Potential milestones for 2021 NASCAR Cup drivers, teams
Even in times of excellent modification, it’s everything about the numbers.
So it goes with NASCAR, which comes off its most distinct season to date and is getting ready for another one that might be similarly as engaging.
The champion stays the supreme objective for the sport’s leading chauffeurs, however a lot of them can likewise put some essential numbers on their resumes in 2021.
Here is a take a look at choose turning points that might be reached…
MOTORIST TURNING POINTS
Kevin Harvick can break 60 profession Cup wins with 2 more success in 2021. That would seem an obtainable objective, as he has actually made several wins in 8 successive seasons.
He likewise enters this season on a run of 676 successive starts, which goes back to April 21, 2002 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The weekend prior to at Martinsville Speedway, Harvick was parked for the Cup race after being punished for rough driving versus Coy Gibbs because weekend’s Truck Series race.
Offered he doesn’t miss out on any races, Harvick can reach 700 successive starts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway roadway course on Aug. 15.
In Addition, with 13 more starts, he can reach 1,200 profession begins throughout the 3 NASCAR nationwide series.
Like Harvick, Kyle Busch can likewise get to 60 Cup wins – however he requires 3 more to arrive.
A win this season would extend his continuous streak to 17 successive seasons with a Cup success. That would match David Pearson (1964-80) for the second-longest run. Richard Petty (1960-77) holds the longest perform at 18 gaining seasons.
Offered he doesn’t miss out on any races, Busch can reach 600 profession Cup begins at his house track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway throughout the playoffs on Sept. 26.
Lastly, Busch can reach 100 Xfinity Series wins with 3 more success, and 60 profession Outdoor camping World Truck Series with another success.
Denny Hamlin has a chance to end up being the very first chauffeur to declare 3 successive Daytona 500 wins. He ended up being the 4th back-to-back winner in “500” history last February, signing up with Petty, Cale Yarborough and Sterling Marlin.
Hamlin gets in the season with 44 Cup wins and is on target to reach 50 if he keeps his current run. He has actually declared 13 success over the last 2 seasons.
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. remains in striking range of reaching 30 Cup wins this season, can be found in with 27 success. He made simply one win in 2020, which was his very first one-win project given that 2015. The list below year, in 2016, he won 4 times.
Truex Jr. likewise is poised to reach 10,000 profession laps led in Cup. He requires to speed 144 laps to strike the mark. Last season, he led 950 laps and hasn’t led less than 567 given that the 2015 season.
Likewise near getting in the 30-win club is Joey Logano, who has 26 success to his credit. He’s made several wins in 3 successive seasons. Nevertheless, he hasn’t made a minimum of 4 wins in a season given that 2015, when he got 6.
10,000 career laps led in Cup are in sight for Kurt Busch. He needs to lead 98 more laps to hit the mark. Last year, he led 169 laps.
Reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott is two wins away from tying Jeff Gordon’s record of six consecutive Cup road course victories.
The first two road races of the year come Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway and May 23 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
With just 11 more starts, Ryan Newman can reach 700 for his Cup career. Provided he doesn’t miss any races, he can get to 700 on May 2 at Kansas Speedway.
He’s also two wins shy of 20 in his Cup career, but hasn’t gone to Victory Lane given that 2017.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Eight more starts will bring Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to 300 in his Cup profession. Provided he doesn’t miss any races, he’ll strike this milestone on April 10 at Martinsville.
Austin Dillon is at 264 career Cup starts, but can reach 300 by running the entire 36-race schedule this season.
Last season, he missed the inaugural Cup race at the Daytona road course after testing positive for COVID-19; Kaz Grala made his Cup debut in his place.
Joe Gibbs Racing
JGR’s previous driver stable of Kyle Busch, Truex, Hamlin and Erik Jones blitzed the field for a combined 19 wins and a championship in 2019. In 2015, Hamlin was the clear number one as the organization took a collective step back, earning just nine wins. With Christopher Bell replacing Jones in the No. 20 Toyota, can they regain their form from two years ago? If so, they can make a proper pursuit of 200 Cup wins; they enter the season at 185 victories.
Wood Brothers Racing
NASCAR’s oldest team has been stuck on 99 Cup wins since Ryan Blaney‘s victory at Pocono Raceway in June 2017. Since that day, the team has posted just five top-five finishes – but three of them came last season with Matt DiBenedetto. The Californian is still seeking his first Cup win, and with Austin Cindric replacing him in the No. 21 Ford in 2022, a victory would be important for his future.
NOTABLE FULL-TIMERS WITHOUT A CUP WIN (Entering 2021 Season)
Michael McDowell – 357 starts
Michael McDowell enters his fourth full season in the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. His best finish in the entry is a pair of fifths in 2019 at the Daytona 500 and the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway.
His career-best Cup finish was a fourth-place showing at Daytona for Leavine Family Racing in July 2017.
Matt DiBenedetto – 212 starts
Matt DiBenedetto’s two runner-up finishes last season, both at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, tied his career-best result in Cup, which he first accomplished in the 2019 Bristol race.
Daniel Suarez – 143 starts
Daniel Suarez gets a fresh start in 2021 with Trackhouse Racing, led by co-owners Justin Marks and Pitbull. The former Xfinity Series champ’s best finish in Cup is a runner-up result at Pocono Raceway in July 2018 for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Corey LaJoie – 129 starts
Joining a growing operation at Spire Motorsports, Corey LaJoie is still seeking his very first top-five finish in Cup. He finished eighth in last year’s Daytona 500 for Go Fas Racing, which has scaled back to a part-time schedule.
Timmy Hill – 128 starts
Timmy Hill is among those hoping to race their way into this year’s Daytona 500. His best finish in Cup is 14th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 2017 Brickyard 400.
Bubba Wallace – 112 starts
Many eyes, both in and out of NASCAR, will be on Bubba Wallace and the new 23XI Racing team this season. Two of Wallace’s three profession top-five surfaces in Cup have actually come at Daytona, including his runner-up efficiency at the 2018 Daytona 500.
Find Out More About NASCAR
Kyle Busch looks ahead after battles in 2020 Bubba Wallace called NMPA Pocono Spirit Award winner Ryan Vargas to run for Xfinity Novice of the Year honors
Possible turning points for 2021 NASCAR Cup chauffeurs, groups initially appeared on NBCSports.com
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.