“He Is in the Middle of Everything” “He Is in the Middle of Everything” – NASCAR Insider Reveals the Biggest Threat in the Championship Playoffs– NASCAR Insider Reveals the Biggest Threat in the Championship Playoffs

The tug of war has begun. As the 2023 NASCAR season enters its penultimate stage, the answer to every year’s most significant question comes closer. The round of 8 is composed of a mixture of historic teams like Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Team Penske, along with dark horses RFK Racing and 23XI Racing. HMS and JGR have the upper hand on other teams, with two former champions on each side.

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Martin Truex Jr hasn’t been in his best form lately, but one could never count out the regular season champion. 2021 champion Kyle Larson, on the other hand, is riding a strong run of results and is a formidable name in the fray. However, one more contender lurks in the shadows and could add the only missing accolade to an otherwise illustrious career.

Could this be the year the curse breaks?


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All of JGR’s drivers, who have qualified for the Round of 8, have had different experiences in the playoffs. Truex Jr has managed to scrape through eliminations, thanks to a head-start for being the regular season champion. #20 driver Christopher Bell has lacked the finishing touch after being the fastest car in qualifying sessions on multiple occasions. But the one making headlines on and off the track is #11, Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin has comfortably sped through the NASCAR playoffs so far. His performance in the round of 16 showed us a new side of the seasoned veteran. Dominance would be an understatement to describe Denny’s performance in the playoffs. He even declared war on the fans at Bristol as he claimed to ‘beat all of their favorite drivers’ in a post-race statement. These moments have contributed to making Denny the heel of the sport, at least in some aspects.

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However, according to MRN commentator Dave Moody, what sets this year’s Hamlin apart from his previous versions is a small change in his mindset. Moody stated, “I’ll tell you the guy that I would worry [about] if I were in the competition, and that’s Denny Hamlin because they just keep knocking them up, okay? Little glitch on the radar this past weekend but they didn’t need to have a good day and they didn’t.”

Denny’s doing Denny things. He’s in the middle of everything, he’s got the podcast, he’s criticizing the schedule, he doesn’t like the payouts, he doesn’t like the way teams are organized, he’s got thoughts about the new TV deal, he’ll tell you how one of his fellow drivers isn’t doing the things he’s supposed to do. He’s right in the middle of the mess just like he always seems to be. But it doesn’t seem to be distracting him this year like it did in the past, ” Moody added.

Sad memories and missed chances have plagued Denny’s mind year after year. Could 2023 finally give Denny Hamlin the moment he has been waiting, after over two decades in the sport?

The challengers to Denny’s dream of being a NASCAR Cup Series champion

The two most formidable opponents Hamlin will face en route to the Cup series title will certainly be his teammate Truex Jr and Kyle Larson. Should Truex regain his regular season form, he could become JGR’s spearhead with ease. The 2017 champion has been afflicted with mechanical issues, unlucky contacts and his #19 Camry not being fast enough to get him to a top-15 finish.

HMS’ #5 Larson on the other hand, has a great chance to walk away with the championship. The 31-year-old former champion has all the tools in his kit. With experience, pace, control and the mentality to win, Larson has acquired an all-rounded profile through his years in the Cup and is most likely to be the strongest opponent to Denny. Apart from the ex-champs, dark horses Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher also pose a serious threat.

Having recruited Reddick in his racing team 23XI, Denny is well aware of the results Reddick and his #45 Toyota can produce. On the other hand, Chris Buescher’s rise to prominence has been sensational, ably supported by 2012 champion Brad Keselowski. Three wins this season coupled with his gradual progress in the playoffs has given the fans an idea of what his #17 is capable of.


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Another big name would be the youngest driver in the Round of 8, William Byron. Byron has a portfolio of 6 wins this season which justifies why he deserves to inherit the iconic #24 Chevrolet Camaro from NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon. The North Carolina native secured his passage to the round of 8 immediately with a win on the first race of the second elimination round. With a variety of tracks under his versatile expertise, he also promotes a clean brand of racing that could push him to glory.

With such formidable opponents standing between Denny and his maiden Cup series win, it remains to be seen how the veteran strategizes for the ultimate showdown. Will Denny be able to clinch the title this year? What do you guys think?

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