Tha Sports Junkies 101

Drivers Looking to Make Waves in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Season

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series driver Ryan Blaney

NASCAR

The 2017 NASCAR season is upon us and with it comes optimism and high expectations. Some drivers appear more poised than others to make waves this year, and here we will take a look at just who those drivers might be.

1. Danica Patrick – Looking for Consistency in 2017

“Oh, come on”, you might say, but Danica Patrick truly is poised for a massive improvement in 2017. First, this will be her second season with crew chief Billy Scott. It will mark the first time in her career she’s had the same crew chief in consecutive seasons. Second, her team has formed a new partnership with Ford Performance, and will build their own cars for the first time ever. This will give her team more ability to build cars that suit her style, instead of forcing her to adjust to a car she’s not comfortable driving. Finally, she has shown a greater commitment to her team this offseason, most notably by making an appearance at a test in Phoenix that her teammate was participating in. That dedication and aggressiveness will show up on the racetrack, and if she can put it all together, should yield better results.

2. Ryan Blaney – 2017 Marks His Second Full Time Season

Ryan Blaney embarks on his second full-time season in the same #21 Wood Brothers Ford as he drove last year, but with one minor difference. The team has moved their shop to the doorstep of their Team Penske teammates. That alliance will be stronger than ever this year, and with a year of experience under his belt, expect Blaney to shine in the upcoming 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series season.

3. Erik Jones – 2017 Rookie of the Year Contender

Erik Jones may be a rookie, but he’s no slouch. After beating Kyle Busch in the snowball derby in 2014, Jones’ progression to the upper ranks of NASCAR has been nothing if not meteoric. Jones has shown an ability to win in every race vehicle he’s touched, and his #77 5-Hour Energy Camry will be no different. Paired with the Cole Pearn led #78 team at Furniture Row Racing, and sharing an alliance with powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing, Jones will have arguably the best equipment in the garage. Once he gets a few weeks under his belt, look for Jones to be a contender.

4. Landon Cassill – Organizational Improvements Will Boost 2017 Performance

Landon Cassill and his #34 Front Row Motorsports team might not make anyone’s short list of race-win contenders in 2017, but this is about something else. Cassill and his team are both looking to prove themselves, and with some extra resources in 2017, expect them to be more consistent. Wins aren’t expected out of this team, but don’t be surprised to see them consistently finishing in the top-15 this season. It would mark a major step forward for an organization that has been slowly making improvements since their debut in 2005.

There you have it, 4 drivers that are poised to make waves in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series season. Certainly, there are more drivers that could have made this list, but the circumstances surrounding these four give them the best chances of their careers thus far. Time will tell if they can make the most of it.