With Kyle Busch out, who will be the new NASCAR Cup Champ? The Eckel 4 pick Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400
There will be a new NASCAR Cup Champion.
Kyle Busch, the 2019 winner, was eliminated last week in the Round of 12’s final race at Charlotte.
NASCAR’s Round of 8 begins Sunday at Kansas with the Hollywood Casino 400. Here is a quick look at the eight drivers remaining and their playoff history.
Kevin Harvick (#4, Ford): The overwhelming favorite since the playoff began, Harvick is looking for his fourth straight trip to the Final 4 and his second Cup Championship. His first came in 2014.
Denny Hamlin (#11, Toyota): Surprisingly he’s never won a Cup Championship. He’s been to the Final 4 twice, including a year ago.
Brad Keselowski (#2, Ford): The veteran Keselowski has raced well of late and is looking for his first title, and before that his second trip to a Final 4.
Chase Elliott (#9, Chevy): Elliott, who won’t celebrate his 25th birthday until next month, is the youngest driver remaining. This is his fourth straight trip to Round of 8, but he’s never gone any further.
Joey Logano (#22, Ford): The 2018 Cup Champion is looking to get to his fourth Final Four with a good performance Sunday at Kansas.
Martin Truex Jr. (#19, Toyota): New Jersey native Truex won the Cup title in 2017 and has been to four Final 4s.
Alex Bowman (#88, Chevy): The second youngest driver of the 8, at 27, Bowman is in the Round of 8 for the first time in his career.
Kurt Busch (#1, Chevy): Kyle’s older brother knocked him out of contention when he won at Talladega two weeks ago. Kurt is looking for his first Final 4 appearance.
And here are Sunday’s picks from The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road” Baker, Mike “Left Turn” Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR” Davis.
Denny Hamlin (17-4): In two years of making these picks, this is the first time everyone picked the same driver. That either means Hamlin is a lock or won’t finish the race.
Chase Elliott (13-2): He’s on the pole, so there’s that. He won here in 2018; finished fourth in 2017 and second last year. So, figure him to be right in the mix.
Martin Truex Jr. (5-1): Truex has two Kansas wins, the last in 2017. Mr. Consistent is about due to get back to Victory Lane.
Kevin Harvick (17-4): The points leader did not race well in the Round of 12 with a 10th, 11th and 20th place finish. So he’s either in a terrible slump or will bounce back at a track where he’s won three times.
Longshot Play: Kurt Busch (22-1)