As NASCAR embarks on a new chapter in its storied 68 year history, an abundance of exciting possibilities await its loyal fan base come February.
Not only does the Cup series have an edgy new title sponsor in Monster Energy there will be tons of intriguing story lines that are sure to keep us all guessing until the final race at Homestead Miami in November. Well friends facts are stubborn things and there’s absolutely no way to know just what will transpire as the season rolls on. But as always it’s amusing for the rest of us on the outside looking in to make our predictions before the season begins each year.
With that being said here are 5 bold predictions for the upcoming 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR cup series season.
- Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr & Trevor Bayne win races and make the chase.
Marred by a two year winless drought Roush Fenway Racing has elected to downsize its operation from three cars to two cars for the upcoming 2017 season.
Wiping the slate clean makes complete sense for the once proud organization as they embark on a quest for redemption.
Yes, I absolutely admire Jack Roush for committing wholeheartedly to the method of less is more for the upcoming 2017 season. Rumour has it Chris Buescher is set to rejoin his comrades back on the ranch in 2018 but that’s 2018 let’s focus on 2017.
Jack Roush has two of the sport’s most talented young veterans in his arsenal and finally deciding to build around them can only aid in chasing away the demons that have plagued them for the past couple of seasons.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s 2017 won’t be filled with flashes of brilliance like years past. Folks it’s time for the former Xfinity series champions coming out party in the cup series.
Fresh off a career best finish in the standings (21st) in 2016, Ricky Stenhouse Jr hovered around the chase picture right until the very end of the summer. Did we forget he was a few laps shy of passing Kevin Harvick for the win at Bristol in August?
Building on positive morale from last season certainly will propel the former Xfinity series champion into the winner circle for the first time in his young cup career. Working with a proven winner in crew chief Brian Pattie only elevates Stenhouse Jr’s chances of hitting all the high notes in 2017.
On the other end of the spectrum is the man who orchestrated an upset of gargantuan proportion at Daytona back in 2011, good ol Trevor Bayne.
After stunning the world six years ago it seemed as if Trevor Bayne was on the fast track to superstardom in the cup series. However his star would fizzle out as fast as it ignited and Bayne would find himself lost in the Xfinity series shuffle all the while maintaining a mediocre part time schedule on the cup side with the famed Wood Brothers.
For what it’s worth Jack Roush would finally reward his once highly touted prospect Trevor Bayne with a full time gig on the cup side in 2015. Focused on putting the past in the rear view mirror Bayne improved his position in the driver standings by seven spots in 2016.
Like his teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Trevor Bayne remained solidly in the chase picture for a batter part of 2016.
Despite the growing pains Trevor Bayne gained valuable experience over the past two seasons as a cup series regular.
Now entering his third season behind the wheel of the famous #6 Ford, Bayne is primed for a breakout campaign in 2017 as he continues his march towards shedding the modern day Derrike Cope moniker.