Ever since the conception of the elimination-style points format in 2014, there has always been one race to determine the Champion of the NASCAR Cup Series. Last year, it was Ryan Blaney claiming his first Cup Series Championship over Kyle Larson. Ever since this points format was brought into the sport, it has been a hot topic amongst fans. It’s usually the four most consistent drivers throughout the season that make the Championship Four. But occasionally, there will be a surprise driver sneaking in to compete for a Championship. Let’s discuss my Early 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Four Predictions.
#1 Ross Chastain:
Over the past few years, there has been one driver that has taken the NASCAR world by storm. That is the driver of the #1 Trackhouse Racing Chevy, Ross Chastain. The eighth-generation watermelon farmer has the attitude of “never back down.” That attitude has proven to be fierce off and off the track. From the wall ride at Martinsville to the post-race fight with Noah Gragson at Kansas, Chastain is not a driver to mess with. 2023 was statistically a worse season for The Melon Man compared to 2022. But 2024 could be the rebound year that Chastain and Trackhouse Racing needs. If Ross Chastain could become the NASCAR Cup Series Champion, it could be the underdog story that everyone is looking for.
#5 Kyle Larson:
Everybody who has followed motorsports in the last 10 years has known that Kyle Larson is a driver with tremendous talent. Some have called him the best racecar driver in the world. 2023 was an up-and-down season for Larson as he had four wins but had eight DNFs throughout the year. In October, Larson clinched a spot in the Championship Four with a win at Las Vegas. Many people had him hoisting the Bill France Cup after the Championship Race in Phoenix, but this was not the case as he finished one spot short of the title. Larson is quite possibly the modern-day Jimmie Johnson. In his 108 starts for Hendrick Motorsports, he has won 17 times, including the 2021 Cup Series Championship. 2024 very well could be the best opportunity for Larson to win his second Cup Series Championship.
#11 Denny Hamlin:
Over the past few years, Denny Hamlin has become the villain in the sport of NASCAR. Normally it’s Kyle Busch receiving the most boos during driver intros. But recently, that honor has belonged to Denny Hamlin. After his win at Bristol, Hamlin claimed that it was “his year.” It, however, was not his year as the Championship belonged to Ryan Blaney. Denny Hamlin is a threat for the Championship every season and has been a threat for his entire career. Yet, he has fallen short of clinching a Championship every year during his career. If Hamlin is to win title No. 1, he will have to step up in a big way in 2024. Maybe, just maybe, 2024 will finally be Denny Hamlin’s year to win his first NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
#24 William Byron:
2023 was easily the best season that William Byron has had in his NASCAR Cup Series career. Throughout 2023, Byron was lights out fast. With three wins in the first 13 races, Byron established himself as the Championship favorite early in the season. Throughout the Summer, Byron never lost his stride. With wins at both Atlanta and Watkins Glen, Byron was the #2 seed for the Playoffs. As Byron advanced to the Championship Four, everybody expected that he would be the driver to beat. That was not the case as he finished third in the Championship. Some say that it’s Kyle Larson or Chase Elliott who carries the team banner for Hendrick. Recently, it has been William Byron. Why not the No. 24 in 2024?
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As the confetti fell in victory lane in Daytona on the Hendrick Motorsports No....