Maybe this will be considered a conspiracy theory, or perhaps it’s ridiculous to even mention, but it’s the NASCAR silly season after all, so why not? Are you totally, completely, absolutely 100% sure that this year’s NASCAR champion will be one of the BIG 3? Perhaps it’s silly to even suggest, but let’s look at the facts.
The BIG 3 in the NASCAR Championship
Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick have affectionately been dubbed the BIG 3 by headline writers and copycat broadcasters. They have managed to win a total of 17 from the 24 races in this year’s season. Cumulatively, they have also managed to finish second a total of 11 times, which means they had the opportunity to practically win every single race this year.
As a result, the BIG 3 are leading the pack with point standings with only 2 races to go, including Indianapolis and Darlington, before the playoffs get underway. Obviously, all three of them have been praised to make it to the Championship 4 in November at Homestead and to claim the Cup Series title when they are there.
All of this makes complete sense. You cannot argue or debate or dispute that the BIG 3 are the best drivers this year with the best teams. They’ve each been nearly perfect, ruthless, faster than anyone else, savvy, smooth, and a little bit lucky. However, the one thing each of them are not is invincible.
Last Year’s Catastrophe
If we had to dub last year’s BIG 3, even if it wasn’t this overwhelming, it would certainly be Kyle Larson, Busch, and Truex. We thought the exact same things of those three, and without catastrophe, would have easily cruised to Homestead. However, disaster actually struck.
Larson, winning 4 regular season races and who looked rather sensational during the playoffs, experienced terrible finishes back-to-back, coming in 10th at Charlotte and 13th at Talladega, while a decent performance would have landed him in the third round during the playoffs. However, he finished 39th after his engine blew up where he was eliminated. This was obviously the exception as oppose to the rule, but his situation is rather cautionary. It would be crazy to predict the same meltdown for Busch, Truex, or Harvick, but it’s also silly to think that it won’t be possible.
The first two playoffs rounds are considerably be more difficult this time round. Talladega is obviously a wild card, but now we have Charlotte Motor Speedway that introduced the Roval too? Experiencing bad luck at these two tracks will certainly doom anyone, regardless of how far you are in the lead.
Now, we are not stating that someone like Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, or Chase Elliot will suddenly start stacking up victories, but in the off chance that a catastrophe does occur, there’s several decent drivers who will make them pay dearly. So yes, there’s an itty-bitty, teensy tiny, miniscule, slim chance that one of the BIG 3 won’t survive when we reach the Championship race.