Now that we’ve made it to the opening round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, everyone is trying to figure out who the final four will be at Homestead. Right now, I say there’s at least eight possible drivers that can be legitimate contenders, with one of them being Martin Truex Jr. Last year, Truex shocked us all by taking his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing entry to the final round as he came up just short of the championship.
But, everyone wondered if they would repeat in 2016 as they switched from Chevrolet power to an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. Instead of relearning, they’ve excelled.
Truex, enters the Chase with two victories to his credit in 2016, but if not for some bad luck, it likely would be at least five wins so far this season. That’s why I consider him as one of the favorites to be hoisting the Cup in Homestead in 10 weeks.
Truex, has 12 top 10’s to his credit so far, but should have more. I expect the bad luck to go away soon and turn into better fortunes. Take this stat for example, Truex has led over 15-percent of the overall laps this season as he’s been up front for 1,234 circuits. Only one driver has led more laps than him.
If Truex can get past the first round, which he should, the second round has tracks that favor him. At Charlotte, he led 393 of the 400 laps the last time we raced there back in May. After that, it’s Kansas where he was dominating all night long before a loose wheel took him out of contention in the end. Then, it’s to Talladega where Truex is typically a strong restrictor plate racer.
He could easily sweep all three races, so he should advance to the third round rather easily.
In round three, Truex thrived in last year and could do so again this year. A short track, a 1.5-mile track and a short oval in Phoenix. If he can get by that, this could be his year.