The 2017 NASCAR Cup season, although a bit forgettable in many respects, did have some of those moments of good ol’ NASCAR racing. Aside from Junior’s farewell tour and the amazing run of Martin Truex Jr., few things really stand out.
The folks at NASCAR.com decided to look back and pick their top 5 races. Other than maybe the order, it’s hard to disagree with their picks.
At #5, they have Jimmie Johnson’s win at Bristol. It was Johnson’s 2nd win in a row, showcasing the skills that have made him one of the best drivers in NASCAR.
Coming in at #4 is the playoff race in Phoenix. You know the one, where Chase Elliott got his revenge on Denny Hamlin by driving him into the wall. That was a race where both fans and drivers expected fireworks and were not disappointed. I would have ranked that race higher just for the fact that it was sweet to see Hamlin get his just deserts, plus we got to see Matt Kenseth muscle ahead and take the win. Good for him.
#3 is the Daytona 500. This would have been my #4, but there was certainly some great excitement and a wreck. Would have liked to see Ryan Blaney finish off that sweet move to take over the lead, but as it was, Kurt Busch took the flag.
#2 was the race at Talladega for the Alabama 500. Man, did that track live up to its legend. The power of those cars going three wide into the massive pileup late in the race, taking out 17 cars including several in the chase… AJ Almendinger ending up on his top. Luckily, everyone was able to walk away.
Their #1 pick for 2017 is the race at Martinsville. This short-track race late in the season had a ton of implications for the final four in the playoffs, but the emerging storyline was Chase Elliott possibly getting his first Cup win…that is until Denny Hamlin spun him out with only two laps left. Then the sprint to the finish with a huge pileup right at the flag while Hamlin and Elliott were exchanging words trackside was quite the scene.
All in all, some pretty good picks for the best races in 2017.