Dark horse to miss the NASCAR playoffs: Martin Truex Jr.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. had a bounce-back season in 2023 after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014 in 2022. He finished the 2022 season winless, but he responded in 2023 with three victories and a regular season title, his first since 2017 when he went on to win the championship.
But from mid-August throughout the rest of the season, the No. 19 team was largely invisible, and the driver who entered the playoffs tied atop the standings with the most playoff points suffered because of it, falling to 11th place in the standings by the end of the postseason without a single top five finish in the final 13 races.
Having missed the playoffs in 2022, even with a fourth place finish in the regular season standings, is it really far-fetched to suggest that he could miss them again in 2024?
After a run of four top two points finishes in five years — and five seasons of at least four wins in six — Truex has now finished back-to-back seasons outside of the top 10 in the standings, even though he was the betting favorite to win the 2023 title for much of the latter stages of the year.