The Shift: Changing Of The Guard, Kurt Busch, And Domination
What have you all thought of the first four Sprint Cup races of this year? I was sitting down at the computer thinking of this subject as I was working on my first guest spot of 2015, and I can’t help but think of 2015 in general and think of a changing of the guard in the Sprint Cup series that I have not seen in years. The first announcement to bring this about was Jeff Gordon announcing his retirement at the end of 2015 and Chase Elliot named as his replacement starting in 2016. One can only wonder what driver will be next to announce his retirement from the Sprint Cup series. My thoughts are that Biffle, Kenseth, Earnhardt, Jr., Johnson, along with McMurray, and Stewart will be the main drivers that will retire in the next few years. Who will replace these drivers in Sprint Cup? Many look to Erik Jones, Darrell Wallace, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher, Ryan Reed, along with others as those to be raised up to fill the upcoming positions. Where do Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson fall into the guard change? Only time will tell about how quickly the guard will change, but please enjoy this season, as it will be the last with this current group of racers as they will fade away soon, and be replaced.
The next subject is none other than the Kurt Busch saga. Busch has been at the forefront of the 2015 Sprint Cup season news for off track issues stemming from Dover in September 2014. Busch was suspended for three races and then was re-instated by NASCAR prior to the Phoenix race. Busch comes back to the track and finishes fifth in his first race back and showed that he did not lose any of his ability in missing the three races. Many think Busch will make it to the top 30 before Richmond with no issues, the question to ask will be is if he can win by the second Richmond race? This is a valid question as Busch has one win in the last three years, and will need a win to make the Chase in 2015. On a side note: Busch is higher in the points than Tony Stewart who has run all four races in 2015 to this point.
The last topic to discuss today is the domination of Kevin Harvick in 2015 in the Sprint Cup series. What else can one call an average finish of 1.5 over the first 4 races this year but sheer domination? Harvick has established himself as a contender to repeat as champion. Last year at this time many still questioned Harvick’s move from Richard Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas Racing. This year everyone is questioning if Harvick can win back to back titles. If the first four races are any indication of this season, Harvick shows that he has the equipment to win it all again. I am not saying that the 2015 championship is his yet, but I have been impressed by his drive this year, along with his analysts in the XFINITY races, keeping Michael Waltrip in line in his two booth appearances so far. I look forward to seeing more from both the Sprint cup side, and the aspiring broadcaster side of Harvick.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree that we are witnessing the changing of the guard in the Sprint Cup series? Who do you think will step up and fill the openings at the top of the Sprint Cup standings? Do you think Kurt Busch will make the Chase? Does Harvick have what it takes to repeat as Sprint Cup champion? Can Harvick have a successful career in the booth replacing DW when he retires? Please leave your comments below.