The 2018 NASCAR season has come and gone and as the Calender heads towards December, the 2019 season-opening race at Daytona will be fast approaching. However, for now, we will take a look back at the spectacular 2018 season that was in NASCAR. From new winners to the end of eras to a new champion. We saw it all in the 2018 NASCAR season.
Here is a run-down of each races winner from the season:
The #2 of Brad Keselowski started out NASCAR’s speedweeks in 2018 with a bang as he drove his Penske Ford to victory lane in The Clash at Daytona. Teammate #12 Ryan Blaney followed that up by winning his Duel race the Thursday before the Daytona 500. The #9 of Chase Elliott took his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy to victory lane in the second Duel race.
Chevrolet again put its name on the Harley J. Earl Trophy as Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon took the famed number three car back to victory lane in the Daytona 500, 20 years to the day that Dale Earnhardt won the Great American Race. Following Daytona the #4 of Kevin Harvick went on a three-race winning streak for Stewart-Haas Racing, winning the next three races at Atlanta, Las Vegas and ISM Raceway in Phoenix. Furniture Row Racing’s #78 of Martin Truex Jr the defending champion of the series found victory lane for the first time of the season when NASCAR finished up its west coast swing by winning the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The #14 of Clint Bowyer ended a 190-race winless streak by winning a Weather impacted race at Martinsville. #18 Kyle Busch was next on the three-race winning streak as he took the checkered flag in the next three races at Texas, Bristol, and Richmond.
Joey Logano driver of the #22 Ford for Team Penske broke into victory lane at Talladega, marking his first win since Richmond in 2017, and punched his ticket to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2017. The #4 of Kevin Harvick returned to victory lane in the next two races at Dover and Kansas, as NASCAR hit its All-Star break. The #47 of AJ Allmendinger was able to win the NASCAR Open and advance to the All-Star race which was won by Kevin Harvick. Kyle Busch finally marked off the final track on the list of tracks in NASCAR as he won at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the very first time in the Coca-Cola 600. Martin Truex Jr returned to the winner’s circle at Pocono in June, as the labeled Big Three continue to heat up. The Next three races showed repeat winners as Clint Bowyer (winner at Michigan), Martin Truex Jr (Sonoma) and Kyle Busch ( Chicagoland) reached victory lane. NASCAR returned to Daytona during the Fourth of July weekend and second-year driver Erik Jones in Joe Gibbs #20 captured his first career victory in NASCAR top series.
Kentucky Speedway saw Martin Truex Jr win once again. Kevin Harvick captured the win at New Hampshire, and Kyle Busch won the second race at Pocono of the season. NASCAR traveled to Watkins Glen, New York and Hendrick Motorsports #9 of Chase Elliott did not disappoint as he found victory lane for the first time in his Cup Series career. As the Playoffs fast approached, drivers continued to look for their opportunity to qualify, and following Kevin Harvick’s win at Michigan a pair of drivers did clinch their spots as #41 Kurt Busch took the checkered flag at Bristol, and #2 Brad Keselowski finished the regular season strong as he won back to back crown jewel races at Darlington and Indianapolis, in the Southern 500 and Brickyard 400 respectively.
The 2018 NASCAR Playoffs were a story in their own, as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Larson all battled it out for the 2018 Championship.
The round of 16, saw three different winners as Brad Keselowski won at Las Vegas, Kyle Busch won at Richmond and Ryan Blaney won the inaugural running of the Roval at Charlotte. Following the Roval race Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, and Austin Dillon didn’t advance to the round of 12. The round of 12 saw a pair of wins by Chase Elliott at Dover and Kansas with a win by Aric Almirola for the first time since 2014 at Talladega in between, as Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney failed to advance to the round of 8.
The Round of 8 saw three different winners, as Joey Logano punched his ticket to Homestead with a win at Martinsville. Kevin Harvick though the winner at Texas, was later penalized and the win didn’t count. Kyle Busch won the second to the final race of the season at ISM Raceway in Phoenix to advance to the Championship Four. Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, and Clint Bowyer failed to advance to the Championship Four.
Joey Logano held off all challengers in Homestead-Miami to capture his first ever win at the track along with his first NASCAR Championship, giving Roger Penske his second in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series history. Martin Truex Jr finished second in the championship and was closely followed by Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Joey Logano was able to defeat the Big Three.
What a season 2018 was, 2019 is going to be even better. Who else can’t wait for Speedweeks 2019 in Daytona?