All three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champions crowned since the elimination-style Playoff format was introduced in 2014 earned their title by taking the checkered flag. In two of those years (2014, 2015), second place in the standings finished second in the race. In 2016? The runner-up in the championship finished fourth.
That means there’s a lot of pressure on this year’s Championship 4 to win, or at least finish very close to the front, to secure the title.
Martin Truex Jr. leads the Championship 4 in top-five finishes in 2017 with 18, but more importantly, 15 of those 18 finishes (83 percent) saw him in the top three. And he’s finished in the top three in the last four races leading into the showdown in Miami (Kansas – 1, Martinsville – 2, Texas – 2, Phoenix – 3).
Kyle Busch has put together 10 top-three finishes, but only one (a win at Martinsville) in the last five races. Brad Keselowski has eight top threes on the season (his win at Talladega being his lone podium finish since late July) and Kevin Harvick trails with seven (the Texas win being his only top-three finish in the last five races).
It is quite apparent that winning has become extremely important and no more so than at Homestead for the championship!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!