Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of four stories examining why each driver could win the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
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Kyle Busch will win the 2019 championship because …
Look, we get it. This hasn’t been the easiest stretch of time for Kyle Busch or his No. 18 team. The group rattled off four wins in the first 14 races of the season, but they haven’t won since. A winless stretch dating back to June feels like an eternity for perhaps the most consistently successful driver in the garage the past three years.
And we know it wasn’t an easy road in the postseason. Busch’s average finish over the past nine races ranks last among the Championship 4 field.
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But here’s the thing. Being in this position is new for Busch. He’s made five of six Championship 4 fields since the inception of the elimination-style postseason. In every one before this, he was considered the favorite or at least one of the favorites. He is unquestionably the underdog among this group, and that’s OK. It’s a position that should allow Busch and his team to breathe a little easier and perhaps even sleep a little better.
We’re confident in this pick after Phoenix, too. Yeah, Denny Hamlin had the car to beat and drove away from the field. But Busch and his team brought it to Phoenix, finishing second with a sound car and a driver who is capable of delivering when it matters most.
So write off the all-time leader in NASCAR national series wins if you want. But do so at your own peril. Flying under the radar will serve this group well. Come Sunday, we’ll be looking at a two-time Monster Energy Series champion.
MORE: Every Kyle Busch win