There’s no reason to believe that Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota won’t be hoisting the NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy on Sunday evening in Phoenix. Since the Championship 4 format was adopted in 2014, the season finale race winner has been won by one of the Championship 4 drivers each and every year. Why would this year be any different?
So, might as well pick the team that has won the most lately – Joe Gibbs Racing/Toyota.
Toyota has won three of the last four races at the Phoenix Raceway anyways and four of the last six.
Makes sense for the best team on the 1-mile track and the one of the best teams on the season would win Sunday’s race too right? I mean Denny Hamlin won this race last year at that.
If a Toyota driver can win the championship, it would be their third in the last four years and fourth in the last six overall. That’s an amazing feat. Plus, it’s a sign that this isn’t your grandpa’s NASCAR anymore.
NASCAR has always been an American sport. From American drivers, driving American vehicles while racing on American tracks with predominately American fans in the grandstands has been NASCAR’s grassroots.
That’s why when Toyota came into NASCAR’s premiere series in 2007, it was met with some resistance. They struggled in year No. 1 with zero trips to victory lane, but that’s where everything changed. Toyota lured JGR over and it’s been all out dominance ever since.
Toyota won 10 times in 2008 and that kick started them into prominence. But, their most success has happened since NASCAR adopted the Championship 4 format.
Toyota has won three championships since 2014 and Chevrolet two. Ford has taken the other, but if you go for all out wins over the last five seasons, no one can touch Toyota.
The Toyota teams have won 89 races since 2014 compared to 86 from Ford and 76 by Chevrolet. But, 87 of those wins have come since 2015 though. Toyota won 16 races in 2015 and again in 2016, followed by 13 in 2017, 18 in 2019 and nine more this season.
Another championship will go a long way.