Gas 'N' Go: More Than 16 Winners?

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch became the sixth different winner to open this season last weekend. Will there be more than 16 different winners before the Chase begins? (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and, MRN.com's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

Carl Edwards says he thinks there will be more than 16 different winners before the Chase begins. Do you agree?

MRN Staff

Answer

Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

No.

The season has started with six different faces in Victory Lane in the first half-dozen races of the schedule. That list doesn't include Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon - all more than safe bets to pick up victories in the coming weeks.

But that doesn't guarantee the number of winners will exceed the 16 drivers to be locked into the Chase. Keep in mind back in 2000 the year began with 10 different winners in the first 10 races, and by the time the 26th race of the campaign rolled around the number had grown to only 13.

I expect multiple wins to come for many of the top drivers and teams especially since a victory and subsequent ticket to the Chase allows for more gambles and strategy calls to be made.

It's been a great start to the year and it may well keep rolling the next few weeks. But don't look for more than 16 different winners in the regular season.

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

My heart wants to say yes, but my head says no.

I’ll admit, the idea of someone winning a race and not making the Chase is an interesting proposition, but I suspect at some point, a few teams are going to hit on the right combination and score multiple wins. That will keep the number of winners at less than 16 after Richmond.

Let’s be honest if Kevin Harvick hadn’t had problems, he could have multiple wins at this time. One could argue the same thing for Jimmie Johnson.

Still, wouldn't it be something if there were more than 16 different winners after Richmond?

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.

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