Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Tony Stewart have six championships between them. Starting this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, they will be going head to head with thirteen other drivers in pursuit of the 2016 Championship. Stewart-Haas Racing is one of the top teams in the series and has a good chance of two drivers making it to Homestead. The question is will they find the speed to beat the Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing and Martin Truex, Jr? It should be an exciting ten weeks of racing.
Kevin Harvick is a phenomenal driver and threat to win week in and week out. Kevin has had a dominate car despite a few hiccups with his pit crew. Rodney Childers always brings fast cars to the track and with wins at Phoenix and Bristol and thirteen top-5s, Kevin is one of the favorites to make it to the final four. When asked if the top teams will advance to thru the first round, Kevin responded, “You have to be able to overcome situations, capitalize on situations and you have to be able to perform for ten weeks in order to put yourself in position to win a championship.”
Kurt Busch has been consistent most of the year with a win at Pocono and seventeen top-10 finishes. Kurt and his crew chief Tony Gibson are a winning combination. However, the team has struggled over the past few weeks and consistency may not be enough to get him into the final four at Homestead. Kurt said the team would approach the first round of the Chase as business as usual,“That is what I think is the best, easiest way to play to the strengths of this No. 41 car.”
Three-time Champion Tony Stewart overcame missing eight races to make the playoffs. Tony has a win at Sonoma and seven top-10s. Skeptics will say Tony is one of the dark horses but never count Smoke out as he proved in 2011. Tony has three wins at Chicagoland, one of those in his 2011 Championship year. This will be Tony’s rookie crew chief Mike Barewicz first Chase. Mike prepares good cars each week and works well with Tony. Regardless of how far Tony makes it in the Chase, this is an exciting way to end his Sprint Cup career. And with three of his team’s cars making it t the playoffs, I hope he enjoys every minute of it. Tony said to win a championship,”You have to be smart enough to know when and when not to push.”