Monday, 28 November 2022

Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, and Martin Truex Jr. will win 2019 Truck, Xfinity and Cup series championships

Posted On Monday, 11 November 2019 00:02 Written by
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Martin Truex Jr. races during the Cup Series race at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2019, in Avondale, Arizona. Martin Truex Jr. races during the Cup Series race at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2019, in Avondale, Arizona. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Phoenix weekend is done and the final fours are all set. Here’s my predictions on how things will shake out at Homestead next weekend in all three top series.

Trucks:
1. Ross Chastain — Without a doubt, a Ross Chastain championship would be the best feel-good success story of the season in all series. After his 2019 Xfinity plans with Chip Ganassi were derailed by loss of DC Solar sponsorship after an FBI raid, he had to dip down to the Truck series and launch a late campaign with Niece Motorsports to earn enough points to make the playoffs. He did just that, won several races along the way, and now the Melon Man is potentially going to be a champion. Doesn’t get much better than that. I’d say he’s the favorite.

2. Brett Moffitt — Moffitt was last year’s champ with Hattori Racing, and was promptly let go. Thankfully he found a new at GMS pretty quickly, and has impressed in 2019 with four wins. Always a contender up front, Moffitt is Chastain’s biggest competition for the title.

3. Stewart Friesen — Friesen, long overdue for Victory Lane in the Truck series, finally got there in 2019: Twice in fact, including Friday night at Phoenix. It’s very possible that breakout season could end in a title if strategy plays out properly, but even if it doesn’t this has been a career year for Friesen.

4. Matt Crafton — Truck series veteran Crafton snuck into the playoffs on the strength of a strong finish at Phoenix. And while it would be an amazing comeback story if the former champion took the crown again, the reality is he has zero wins in 2019, and only 6 top-5 runs. That’s not exactly promising for his title chances, but if the other contenders run into trouble he could capitalize.

Xfinity:
1. Christopher Bell — Bell has been the class of the field this season, winning 8 races and dominating in many others that he ended up losing. His issue is self-imposed penalties (such as crashes and pit road penalties), but if he can avoid that there is no reason he won’t be champion.

2. Tyler Reddick —Reddick stunned everyone by running the high line to a title last year at Homestead. He backed that performance up this season with 5 wins and a series-leading 23 top-5 finishes. But you need more than a top-5 to win the title — most likely the champ will be the driver in Victory Lane. Reddick has the ability to repeat, but in terms of raw speed, Bell’s car has just been faster all season.

3. Cole Custer — The General is never far from the front, even if he’s not always leading. And he’s been up front enough to earn 7 victories in 2019. He’s also strong at Homestead, so you can’t count him out. 

4. Justin Allgaier —Fan favorite Allgaier drove his way into the final four with a win at Phoenix, but I don’t see him pulling out the championship for Jr. Motorsports unless some strategy comes into play, or the other contenders take themselves out with errors or wrecks.

Cup:
1. Martin Truex Jr. —Truex has won more races than anyone in the Cup series this year — that ould by 7 races if you’re counting. And he’s quite strong at the 1.5 mile tracks. Add all that up, and he is your favorite to win the title, after a very strong overall playoff performance has given him lots of momentum on top of his team’s already strong performance. 

2. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin’s emotions will be high going into Homestead, after the big win at Phoenix that got him there. He also has 6 total wins, and 19 top-5 finishes. He is the only driver in the final four without a Cup title, so that will motivate him further, but he’ll have to get by Truex to do it, and that’s not going to be easy.

3. Kyle Busch — Busch ran strong at Phoenix, but was not as strong as Hamlin. In recent weeks, he’s been lagging behind Truex. He often struggles getting through traffic in this 2019 aero package, and only dominates when he’s in the lead. It would seem his teammates have taken over the position of team leader at Gibbs in 2019, and that will likely play out again at Homestead.

4. Kevin Harvick — 
Harvick is always a threat, everyone knows this. But the Toyotas are dominant this year. I just don’t see Harvick’s Ford going to town and putting a whooping on the Toyotas at Homestead in 2019, so he’s the longest shot to win it all.

Matt Myftiu can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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