NASCAR Regular Season Review
NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season has begun to wind down with the conclusion of the regular season this past weekend at Daytona.
RFK Racing driver Chris Buescher claimed the win as several big-name drivers came up short of making the playoffs.
The regular season was mainly defined by the unexpected struggles of fan favorites and the unexpected successes of dark horses. The most notable of these was the utter demise of Chase Elliott’s season.
The fan favorite started his season with a fractured tibia via a snowboarding accident. The Hendrick driver missed six weeks while he recovered and was never the same when he came back.
After gaining a waiver for the playoffs (meaning he was still eligible to make the playoffs despite missing races) he still needed a win or to gain a plethora of points.
Despite his best efforts, Elliott failed to do either and will have to sit back and watch the playoffs take place without him (Elliott will still race, he just won’t be championship-eligible).
On the other side of the metaphorical performance scale, was his teammate William Byron. Byron started off the season on a hot streak and never seemed to look back.
The Chevy driver won back-to-back races at Las Vegas and Phoenix en route to a five-win regular season. Byron enters the playoffs with the most playoff points out of all drivers with 36 points.
Of course, this article would be incomplete without mentioning the regular season champion: Martin Truex Jr. A driver who’s been a dominant face in the sport since his move to Joe Gibbs Racing, Truex continued his streak of dominance by earning the most points in the regular season.
This regular season championship is the second for the New Jersey native (the first being in 2017).
The Toyota driver won three races in the regular season, marking a sharp contrast to his 2022 campaign in which he went winless and missed the playoffs.
While there were many instances of unexpected failure in this regular season, there was also unexpected triumph seen in unexpected places. The headliner of these was RFK Racing, more specifically Chris Buescher.
Buescher had a breakout season where he claimed three wins, including the regular season finale at Daytona in a 1-2 RFK finish.
Buscher, who’s bounced around many different teams since winning the 2015 Xfinity Championship seems to have found a home at the resurging RFK Racing.
RFK Racing had a banner regular season for the team where both drivers made the playoffs. The team increased their win total from one to three and seems to be catching fire at the right time. Be sure to look for them in the playoffs.
While the regular season is over, the real battle begins now with the playoffs.
Darlington will kick off the 16-race stretch that culminates at Phoenix where four drivers will have the chance to be crowned the next NASCAR champion.
Ethan Ellis is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.
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Ethan Ellis is a second year student at Penn State University. He is from the small town of Rocky Mount in the southern part of Virginia. He is currently majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in sports studies. In the future, he wants to work in the sports media industry.