It has been quite a run in the last two-plus months with 10 different winners in the last 10 races. Among those drivers, six earned their first victory of the season. Austin Dillon (Coca-Cola 600) and Ryan Blaney (Pocono) each scored their first career Cup win during the stretch.
“That’s what 2017 has been about, I think, and it’s what is going to continue to be, I really believe,” NASCAR on NBC analyst Dale Jarrett said about so many different winners and new winners. “Competition, stages, there’s just so many factors that come into play. I really believe we’re going to see a different winner at Watkins Glen, add another one to the list.”
Jarrett also said he wouldn’t be surprised to see a driver not in a playoff spot win this weekend at Watkins Glen. Thirteen of the 16 playoff spots have been taken by drivers with at least one victory this season. Five races remain until the playoff field is set.
NASCAR on NBC analyst Kyle Petty says with so many different strategies, many things could happen in the coming weeks.
“I think back to when our whole goal was to go to the race track and race and win a race,” Petty said. “Now you’ve got a group of these guys who’ve already won races, they’re worried about championship points, they’re trying to garner points. Then you’ve got these guys back here that need these points. So do I throw caution to the win? Do I gamble to get the W, or do I stay comfortable to get these points? Then you’ve got the guys outside the points that are saying, ‘I’ve just got to throw everything, every roll, every lap is a roll of a dice.’
“So, there is three distinct strategies that are going on on the race track. When you have three distinct strategies playing out on the same field, then you’re going to have different winner because you’re going to have some of these strategies that work and some of them that fail miserably.”
If the streak of different consecutive winners reaches 11 this weekend, it will tie the longest streak since 2012. The record for most different winners in consecutive Cup races is 13, which happened twice in 1961.
Watch the video for more of what they say and who could be a contender at Watkins Glen this weekend.