The Writer’s Roundtable is the weekly column to where our writers discuss one of the trending topics right now in the sport
The question was simple this week. Whose going be the Championship 4 in each series, and why? And whose going to come out on top at the end?
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
1. Matt Crafton
2. John Hunter Nemechek
3. Grant Enfinger
4. Carson Hocevar
Nemechek is the easy selection. He was dominant last season, and is in arguably the best equipment in the series. With nothing changing package wise, the success should continue with more checkered flags. As he said, he’s #Back4More.
Matt Crafton has been in the series for a long time, and has staked his claim. He is always up front and ThorSport Racing proved their equipment with a championship for Ben Rhodes. Expect the veteran to mix it up with the youngsters despite not reaching victory lane in 2021.
Grant Enfinger has always been fast – as evident by his own success to date in the series with four wins in 2020 alone. He faced unique circumstances last year with lack of a full-time ride, and that showed with no victories on the card. Though now back comfortable, and with a team in GMS that placed two trucks in the Championship 4 in 2021, here we go.
Carson Hocevar is my lone worry about these picks, and I almost did not choose to place him but someone else. However, he continues to grow in confidence and ability as a driver each year as evident by how far he made it in the playoffs last season and came close to winning races. This is going to a breakthrough season for both him and Niece Motorsports, that will include checkered flags and a potential title run. Let’s face it – the first one is always the hardest get, but then more normally to tend to follow.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
1. Justin Allgaier
2. Noah Gragson
3. AJ Allmendinger
4. Daniel Hemric
Justin Allgaier is a veteran in the series, and constantly puts himself in a position consistently to contend for a wins and a championship. This year, he will be part of the final four once again.
Noah Gragson is the definition of pure speed and aggressiveness. Try to hone it in, and we see no success – and I think everybody has learned that. As he continues to get better with a veteran leading the team now in Luke Lambert, expect the success to continue.
Allmendinger returns with the same people surrounding him and team that led to him lots of success last year. When he is having fun, he does the best job behind the wheel – something that will continue.
Daniel Hemric finally threw the gorilla off, and now partners with a team known for winning as evident by Allmendinger and Justin Haley. It seems only fitting the success will continue, right?
NASCAR Cup Series
1. Kyle Larson
2. Chase Elliott
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Kyle Busch
Larson was dominant last season, naturally talented, and has a knack for being successful in anything he drives.
Elliott may have spun a lot during pre-season testing, but don’t let that fool you in the talent behind the wheel. We’re just getting started when it comes to a single title for him.
Ryan Blaney has continued to inch his way closer to the front each other, becoming a regular fixture in the top-10. It’s time to watch him be the next break-out star at Penske with Brad Keselowski closing his chapter.
Kyle Busch showed speed at the coliseum, and wants to prove those who doubt him wrong with a return to the success he’s known for. He can also adapt to new cars well as remember he didn’t like the COT, but was the first to win behind the wheel of one.