The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series roars past the All-Star Race break and here’s a look at the top teams in the garage heading into Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
Joe Gibbs Racing
Only Erik Jones has not yet won out of the four-car JGR stable that continues to pace the field. Kyle Busch (3), Denny Hamlin (2) and Martin Truex Jr. (1) have all found Victory Lane. Hamlin has been in a funk the last three weeks but other that that blemish the Gibbs group remains very strong.
There are four wins on the board for Team Penske led by three victories from Brad Keselowski while Joey Logano added a trip to Victory Lane. The duo keeps finding their way into the top 10 on a near weekly basis. Ryan Blaney has lagged as of late and needs to get things headed in a better direction after several rough outings.
The four-car team somehow remains winless and there are signs of frustration. Kevin Harvick has had the best car the last two weeks with nothing to show for it this past week in the All-Star Race a victim of pit road miscues. Clint Bowyer has been angry with Erik Jones and Ryan Newman at the last two races. Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez are still hovering around the top 10. There’s been solid speed but SHR is still looking to put things completely together.
Chip Ganassi Racing
Newcomer Kurt Busch has been carrying the team for the most part over the first dozen races. But there’s finally some life in Kyle Larson, who prior to winning the All-Star Race found him with back-to-back top-10 finishes, including a third at Dover. If Larson can return to form coupled with Busch continuing to be strong, better days could lie ahead for CGR.
There are more signs of optimism at Hendrick Motorsports as well, led by Chase Elliott. He won Talladega and followed that with a pair of strong runs at Dover and Kansas, respectively. Alex Bowman has suddenly become a force with three straight second-place finishes. William Byron and Jimmie Johnson are a bit on the spotty side but have also shown promise. The summer stretch will be interesting for Hendrick.
Roush Fenway Racing
The continued continuity of the Roush team has been a pleasant surprise of the year’s first quarter. Ryan Newman has been a regular presence in the top 10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was in contention to win at Kansas before sliding back to finish just outside the top 10. Things continue to improve for Jack Roush’s team.
Richard Childress Racing
Things have plateaued some for RCR with both Austin Dillon and rookie Daniel Hemric in search of more consistency. Speed has been on display in qualifying but finding a way to back up those upfront starting spot with equally good finishes remains a challenge.
Wood Brothers Racing
A pair of top-10 finishes is what Paul Menard has to his credit so far for the Wood Brothers. The single-car effort is hoping to up that performance in the coming weeks and get more in line with the finishes from partner Team Penske.
Ty Dillon has already won a pair of stages, a standout accomplishment for this one car team. Dillon also has a top-five to his credit and will look to build on some first quarter season strength during the summer run.
JTG Daugherty Racing
Chris Buescher turned some heads with an impressive run at Kansas that saw him in the top-five for much of the night before ending up with a still strong top-10 finish. Rookie Ryan Preece has experienced the understandable growing pains that come in a Cup Series freshman year. Better with room for improvement describes JTG to date.