NASCAR: Truex regular season champ; Logano, Earnhardt eliminated from post-season title

YouTube download / Martin Truex, Jr., answers questions at a press conference after his eighth place finish at Darlington, but allowed him to win the regular season championship and No. 1 ranking of 16 drivers competing for the 2017 Monster Energy Driver Cup Championship. Truex (#78) brushed the wall in the closing laps at Darlington as shown in the photo above.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The regular season of NASCAR's re-formatted Chase, which isn't the Chase any more probably doesn't resonate with the casual fan.

That Martin Truex, Jr. is the regular season champ is far less significant than who the two drivers who won't be vying for the 2017 Monster Energy Drink NASCAR Cup Championship: Dale Earnhardt Jr, winner of the 2004 and 20134 Daytona 500 races and Joey Logano, winner of the 2015 Daytona 500.

Earnhardt announced earlier this year he was retiring from driving though he left opened the possibility of racing in the 2018 Daytona 500.

Following his performance at Darlington, where he won the first two stages and finished eighth, Martin Truex Jr. captured the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series regular season championship. It doesn't mean much except he's the top seed among 16 drivers who will vie for what is now the pot-season. Even drivers eliminated continue to race. They are are just not eligible for crowning as the 2017 Monster Energy Drink NASCAR Cup Champion.

Truex' car owner, sees something special in his driver finishing the regular season on top. 

"It’s an honor to win the regular-season championship and a milestone for Martin and Furniture Row Racing," said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing. "At the end of the day, though, our sights are set on the long term-goal which is winning the championship at Homestead. We’ll use this regular season championship, and the bad luck the 78 team had at the end of tonight’s race, as a springboard to take us to that goal."

Martin Truex, Jr. / Headline SurferMartin Truex' car owner, sees something special in his driver finishing the regular season on top. 

Joe Garone / Headline Surfer"It’s an honor to win the regular-season championship and a milestone for Martin and Furniture Row Racing," said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, shown here.

"At the end of the day, though, our sights are set on the long term-goal which is winning the championship at Homestead. We’ll use this regular season championship, and the bad luck the 78 team had at the end of tonight’s race, as a springboard to take us to that goal."

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings:
1. #78-Martin Truex Jr., 2053 (4 wins)
2. #42-Kyle Larson, 2033 (4 wins)
3. #18-Kyle Busch, 2029 (2 wins)
4. #2-Brad Keselowski, 2019 (2 wins)
5. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2017 (3 wins)
6. #4-Kevin Harvick, 2015 (1 win)
7. #11-Denny Hamlin, 2013 (2 wins)
8. #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2010 (2 wins)
9. #21-Ryan Blaney, 2008 (1 win)
10.  #24-Chase Elliott, 2006 (0 wins, made playoffs on points)
11. #31-Ryan Newman, 2005 (1 win)
12. #41-Kurt Busch, 2005 (1 win)
13. #5-Kasey Kahne, 2005 (1 win)
14. #3-Austin Dillon, 2005(1 win) 
15. #20-Matt Kenseth, 2005 (0 wins, made playoffs on points)
16. #1-Jamie McMurray, 2003 (0 wins, made playoffs on points)

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.