The Coca-Cola 600 was beyond magical for Martin Truex Jr. So close to flawnessness, nobody could find a discrepancy during any part of the race, at least it was a lot better than this year’s Sprint All-Star Race (well almost nobody). This was by far the most dominating race of the season by any driver, even with this many miles to drive for. A lot of determination has to be put in to pull off a near perfect race for 600 miles. Now that the destiny race is run, it’s time to look at the five hottest NASCAR drivers after the Coca-Cola 600.
- Kevin Harvick: The Sprint All-Star Race appears to reset everything after the one third mark, so this is only fair. Harvick may not have been able to try to catch Truex in the daytime at Charlotte, but night always becomes a different story. Jeff Gordon had mentioned during the pre-race about crowning regular season champions, if NASCAR did allow that, so far the trophy should go to Harvick if he hangs on to the points lead a week before the Chase.
- Kurt Busch: As far as consecutive top 10’s are concerned, Harvick’s teammate Kurt is most definitely THE hottest driver who is somewhat overlooked at this point. Kurt is at the highest peak that he hasn’t been in quite sometime, ranked second behind Harvick. During the string of seven straight top 10’s, Kurt has went from seventh to second starting from Texas. Kurt is most likely the veteran sleeper in this case, so he should be the next driver to watch out for in the next 11 races.
- Jimmie Johnson: The seven time Charlotte winner did everything he possibly could to get number eigth overall at one of his most popular tracks. His third place finish snapped a streak of three straight races without a top 10. Perhaps a break from the points perspective was what Johnson needed to get back on track. Thanks to his third place finish, Johnson is now third in points and back to being the most strongest driver for Hendrick. Now to see if the rest of the Hendrick crew can step up.
- Brad Keselowksi: The race may had practically been out of the reach the whole time, but it didn’t stop the blue deuce from having one of the best battles throughout the whole race. Keselowski had battled Harvick inside the top five before the sun went down, and was practically stuck their for the rest of the night. But he was gonna do whatever he could to stay up front and keep his streak of top 10’s alive. Keselowski now has four consecutive top 10’s, three of those top fives, including his win at Talladega.
- Martin Truex Jr: It may only seem like a Cinderella story at the moment, but Truex does have some momentum heading into Pocono. In fact, Truex is the defending Spring race winner there, where he had his great run of 14 top 10’s in the first 15 races last season. It may have fell off some at Sonoma, but Truex was able to keep it together and make the Championship 4 at Homestead. Two poles in the last three races and finally a win, this single car team may be making some noise with the bad luck streak finally over.
Everyone was ranked according to their spot in the standings, and to be fair enough it all practically started over from the Sprint All-Star Race. A new wave is launched once again, and new streaks and feuds are looking to get started with June almost here. If you thought the first third of the season was hot, well the second third is just getting warmed up. And it’s not even the Chase yet.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law