When will NASCAR’s young guns start firing on all cylinders?
There’s little doubt that the critical mass of young talent in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is as potent as it’s been since the turn of the century. Only one problem: the veterans in the series are decidedly reluctant to give up the spotlight.
Three drivers in particularly have hogged the trophies and severely limited the winning chances available to the younger competitors. Between them, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have won 11 of 14 races this season, 19 of 24 events dating back to the start of last year’s Playoff and 24 of 36 races over the past year.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the 20-somethings in the series have despaired of visiting Victory Lane. Far from it, says Joe Gibbs Racing driver and Cup series sophomore Erik Jones.
“I feel like it’ll come in time,” said Jones, whose best result to date was a closely contested second to Busch at Bristol last year. “There’s no reason to stress or worry about it. I just know that we’re doing all we can to put ourselves in that position to do it and hoping that we do the right things to make it happen.
“So do I think all the young guys will start to kind of roll in and start winning some races? It’s definitely possible. We’re all with very good teams. Ryan (Blaney) has been very fast this year, as well as Kyle (Larson) and Chase (Elliott) as well, so I could definitely see us all winning some races here in the coming months before the Playoffs or even in the Playoffs.
“So it’ll just be interesting to see what happens. There’s a lot of teams that are working on stuff and getting cars better, and it’s going to be interesting to see really who rises to the top here in the next couple months.”