Who could be the next surprise NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner?
5. Jamie McMurray – again. McMurray’s Daytona 500 victory was a surprise only because it came in the first start of his return to Chip Ganassi’s organization. He now has four career victories, three of them on restrictor-plate tracks. But McMurray has never won two races in a season, and it’s been nearly eight years since he won on an unrestricted track. He has come close this year, finishing second at Charlotte and Darlington. If he wins a race other than the last restrictor-plate race at Talladega in October, it would count as a mild surprise.
6. Joey Logano. Logano was in the same boat with Reutimann before Reutimann won Saturday night at Chicago. His victory at New Hampshire last year came when he held the lead when rain came and shortened the race. Now he needs to win under normal circumstances to make it legit. He’s come close, finishing second at Martinsville and running near the front in several other races. He has the talent and equipment to pull off an upset before the season is over.
7. Martin Truex Jr. Truex, who has just one career victory in 2007, was the popular pick to be the big surprise this season. Jeff Gordon even picked him to make the Chase. He has been a disappointment, though he has run well at times and been the victim of bad luck. Reutimann’s triumph has to be some serious motivation for Truex and his Michael Waltrip Racing team. He could join his teammate by delivering a surprise victory.