NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Busch Knows Who Championship Favorite Is

Kyle Busch didn’t flinch when asked who the favorite is to become the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Busch, meeting with reporters during the NASCAR Playoff Media Day in Charlotte on Wednesday had a one-word answer: “Truex,” he said.

As in Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota.

Truex is the No. 1 seed in the NASCAR playoffs, which begin Sunday with the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, where Busch will be the No. 3 seed behind Truex and Kyle Larson.

Busch is bullish on Truex’s title prospects.

“Oh, yeah,” said Busch, himself the 2015 champion. “Just the way they’ve run. Now they’re picking it up everywhere at they go to. They’re scary. They’re a threat for sure. If you look at, OK, what’s Truex’s worst track? Martinsville, maybe. Probably a sixth- or a seventh-(place finish), that’s it. Everywhere else, it’s a win. So that’s pretty scary.”

And Larson agreed with Busch’s assessment.

“Martin will be really good there,” Larson said of Truex’s chances to win the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and take the 2017 Cup championship. “If both Kyle Busch and I make it there, I think we’re both really good at that style of racetrack. (Kevin) Harvick obviously is really good. Jimmie (Johnson). I mean, there’s so many people that are good at Homestead, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  But I think if you had to pick a favorite to make it all the way there, it would be Martin.” 

By Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.