As summertime is in full swing and the NASCAR Cup Series has its only off weekend of the season ahead of us, it’s the perfect time to talk a bit about having fun.
Many of the Cup drivers will take a step back, perhaps go to a vacation spot or try their hand at some other racing disciplines to have a good time and enjoy their open week. I’m sure Daniel Suarez will have lots of fun celebrating his first career win at Sonoma, a truly important and historical moment in the overall history of stock car racing.
And those still racing at their top levels will also have some fun. The Truck Series is racing on dirt in Knoxville, a race that perhaps devolved from fun into a bit of a mess last summer. Outside of NASCAR, the “Superstar Racing Experience” (SRX), begins its second season.
It’s also an excellent time to reflect a bit on the fun we’ve been having, too. Of course, we take our fantasy NASCAR analysis seriously and strive to put out accurate and useful content that interests you as the reader or viewer. But at the end of the day, you bet we have a lot of fun with it, and we hope you get enjoyment out of your part of the day you spend with us – whether it’s checking out the site, catching up on YouTube shows or just seeing some neat tweets on your timeline.
The fun of the NASCAR Cup Series will return to Nashville on June 26, but it will be stressful times for some drivers needing to heat up their performance this summer to continue their drive for a championship.
NASCAR Drivers Who Need to Heat Up This Summer
Chris Buescher & Brad Keselowski: We already knew Brad Keselowski would need to win to make the playoffs after his team’s points penalty. But now that Chris Buescher missed the St. Louis/Gateway race due to COVID protocols, the No. 17 team is in must-win territory as well.
Good thing they ran so well at Sonoma, finishing in the second position and giving race winner Suarez a heck of a fight. While the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing cars haven’t been entirely up to par this season, Sonoma showed that the team is absolutely capable of getting its first race win since 2017 at some point soon.
Austin Dillon & Tyler Reddick: Another two-car team that’s been performing relatively well without the full results to show for it is Richard Childress Racing. At times, Tyler Reddick’s No. 8 has looked like one of the best cars on track, but he wouldn’t even be in the playoffs on points if the regular season ended today.
Meanwhile, The elder Dillon brother, Austin, has got to pick up on some of those good performances the team cars have had, as he will likely need to get a win as well to get in the playoffs.
Kevin Harvick: When you look at the current leaderboard, 12 drivers already have won races in 2022. 16 drivers get in the playoffs, and a win generally clinched you a spot. Among the non-winners are Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr., who will almost certainly end up in victory lane before the regular season ends. And with the potential for new winners growing by the day, it seems the likelihood has never been higher that only winners will reach the playoffs this year.
Kevin Harvick, on a winless streak dating back to fall 2020, was fortunate enough to be the only winless driver in the 2021 playoffs, but it’s likely he won’t be so fortunate this time around.
Thanks for reading. For more fantasy NASCAR picks and life advice, follow me on Twitter, @EHicks39, or check out more of my work at Elliot-Hicks.com.