NASCAR AMERICA: Is Joey Logano becoming the Chase favorite? (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Last year, Joey Logano posted six Top-10s (and a win at Michigan) in the final seven regular season races to break into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

This year, Logano doesn’t need to worry about rallying from behind for a post-season berth. But he’s once again red-hot going into the Chase.

His win on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway was not only his third Cup win of the year (Texas, Richmond), but also served as his fourth Top-5 and fifth Top-10 in the last five races.

Prior to Bristol, he had strung together a fifth at Indianapolis, a third at Pocono, a sixth at Watkins Glen, and another third at Michigan.

So after this run of success, should the rest of the world consider Logano and his No. 22 Team Penske crew as the favorites to win the Cup this fall?

The answer doesn’t really matter to Logano.

“We’re going to do what we’ve got to do,” he said after his Bristol win. “They can underestimate us. They can overestimate us. I don’t really care. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can, do what we’ve been doing.

“…They can think whatever they want to think, but I know inside, this 22 team, this whole 22 team feels like we’re contenders to win this championship.”

Fair enough. But that didn’t stop Rick Allen and Frank Stoddard of NASCAR AMERICA from wondering if Logano’s becoming the man to beat in the championship. You can check out their thoughts above.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.