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NASCAR superlatives for the 2017 season

Brendan Marks, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

Superlatives for the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season:

Driver of the Year

Martin Truex Jr.: Who else? Truex had the most wins, the most laps led, the most stage points, the most everything en route to his first Cup Series championship. He was the fastest all season long, and even when other drivers had their moments, Truex was always the championship favorite.

Race of the Year

Daytona 500: The first race of the season was just about everything fans could have hoped for. There were wrecks (35 of 40 cars were involved in one), intrigue (Chase Elliott winning the pole and putting himself in position to get his first win), and of course, drama (a last lap pass by Kurt Busch over Kyle Larson). Plus it was the first race that implemented stage racing (more on that later), so the best race of this season was actually the first.

Car of the Year

Truex's No. 78 Toyota: No contest here. Every driver this season talked about Truex's speed as much like they wanted to be him as they wanted to beat him. Other cars, such as Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota and Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chevy, had their moments, but none were as consistently dominant or imposing as the 78.

Team of the Year

Joe Gibbs Racing: JGR was the most competitive team in 2017 even without a championship. Kyle Busch finished second at Homestead and had a shot to unseat Truex at the end had there been a few more laps. Other than Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth both qualified for the playoffs, with Hamlin nearly making it to Homestead and Kenseth winning at Phoenix in his second-to-last race.

Story of the Year (on track)

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