Chase Elliott capped a thrilling race weekend at Watkins Glen for his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. With that being said, there are just four races remaining in the 2018 regular season beginning with Sunday’s race at the Michigan International Speedway.
With 22 races down and 14 races to go on the year, here’s who’s hot and who’s not heading into Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 (2:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
It’s obvious right? He just won Sunday’s race for his first career Cup Series victory. But, for Elliott, he’s been getting hot over the last month in fact. He’s now won a stage in three consecutive races now and has finishes of fifth, seventh and first respectively over the last three weeks.
Martin Truex Jr.
His road course streak of wins are now over, but he did finish runner-up on Sunday. Truex’s last three road course finishes are first, first and second respectively. His second place run this weekend was his seventh top four finish over the last eight races.
He threw away a victory when his pit crew didn’t get his No. 18 Toyota full of fuel on his final pit stop of the day. But, Busch did charge to a third place finish despite that and now has four straight top four finishes on the year and 10 top 10’s over his last 11 starts on the season.
You have to have all three of the “Big 3” on this list. While Harvick earned his worst finish (10th) on Sunday since Daytona, he still has eight top 10 finishes over his last nine races.
He’s heating up now too. He finished runner-up last weekend at Pocono and now fourth on Sunday in Watkins Glen. Despite having two straight top five finishes, Suarez is still 89 points behind the final cutoff spot.
He’s getting better and better too. Byron, came home sixth last weekend in Pocono and then brought his No. 24 Chevrolet to an eighth place run in Watkins Glen.
His car failed inspection before Sunday’s race but despite starting 35th, Busch still brought his No. 41 Ford to his fourth straight top 10 finish.
We can just put all three of their drivers on this list. Watkins Glen was dismal for them as they finished 12th (Blaney), 17th (Keselowski) and 37th (Logano). For Blaney, he now has two straight 12th place runs. Keselowski, has three straight finishes of 17th or worse while Logano hasn’t scored a top five in 11 races and has a best finish of eighth over the last seven weeks.
He’s struggling lately too. Hamlin, hasn’t had a top five finish since the Coca-Cola 600 and leaves Watkins Glen with his fifth straight finish of 10th or worse. His last five finishes are 38th, 16th, 13th, 10th and 13th respectively.