The West Coast Swing for NASCAR’s Cup and Xfinity Series’ and Harrison Burton’s breakthrough Xfinity Series win at Auto Club Speedway is at the center of this week’s hot topics. Las Vegas is first on West Coast schedule, with Auto Club Speedway the mid-point, and Phoenix at the close. How significant is the West Coast Swing to the rest of the season? Read Andy Laskey’s views, then post your thoughts in the comment section below.
Is the West Coast Swing Indicative of the Whole 2020 Season?
The short answer is no, it’s not.
While it’s clear that the two most competitive teams to start the year have been Team Penske and Hendrick Motorsports, it should be noted that other teams haven’t been able to change or do much to improve their cars. Cars for the west coast races were likely prepared before the season even began making it difficult for teams to make any sort of significant changes in areas that can be improved upon.
When NASCAR returns to the east coast in the coming weeks at Atlanta and Homestead, it’s reasonable to expect that teams who have struggled to start 2020 will go there with something other than what they brought to the west coast. Expect some new players at the top of the running order in the coming weeks and look for the teams of Stewart Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing to improve as time goes on.
A much clearer picture of who the true players are should start to take shape at the end of the month, after NASCAR runs Atlanta, Homestead, and Texas. The sport is ever-evolving and you can bet the powerhouse teams that have started the season slow will continue to improve and get back to their winning ways.
Harrison Burton Scores First Career Xfinity Win
It’s always a milestone when a driver earns their first career NASCAR national series victory. Yet this victory seems to solidify the presence of Harrison Burton as a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver for Joe Gibbs Racing.
The driver of the No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota, Burton earned his first career win at Auto Club Speedway this past Saturday and the win puts him in the playoffs. This win is big as Burton came off a full-time Truck Series campaign that saw him go winless and miss the playoffs driving an entry for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Burton, however, did run a limited schedule last season in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in which he earned five top-tens in only nine starts.
Burton is off to a hot start this season with three top-fives and a win in only three starts. It validates that he not only belongs in NASCAR but may also become a serious threat to win the championship in his rookie season. He’ll be one to watch throughout the season.