The theme of the 2017 season in NASCAR was Toyota’s dominance.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch felt like the fastest two drivers on the track each and every week, and the championship race at Homestead came down to those two, with Truex holding off Busch for his first career championship.
NASCAR analyst Brendan Marks from the Charlotte Observer doesn’t think Toyota’s dominance will stop in 2018.
In Marks’ latest column, he predicts Toyota will win a third straight manufacturer’s championship, and he thinks at least two Toyota drivers will be in the mix for a championship.
“The thing is, Toyota doesn’t need to have all four drivers at Homestead for 2018 to qualify as a dominant season,” Marks wrote. “What it needs is at least one of Truex or Busch to make it back to Homestead, with at least one other driver also making a playoff run, a la Denny Hamlin in 2017.
“Considering how this season went, that’s far from impossible. Actually, there’s probably a pretty good chance it works out that way.”
It’s hard to argue with Marks considering how dominant Toyota has been the last two years. It’s unlikely Truex or Busch or Hamlin will fall off the map in only one season, and there’s a good chance Toyota will have a terrific season in 2018.
But it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Japanese manufacturer will come out on top again next year. Chevy is unveiling its new Camaro for next season, and it could be a threat to overtake Toyota.
Chevy also has the drivers to make a push for the manufacturer’s title. Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson will be threats to the Toyota drivers, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Chevy had as many or more drivers at Homestead than Toyota.
Next year could be the time where NASCAR has more balance at the top instead of one manufacturer dominating the entire year. In fact, Elliott and Larson might be better bets to win the title next season over every Toyota driver except Busch.
It should be a fascinating year in 2018, and NASCAr fans who are tired of Toyota’s dominance might enjoy the 2018 season more than last year.