CREW CHIEF: Adam Stevens
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
WINS: 4 (Martinsville I, Texas I, Kansas I, Indianapolis)
LAPS LED: 1,379 (most since 2013)
TOP 5s: 17
TOP 10s: 25 (most since 2013)
POLES: 3 (Phoenix I, Indianapolis, Chicago – by rulebook)
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Avoided injury and ran the complete season, earning four wins, including his firsts at Martinsville and Kansas Speedway. Busch also repeated at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July … Again made it to the final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway … Led over 1,000 laps on the season for the first time since 2013 and improved in top five and top-10 finishes from his championship season of 2015.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Finished third in the Daytona 500 after admitting he didn’t make a move quick enough to try and earn his first win … Busch racked up five DNFs in 2016, which is the second highest in his career (had eight in rookie season, 2005). Earned four consecutive finishes of 30th or worse at Dover, Charlotte, Pocono, and Michigan … Led 256 laps at Bristol II and finished 39th, also led over 100 laps at Dover II and finished second.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2017: Busch returns for his 13th full season and will look for his second championship with Joe Gibbs Racing … Will put extra emphasis on going to victory lane at the two remaining tracks he has not done so, Charlotte and Pocono.
CREW CHIEF: Paul Wolfe
TEAM: Team Penske
WINS: 4 (Las Vegas, Talladega I, Daytona II, Kentucky)
LAPS LED: 549 (fewest since 2013)
TOP 5s: 16
TOP 10s: 22
POLES: 2 (Pocono I, Dover II by rule book)
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Won multiple races for the second time in three seasons. Qualified for the Chase for the fifth time … Led 115 of 160 laps at Daytona in July for his first victory at the track … Won at the newly repaved and reconfigured Kentucky Speeding using the lower downforce package … Got engaged to girlfriend Paige White.
WHAT WENT WRONG: A blown engine at Talladega after leading 90 laps eliminated him from the Chase. It was the first time Keselowski failed to advance to the round of eight … Recorded three DNFs and failed to win multiple races in which he led double digit laps.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2017: Keselowski returns for his seventh full season with Team Penske and seeks his second championship … He will continue to be one of the drivers to beat at restrictor-plate races.
Joey Logano admits that he hates coming in second, but said if he could pick someone to lose to it would be Jimmie Johnson.
“I never got to race against Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt, but I raced against Jimmie Johnson and that’s something I’m very proud of.”
Joey Logano looks back on his intense NASCAR title effort and what he has learned the most about himself as a driver this past year.
Carl Edwards‘ championship hopes came to an end after wrecking on a restart with 10 laps to go, but Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett say Edwards will be remembered for how well he handled himself afterward. Edwards walked all the way to the pit stall of Joey Logano‘s No. 22 team to wish them luck in the rest of the race.