So much has legitimately been made of NASCAR’s new generation of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. This was a breakout season for 22-year old Chase Elliott, who won at the Cup level for the first time then answered with two more victories and a strong run in the Playoffs. The Hendrick Motorsports driver tied last season’s career high 21 top-10s and scored a sixth-place finish in the final Cup points standings. He’s ranked in the top-10 in all three of his Cup seasons.
Erik Jones, 22, also hoisted his first ever Monster Energy Series trophy at Daytona in July and qualified for his first Playoff venture. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s top-fives (nine) and top-10s (18) are a career high. He finished 15th in the points standings.
Ryan Blaney, 24, answered his career first win last year at Pocono Raceway with a victory on the new Charlotte Road Course to punctuate his 2018 Playoff run. The Team Penske driver also had career best showings in top-five (eight) and top-10 (16) finishes and finished 10th in the final championship standings.
Kyle Larson, 25, didn’t win this season, but 12 top-fives and 19 top-10s helped the Chip Ganassi Racing driver to another top-10 finish in the standings (ninth place).
New Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman, 25, more than tripled his career top-10 (11) production taking over the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 for the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. He qualified for the Playoffs for the first time and finished 16th.
- Matt DiBenedetto’s excellent run comes to abrupt, violent end - February 17, 2019
- Clint Bowyer’s last-ditch effort ends in nine-car wreck - February 17, 2019
- Jimmie Johnson scores miraculous top 10 at Daytona - February 17, 2019