Geoff’s Journal: Who’s the next first-time winner?

 

By Geoff Bodine
June 16, 2017

In the last year, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has seen five first-time winners; Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and now Ryan Blaney.

What more impressive is the fact all five winners come from five different organizations.

This shows there is a tremendous amount of talent across the U.S. and outside the country.

It’s great for the sport, because it shows how stout the competition is and how of a wide variety of drivers can win. It also shows that no one driver makes this sport.

WINNING YOUNG
The kids climbing behind-the-wheel professionally now are 18 or younger. I used to be one of those younger guys, but that didn’t happen till I was 32.

It took me a little longer to win. I was 35 years old when I won my first Cup race.

When I got in a full-time ride, I almost won a few times, but I had failures and miscues.

Today, these guys have some tremendous opportunities and they are taking advantage of them. It puts the pressure on the experienced drivers.

WINNING MORE OFTEN
I’d say pretty much everyone enjoys a first-time winner. But once you become a second-time or third-time winner, the competition isn’t as thrilled because that means you’re beating them.

What Blaney did at Pocono was great. I’m sure Kevin Harvick is happy with him winning, but I guarantee he would have rather passed him to win the race.

You get one win, and then nobody wants you to win again.

A lot of people say it gets easier to win after you do it once. It might appear that way after you win the second one, but it’s really tough.

However, all the first-time winners we have seen this year, they are only starting.

WHO WILL WIN NEXT?
One thing I don’t do: I try not to predict, because you never know what’s going to happen.

Of course, there could be another first time winner, you just never know when it will happen.

Look how Chris Buescher won last year, he happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I think the next first-time winner will be either Chase Elliott or Erik Jones.

If I was a betting man, I would bet they’re going to pull off a win this year. They’re both in great equipment and are super talented drivers. They are next in line.

ADVICE FOR ANY ROOKIE DRIVER
We’re all rookies at one point, but things never change.

Don’t try to get more out of the car than it has to offer.

Think about the moves you make, don’t get in a bad spot. Giving and taking is key, and there’s going to be a lot of times you need to give. If you don’t, you could end up in the garage, out of the race.

If you do all of this, you’re going to eventually start to run really well and end up in victory lane. You’ll have the respect of your competitors and of the fans.


DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the write

IMAGES
Jeremy Thompson/The Racing Experts Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts
Who will be the next first-time Cup Series winner?
No. 13 Ty Dillon
No. 19 Daniel Suarez
No. 24 Chase Elliott
No. 77 Erik Jones
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