As we all know, 2017 was dominated by one driver – Martin Truex Jr. Truex Jr had almost half of his 17 career wins last year, where he won 8 races and cruised to his first ever Monster Energy NASCAR Series Championship.
Several drivers had mediocre seasons, but have turned it around this year. I listed them 1-4, with 1 being the most improved.
4. Paul Menard: Since switching to the #21 Woods Brothers Racing Ford, Menard has been a completely different driver. We’re not even halfway through the season yet and Menard already has more top 10’s (4) then he did all of last season (3). He keeps getting better and better every week and currently sits as the 17th best driver, which is 6 spots better then last year when he was at 23rd.
3. Aric Almirola: Almirola is another driver who has benefited from a new car. He has bounced back from his injury filled 2017 campaign to post 6 top 10 finishes in 15 races. He only had 6 top 10’s in his 29 races all of last year.
2. Clint Bowyer: I had a pretty difficult time picking between 1 and 2. It was really close. My deciding factor came down to the difference in standings from last year to now. Bowyer had a down year last year with 0 wins and only 6 top 5 finishes. He is already off to a smoking hot start with 2 wins and 4 top 5 finishes in just 15 races. If he keeps it up, he may be in the running for a Series Championship at the end of the season.
1. Joey Logano: Joey may have had the worst year of his career last year. His one win didn’t count towards his playoff points due to a failed inspection. He only had 10 top 5 finishes which was 6 less than 2016. In 2017, he finished in 17th place which was 15 spots worse then his 2nd place finish in 2016. So far in 2018, he is in 3rd place, with a win and 12 top 10 finishes in 15 races. He has completely turned it around from 2017, which is why Joey Logano is my most improved driver of 2018.
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