MIAMI BEACH, Fla.— As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 took the stage to kick off Championship 4 Media Day at the Miami Beach EDITION, the tone was tense, but the vibe was chill, and the drivers teetered on a fine line of both anxiety and tranquility.
Hosted by Marty Snider from NBC Sports, the Championship 4 drivers Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin took the stage around the coveted Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy for a Q-&-A session with members of the NASCAR media on Thursday afternoon.
The usual questions arose from the crowd, the jokes were blunt but fun in nature, and the answers were expected, but well thought out.
“I think all of us have done this long enough to know that we all want to win for our own race teams, and do the things that it takes,” Harvick said. “I think there’s a lot of mutual respect for the guys that are sitting up here, and if you’re going to go up there and work, you might as well have fun.”
It seems clear that all four drivers have winning on their mind this weekend, but are making it a point to have fun in doing so.
“This is the ‘Old Guys rule’ group up here,” Hamlin said.
“Yeah, this is the ‘Big 3’ with the ‘New 1’,” Busch retorted. “Just like last year, and we got our asses spanked by the ‘New 1’.”
“I mean, if Kyle wasn’t here, I think the average age might be… 40?” Hamlin joked.
“You’re welcome,” Busch replied.
The artists formerly known as the “Big 3′, aka Busch, Truex, Jr., and Harvick, have all been mainstays in the Championship 4, and Hamlin was sure to acknowledge it.
“If you look at how many times these three have made it to the ‘Final Four’ under different rules packages, different cars, different everything, they are the standard, year in, year out,” Hamlin said. “I think it would be most gratifying if we did win because this is the best. This is by far the best in any category… it certainly would mean more because of that reason.”
Joe Gibbs Racing produced three championship contenders in 2019, and although they will all be competing against one another for the coveted title, Truex, Jr. doesn’t see anything different happening in the walls at JGR.
“As far as I know, nothing has really been discussed. I would imagine that it’s business as usual,” Truex, Jr. said when asked about it. “We do what got us here… I feel like it’s not going to be any different this weekend.”
“I agree,” Busch said.
Hamlin then nodded his head in agreement as well.
On Sunday afternoon, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the 2019 season comes to a conclusion, and one driver will be crowned as champion.
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