After five races in the Cup season, NASCAR America’s analysts assessed what the biggest storylines are ahead of this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton took turns sharing what’s stood out to them.
Jeff Burton started off by saying Kevin Harvick‘s success was the “easy answer.”
Burton discussed his surprise at Chevrolet teams underperforming.
“It reminds you in racing that you don’t really know what’s going to happen until it happens,” Burton said. “I’m surprised we haven’t seen more performance from the new Chevy body.”
Earnhardt was surprised at how big Martin Truex Jr’s margin of victory was on Sunday. He beat Kyle Busch by 11.6 seconds.
“I felt like in the first couple of races, maybe we got tricked into thinking the new inspections process had maybe leveled the playing field a little bit, even though Harvick won three in a row,” Earnhardt said. “Then Truex goes out and does what he did last year, maybe even better than he did last year.”
Letarte said his “big shock” for 2018 has been the “lack of change.”
“It’s the same players leading laps that we saw in 2017,” Letarte said. “Everyone is trying to catch up. I’ve always found it the hardest to continue to push your guys, continue to push your race cars when you’re already winning. It’s easy when you’re getting beat to motivate everybody.”
Earnhardt also observed how younger drivers have struggled to shine through five races.
“Across the board, the young guys still aren’t measuring up to the veterans yet,” Earnhardt said.
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