2019 NASCAR year in review
The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season has come to an end, and what an amazing racing year it was. As race fans know the Cup Series is currently in a transitional phase, where older drivers are retiring and new drivers are coming up the ranks. A new wave of talent has emerged, and this year showed that good things are still to come. Let’s look at the top five stories that shaped the 2019 season.
1. Denny Hamlin wins the Daytona 500After the loss of J.D. Gibbs, the son of car owner Joe Gibbs, Denny Hamlin was determined to win the Daytona 500 for his good friend. With Joe Gibbs watching from pit road, Hamlin was able to capture the Daytona 500. The race was 500 miles of carnage, which left Hamlin to battle it out with teammate Kyle Busch. The win for Hamlin put the Series on notice that he was in for a big year.
2. Busch Brothers battle in KentuckyThe best finish of the year has to go to Kurt and Kyle Busch for their last-lap battle in Kentucky. Their Saturday night, under-the-lights battle left race fans standing on their feet and in disbelief, when Kurt Busch outdueled his little brother for an amazing win.
3. Hamlin’s Bristol comebackIn what might have been the best come-from-behind win of the year, Hamlin’s Bristol night race win was epic. After he fell two laps behind earlier in the race, Hamlin was able to run down longshot Matt Dibenedetto to capture an unbelievable win. Race fans were left in both sadness and shock at what might have been for Matty D but also in awe of Hamlin’s performance.
4. Chase Elliott crashes and winsAfter dominating the ROVAL for most of the race, Chase Elliott crashed on a restart heading into “Heartburn Turn.” The crash looked like the botch of the year, until Elliott masterfully drove his banged-up Chevy all the way back to the front of the field and captured the checkered flag. His ROVAL performance was arguably the best comeback win of the season.
Chase Elliott goes from from 37th to 1st in the final 44 laps to take the? in the ROVAL 400.Then celebrates by taking it to Heartburn Turn where he wrecked on a restart and lost the lead earlier in the race. Gotta love it!@chaseelliott | @wcnc | @SportsWCNC | @Hendrick9Team pic.twitter.com/xhirl6jccY — Ashley Stroehlein (@ashstro) September 30, 2019
5. Kyle Busch wins the titleAlthough he didn't have a win since June, Kyle Busch took his talents to South Beach and captured not only the race win but the second NASCAR title of his career. Busch showed why he is still one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR. The Candyman put on a great performance in Miami and deserves to be called the champ for 2019.