Young Teams Dominate Four Remaining Cup Hopefuls

NASCAR Chase for the Sprint CupSinger Sheryl Crow had that song “A Change Will Do You Good” back in the mid 90s. It definitely seems to be the mantra in the Sprint Cup garage as well. Two of the four remaining hopefuls for the 2014 Sprint Cup are in their first year with their current team, while another is in his sophomore year with his current team.

Not only is the change good, but it’s all interconnected.

Long before the 2013 season was concluding, it was known that Kevin Harvick was leaving Richard Childress Racing for what was at the time, the third of three team at Stewart-Haas. Harvick had raced for his whole Cup career at RCR and wanted to try something new, and probably wanted to try out the Hendrick-powered engines at SHR in lieu of the close, but second ECR engines that RCR runs.

With four wins in 2014 and being one of four still in contention, making the change from the No. 29 to the No. 4 has paid dividends for Harvick (and he’s surrounded by the number four in 2014).

Ryan Newman joined RCR in 2014 after Stewart-Haas said they didn’t have a place for him in 2014. With Harvick coming to SHR, Newman was told that SHR didn’t have the man-power, the desire or money to sustain a fourth team. But while Tony Stewart was in the hospital recovering from his sprint car accident, co-owner Gene Haas decided he wanted to bring over Kurt Busch and start up a fourth team. Haas continues to sponsor the fourth team almost wholesale, and is supporting the elder Busch brother even during the domestic dispute issues of late that the Outlaw is experiencing.

Newman has been consistent all year long, and doesn’t outwardly show any emotion from the bait and switch he experienced at SHR, but somwhere in the No. 31 driver, there has to be some motivation to show SHR what they missed.

Then there’s Joey Logano. Logano, while not in his first year at Penske Racing, the switch in 2013 from Joe Gibbs Racing has been a successful one. Logano left JGR, hoping a change of scenery would up his success and in 2014, it has in a big way. The No. 22 driver has won 5 races this year, along with finishing in the top 5 22 times. He’s also led nearly 1,000 laps at 993 in 2014. Logano is the lone Ford in contention in Miami and he has the best average finish of 11.2 at Homestead-Miami. His stats make him the favorite this weekend, though Harvick’s recent momentum make him a close second.

Hamlin is the only one who has more than two years under his belt with his current team, but he’s also the defending winner of the 2013 race.

It definitely seems like a change can do you good at the highest level of NASCAR Racing, but regardless, this weekend’s race should be a good one.

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