A look at the pecking order in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage by organization as the 2019 season moves into the second quarter.
Joe Gibbs Racing
Six wins in the first nine races of the season and counting for JGR. Led by Kyle Busch’s three victories with Denny Hamlin adding two and Martin Truex Jr.’s first win of the season, JGR is the class of the field. While Erik Jones and the No. 20 team has struggled of late, there is nobody close to the Gibbs team’s overall performance.
While JGR has accounted for a half dozen wins in 2019, Team Penske has scored the other three this season. Brad Keselowski has two and Joey Logano scored one in a very strong open to the year for Roger Penske’s crew. Third team member Ryan Blaney has yet to find Victory Lane but has been fast and led a bunch of laps.
The four-car team is understandably disappointed with not having a win to its credit so far. But SHR doesn’t appear too far off from taking a checkered flag or two or three soon. Kevin Harvick has four top-five finishes and Clint Bowyer has three with both drivers inside the first 10 of the point standings. SHR may be off by its standards but not by much.
Chip Ganassi Racing
Newcomer Kurt Busch is carrying the load for CGR so far. He has three top-five and six top-10 finishes to his credit adding up to a seventh-place spot in the standings. The other side of the coin is teammate Kyle Larson who has yet to post a top-five. The Ganassi team needs Larson to return to form soon.
Signs of optimism have been on display for the beleaguered Hendrick team. Chase Elliott is the best of the stable and sits 10th in the standings. Jimmie Johnson has scored four top-10 finishes and is 13th. Youngsters William Byron and Alex Bowman have not been great and are 20th and 21st in the standings, respectively.
Roush Fenway Racing
Veteran Ryan Newman has made an impact in his first season with team owner Jack Roush and has climbed to 15th in the standings. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is about in the same place he was a year ago in 18th. The duo could make some bigger noise this weekend when the series visits Talladega Superspeedway.
Richard Childress Racing
Austin Dillon has displayed recent improvement and is 14th in the standings thanks to a pair of top-10 finishes. Rookie Daniel Hemric is trying to find his way as a freshman. Both have shown speed in qualifying but are looking to transfer that to more race finishing success.
Wood Brothers Racing
The solo car effort with driver Paul Menard has been decent in the first quarter of the season. Menard has a pair of top-10 finishes and is up to 16th in the standings.
JTG Daugherty Racing
A glimmer of improvement here and there for the new look team with Chris Buescher and rookie Ryan Preece this year. While the numbers aren’t eye-popping, the duo has had their cars nearer the front of the field than in recent years.
Leavine Family Racing
Very much a work in progress as the organization continues its transition to Toyota, an affiliate of Joe Gibbs Racing and working with new driver Matt DiBenedetto. But there have been signs here and there of improvement the team looks to build on as the year rolls on.