What’s Ahead For 2017?
By Robin Angie
January 9, 2017
Looking ahead to the 2017 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Season there are so many unknowns, so many story lines to captivate the waning audiences. It’s going to be a new age that is for sure!
What happened to Team Penske last year during the final swing of the Chase? Is the loss of the technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports and SHR going to hurt the teams? Can Michael Waltrip win his 3rd Harley J. Earl trophy? Will this be the newly married, Dale Jr’s year to win it all?
It seems that Team Penske was destined to capture a Championship title in 2016 with either one of their drivers…Joey Logano in the 22 or Brad Keselowski in the 2. Both were strong, even dominant at times. Poised and seemingly in control of their own destinies. Then came the engine failure for Brad which knocked him out of the final segment. And then there was Homestead for JL, a heartbreaking crash towards the end of the race that saw his championship dreams shatter. What will 2017 bring?
Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Hass Racing didn’t seem to move forward with their technical alliance after the announcement that SHR would be switching manufacturers in ’17. Things just didn’t seem to be the same, even Jimmie Johnson (7 -time Champion ) claimed that relationship was not as good as it was. Hendrick even seemed to struggle throughout the year, lacking speed and consistency. But, towards the end of the year they really ramped up operations and the HMS of old was surging towards the front once again.
During the struggles at HMS, their Most Popular Driver suffered a season ending injury, which brought more speculation on their operations. As well as speculation on whether Dale Jr would ever race again. But, fear not JR Nation, he has been medically cleared and we are looking for great things this year from the newly married Earnhardt. Going into the Daytona 500, he could be a favorite to win his 3rd race.
But, hold on! Michael Waltrip has announced via @Twitter that he too could be going after his 3rd Harley J. Earl trophy. Although, no car number or team has been announced he has stated he will be driving for long time sponsor Aaron’s.
Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates throughout the year.