Joey Logano won his first Cup Series championship in 2018. Making it the second title for Team Penske since 2012. Can they win again in 2019?
Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford (Crew Chief: Todd Gordon)
2018 stats: 1st in points, 3 wins, 13 top fives, 26 top tens, 1 pole, 15 playoff points
2018 recap: Joey Logano went from outside of the playoffs in 2017 to the champion in 2018. In a year when Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch dominated most of the regular season, Logano was able to steal the thunder and win his first career championship.
Logano had a very good season as he scored the third most top-5 and fourth most top-10 finishes. Along the way he led the fourth most laps and had the third best average finish.
It is so secret that Harvick and Busch, and at times Truex, looked like the drivers to beat for the championship. But for Logano, this was a statement championship. After having lost championships before when he had the best car, this was a statement by Logano and his No. 22 team that they can seal the deal.
2019 outlook: It’s difficult to repeat in any sport, unless you’re Jimmie Johnson. However, no driver has repeated in the playoff-elimination era in NASCAR. Can Logano repeat? Sure, but there is a lot of unknown with the new rules package.
A trip back to the Championship 4 is expected, as are multiple wins. Leading the way for Team Penske will also be expected but will be no small feat. If Logano outpaces Harvick for the most dominate Ford in 2019, then everyone should be on the lookout for a possible repeat performance.
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford (Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe)
2018 stats: 8th in points, 3 wins, 12 top fives, 20 top tens, 0 poles, 20 playoff points
2018 recap: At times during the 2018 season it looked as if Keselowski might just step into the “fourth” driver joining the “Big Three” in Homestead. After three consecutive wins at Darlington, Indianapolis and Las Vegas, that looked like a very real possibility.
But the ceiling came down a little early on the championship party. The 2018 season for the No. 2 team can be summed up as a high-floor, low-ceiling type of season. After all, if not for a crash while leading at the ROVAL, this could be a completely different conversation.
2019 outlook: The opportunity for Keselowski to contend for a championship in 2019 are just as real as Logano’s. Keselowski will now have a teammate who earned a title for the same team, a first in his career.
The expectations for Keselowski will be very similar to Logano. A trip to Homestead with a chance at a championship is something this team will have their eyes set on. Keselowski seems to adapt rather quickly to new rules and 2019 should put that theory to the test.
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards Ford (Crew Chief: Jeremy Bullins)
2018 stats: 12th in points, 1 win, 8 top fives, 16 top tens, 3 poles, 11 playoff points
2018 recap: In his first season with Team Penske, Blaney found victory lane at the inaugural Charlotte ROVAL race. That victory was more of being in the right place at the right time. However, on a brand new track with no notes, it was still an impressive show of Blaney’s skill.
The third best driver in the Team Penske camp, Blaney failed to get out of the second round of the NASCAR playoffs. Blaney showed speed throughout the season but not as much consistency has his Team Penske teammates or Ford counterparts.
2019 outlook: Much like last season, the sky is the limit for Blaney. He has now won a race in consecutive seasons and keeping that streak going should be the goal for this team. Advancing deeper in the playoffs and challenging his teammates will also determine whether or not 2019 is a success.
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