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Pistone: Chasing Victory

Time is running out for a number of drivers to avoid going through a winless 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Only five races remain on the schedule with Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway followed by stops at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. The list of drivers still with a goose egg in the win column includes three still in the Playoff hunt as well as some others many thought would be in Victory Lane at least once this year.

Kyle Busch
The biggest surprise remains Busch who is as deep into a NASCAR Cup Series season without a win as he’s ever been in the two-time champion’s career. Busch is literally racing for the Playoff life Sunday as he comes to Charlotte 21 points below the cutline. But being eliminated from title contention will sting even more if somehow Busch goes through the entire campaign without a victory.

Aric Almirola
By his own admission, Almirola’s best opportunity to win was last week at Talladega. However, it was not means to be as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver was eliminated in an early race accident. He is also under pressure to stay alive Playoff-wise at the Roval. If Almirola does get thrown into the spoiler role, his next best shot at winning could be at the Championship 4 season finale at Phoenix Raceway, which is his best track based on average finish.

Clint Bowyer
It’s been two years since Bowyer’s won when he took victories at Martinsville and Michigan in 2018. He’s hanging on to his slim Playoff hopes and while also trying to end his two season winless stretch, continues to field questions about his future at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Jimmie Johnson
The three-plus year drought for Johnson is being amplified by his planned departure at season’s end as a full-time Cup Series driver. Any hopes to compete for an eighth championship were dashed weeks ago but now Johnson has just a handful of attempts to put career win number 84 in the books.

Tyler Reddick
One Cup Series rookie has already won this year with Cole Custer’s Kentucky triumph back in July. Reddick has shown the prowess this season with a resurgent Richard Childress Racing team he can compete for victories. Can he put it all together in the next five weeks to give the sport a pair of freshman race winners in 2020?

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