For the remainder of the 2014 Sprint Cup series, all eyes, and most of the talk is focused on the 16 (soon to be 12 after Dover) Chase drivers. But just because the Chase is the focus, doesn’t mean we won’t see some of the other 27 drivers in the the field sneaking in with a win or two among the rounds of the 2014 Chase.
I think some or all three of these drivers could get a win in 2014.
1. Kyle Larson – Larson is a no-brainer. Even with the yellow rookie stripe on that back bumper, it’s pretty obvious the guy is in the hunt many weeks for his first victory. The best example is the past race at Chicagoland Speedway where he was racing hard with Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and ultimately, Jeff Gordon.
Larson is widely admired in the Cup garage as the top future star of the sport, and he’s had the speed and position to end up in victory lane. With a little more experience and little luck, of the non-Chase drivers, Larson is definitely the one to watch to upset the field with a win in 2014.
2. Jamie McMurray – Larson’s teammate is another one to watch. While not in the Chase, he’s still led laps this season, and has had strong cars. At the Bristol Summer race Irwin Tools Night Race, McMurray led 148 laps (the most for the evening) and ultimately finished 8th. McMurray has led 248 laps so far in 2014, and has finished top 5 three times, as well as top 10 9 times. The No. 1 Chevy of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates could easily end up in victory lane before the season ends at Miami.
3. Clint Bowyer – This one is partially wishful thinking, as a huge fan of the No. 15, but Bowyer has shown signs of getting back to victory lane. Bowyer has thus far been winless in 2014, and didn’t have a win last year either. A win for the No. 15 team would be huge in boosting confidence for the remainder of the season, and a real shot in the arm to start 2015.
In 2014, he’s got 4 top 5 finishes, and 11 top 10’s, leading 75 laps. I’m hopeful he can lead that last lap at least once between now and the end of 2014.