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Why Recent History Shows Hendrick and JGR Dominance Is Not Relevant at This Stage in NASCAR Season

Gowtham Ramalingam

NASCAR in Phoenix: Why the Phoenix Spring Race Is Important for Drivers

Nine races into the 2024 Cup Series season, Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports have proven that they will be the teams to beat in the upcoming fixtures. The two teams have combined to win 8 of the last 9 races and look poised to continue on this trend. But is this initial promise a potential reflection of the entire season to come?

Racing icon Jeff Burton reiterated on NBC recently that it is too early in the season to equate teams with a championship. Though he believes that either JGR or HMS could continue winning races at-least until March, he doesn’t back the idea that no other team could challenge them through the rest of the season.

Using the last two Cup seasons as his reference, Burton kicked around the idea of the dark horse lurking around somewhere in the lower rungs of the points table. His words went, “Teams that are building momentum now, there’s someone lurking in the background that’s not running as well as you would like to see them running right now that quite possibly could win the championship.”

23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick was Burton’s example. He noted that the driver could possibly follow the path that Team Penske set in recent years. “We’ve seen Penske win the last two championships. No one predicted going into the last six or eight races that they would be the ones winning the championship,” he said.

He concluded that there are many teams that are still sleeping and will need to win races as the season progresses, in order to get into the playoffs. While he did not shelve out names as a prediction, the Mayor is pretty sure that the current big dogs will not necessarily have an easy walk to the finale in Phoenix.

Who are the favorites to win the Cup Series race in the Talladega Superspeedway?

Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, NASCAR announced the betting favorites for the upcoming race in the Dega. Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron leads the pack with opening odds of 10-1. He has already won 3 races in the season and could potentially bag another in the fast track.

Shouldering him with the same odds of success are the defending champion, Ryan Blaney and RFK Racing co-owner, Brad Keselowski. They are followed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott, all with odds of 11-1. While even the favorites list predominantly consists of familiar 2024 winners, there is a chance for Burton’s prediction to unfold much quicker.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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