NASCAR 101: Part 4 – NASCAR Teams & Key Drivers

A number of NASCAR teams are represented by just one driver. Teams vary in size and influence, with Hendrick Motorsport managing the current champion, Jimmie Johnson.

Other NASCAR teams of note, with the biggest rosters, include Stewart-Haas and Joe Gibbs Racing. Boasting excellent speed and power, the latter makes regular appearances in the Homestead finale.

SEE ALSO: Ford stays faithful to Stewart-Haas and Danica Patrick

Manufacturers

NASCAR teams race in a car from one of three manufacturers – Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.

Chevrolet

chev nascar

An all-American manufacturer, famed for ‘muscle’ cars, Chevrolet has long been an institution of NASCAR. As the manufacturer for Hendrick Motorsport, they have every reason to feel confident ahead of 2017.

Ford

Ford N
Source: Nascar

Though Ford has won 15 NASCAR titles to date, silverware has not been on the agenda in recent years. However, with stars such as Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano driving Ford cars in 2017, recent fortunes could improve.

Toyota

20-21 May, 2016, Concord, North Carolina, USA Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota Camry © 2016, Nigel Kinrade LAT Photo USA
Source: Autoweek

Toyota broke Chevrolet’s hot streak in 2016 with a strong Camry model. The JGR trio of Hamlin, Busch and Kenseth are set to do the Japanese manufacturer proud this year.

Ones to watch

Once more, all eyes will be on Jimmie Johnson, who gained his record-equalling seventh title back in November.

Johnson began his career back in 2002, winning his first title in 2006. That first title win sparked a run of four further consecutive titles. He was finally dethroned in 2011 by Tony Stewart, but regained the crown two years later.

With Hendrick Motorsport growing in stature once more, an eighth title is not beyond the realms of possibility for the 41-year old.

Despite missing out on a second successive title, nobody can ignore Kyle Busch. Although he could not maintain the momentum of 2015 into last season, he remains a pacy, dangerous opponent.

Kyle Busch always does NASCAR teams proud

Busch’s team, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), is set to further develop what is already the setup to beat. They should experience another successful season in 2017.

For an outside tip, a young driver by the name of Chase Elliott should impress us all this season.

In 2016, he enjoyed a strong debut season at senior level, even finishing second on one occasion. Also with Hendrick Motorsport, Elliott looks poised to get that first win and push on from there.

SEE ALSO: The moment Chase Elliott truly arrived in NASCAR!

Major NASCAR Teams and Drivers in 2017

Click through to the gallery to see the major NASCAR teams and their primary drivers for 2017.

See our weekly race previews here from 25 February