’s no longer to knock Jones or Blaney, who has had one or two Cup wins in their careers. Or Hamlin, who won NASCAR’s most prestigious race a month ago. That’s the elite depth from JGR and Penske, which you couldn’t say approximately another group. The different massive-call programs — Stewart-Haas, Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing — all have their good drivers, too. Let’s now not pretend they don’t. This past weekend, Chase Elliott earned HMS its first top-five of the year.

Harvick already has three such finishes. Their wins are coming. Could you make no mistake about it? Like closing 12 months, while we should admire robust performances from every person on any given afternoon, we also knew who to put our faith in while the engines started. If you took the Big Three against the sector last year, you made a safe guess in other instances than no longer. The same goes for these 12 months for the Big 2.

It’s viable that the Big 2 doesn’t remain the whole season. If the final season’s championship race taught us whatever, it’s that a famous nickname, without a doubt, does now not assure future success. Strong racing does, although. And till validated in any other case, I’ll take the Big two over the field. For now, of the path. THIS WEEK’S NASCAR RACE AT TEXAS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. DISTANCE: 334 laps, or 501 miles. WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile asphalt oval in Fort Worth, Texas. WHEN: three p.M. Sunday. TV: FOX. RADIO: PRN. LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

Kyle Busch. ALSO THIS WEEK: My Bariatric Solutions three hundred, Xfinity Series, Texas Motor Speedway, 1 p.M., Saturday, FS1. WORTH MENTIONING: Although advertised as a 500-mile race, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 is 501 miles lengthy due to Texas being a 1. Five-mile music. WHO’S HOT/NOT HOT BRAD KESELOWSKI: Leading for almost 450 of 500 possible laps isn’t thrilling. Still, it’s far dominant — now Keselowski has the second maximum playoff factors of any motive force.

KYLE BUSCH: Normally, a third-vicinity end might be disappointing for him; however, given how standard his car was at Martinsville, it’s approximately the first-rate he could have hoped for. NOT JIMMIE JOHNSON: There is optimism that he ought to run at Martinsville. Only then was he given lapped via his teammates and finished twenty-fourth. ERIK JONES: As strong as Joe Gibbs Racing has been at the start of this season, it changed into peculiar; he struggled so mightily at Martinsville. He finished the thirtieth.

Erika Norman

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