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Who Will Remain in Top-10: Truex or Logano?
Please vote on the poll regarding this debate on the NHMS.com homepage.
After two races, there are plenty of surprises in the standings, but none more than two drivers who find themselves in the top 10 -- Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano. Truex is sixth in points thanks to a 12th at Daytona and a seventh at Phoenix. Logano finds himself eighth in points after a ninth at Daytona and a 10th at Phoenix.
Logano has never made the Chase, and Truex was last in the postseason in 2007. But both drivers find themselves in the top 10 after two events. But which driver will be able to maintain that position throughout the season? David Caraviello and Bill Kimm have their picks. Read their arguments and weigh in with yours in the comments below. And don't forget to vote for who you agree with more in the poll at the right.
Who will maintain his top-10 position in the points: Truex Jr. or Logano?
Truex Jr. (David Caraviello)
Michael Waltrip Racing made news last offseason with a pair of big-name additions, Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin. Both are great drivers, the former possessing all kinds of promise and the latter bringing in all kinds of experience. But neither is the true backbone of this MWR race team, a role that falls to Martin Truex Jr.
As the first two weeks of this season have shown us, the breakout performer at Waltrip may be the guy who's been there all along.
It's been a while since his lone Cup race victory, but don't let that hide the fact that Truex is capable of more than his results the past few seasons have shown. If there's a surprise driver in the top 10 right now who has the potential to stay there, it's the man inside the No. 56 car.
That's not to say Joey Logano isn't talented (clearly he is) and doesn't drive for the more accomplished race team (clearly he does). But MWR has always been a sleeper, and now the pieces may be coming together. Before, you could argue that Truex's team was holding him back. Now this revamped outfit is turning out better parts and pieces, and nobody stands to benefit from that more than Truex.
Two races don't make a season. But good starts are crucial, and Truex is in the midst of one. Now it's on to Las Vegas, where he finished sixth last year. An MWR driver just might snag a Chase spot this year, but it might not be the one everyone thought.
Logano (Bill Kimm)
The Joey Logano we are seeing right now -- the one who is eighth in points thanks to two solid top-10 finishes -- this is the Logano we were supposed to see the past two seasons. For whatever reason, Logano hasn't lived up the lofty expectations placed on him when he came into this sport at 18 years of age. But all that changes in 2012, and for a multitude of reasons.
First, this is his fourth year in the Cup Series and he now has the experience needed to jump to that next level as a driver. Just look at Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, both had huge seasons in their fourth Cup year.
Second, this is a contract year for the young driver. Logano's contract with JGR expires after this season, and if he wants to stay with the team and stay with Home Depot, he is going to have earn it.
Third, and most importantly, the No. 20 team is now "his." When Logano took control of the No. 20, everything else remained as if Tony Stewart were still in the car. Greg Zipadelli stayed on as crew chief; the team remained the same, just the driver changed. This year, Zippy left to be with Stewart and Logano has proven winner Jason Ratcliff calling the shots. This partnership is already proving it has what it takes to be successful, and I expect nothing less as the season progresses.
Truex has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, but in my mind Logano is legit, and he will be in the Chase discussion come September.