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Top 3 limited-budget NASCAR Cup Series drivers at the 2020 Pocono 350

Image Reference: Dough4872 via Wikipedia, 10/6/17, CC BY 3.0

Looking at the results from today’s extra long Pocono 350, most of the Top 14 places belong to medium to large budget organizations.

But on this post, we honor the Top 3 drivers who deserved the most out of the limited-budget category.

Let’s find out right now.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Image Reference: Zach Catanzareti via Wikipedia, 9/5/18, CC BY 2.0

His No.47 Chevy may have fallen back a few spots towards the back end of the Top 10 mark at the start.

When Michael McDowell spun out midway in this opening stage, Stenhouse had to change his tactics with the late stop on pit road. So that’s not a worry at this stage.

What he wanted at the end of the day is just to survive and grab as many points as he can.

He did just that by remaining patient for the rest of the day the Top 20 mark.

Although, if it wasn’t for the constant Stage 2 carnages and rain holds, a possible Top 10 finish would’ve been there considering the equipment is decent to pull it off as best as possible.

But he’s happy to take the result & still finish within the lead lap in 15th.

John Hunter Nemechek

Nothing much has changed for him within the Top 25 for the entirety of Stage 1.

Though Nemechek did shift a change up the race field at the start of Stage 2, having forced his way inside the Top 20. 

Although, he dropped back a bit the first time around when Christopher Bell spun out.

But when another wreck involving Chris Buescher came out, it gave another chance for John Hunter to sort this out, which held on uninterrupted.

With under 10 to in Stage 2, another wreck this time from Kyle Busch brings up the yellow flag where he chose to stop. 

And despite finishing the day with a lap down after a caution-free run to the finish line, he’s happy to seal a Top 20 finish in P19.

Bubba Wallace 

Like John Hunter Nemechek, nothing much has changed in the opening stage closer to the Top 20 mark.

In Stage 2, having pitted beforehand, Bubba cycled back to the Top 10 mark.

But back to back cautions going into the midway distance saw a set again regarding the restarts, which affected his race position.

Though the late cautions in the lead up of the final stage gave ample time for Bubba to sort things out.

Yes, he may not have the fastest No.43 Chevy Camaro on display, where Bubba did have an extended run at the Top 15.

But he’s happy to survive in the end in 20th, unlike some drivers who unfortunately got marred by carnage along the way.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to reflect when some of the best limited-budget drivers have to settle outside the Top 14.

And it’s real considering how large the budget that both medium to big teams has got ahead of them.

It’s just the constant hold-ups in the first two stages that have halted some of their decent progress within the race car itself and focus on getting over the line strategy-wise.

But at the end of the day, you’ve got to credit these guys like Stenhouse, Nemechek & Wallace, who knocked their socks off based on the talent alone.

And I’m sure in the next few events, as long as they build a steady base from the start with the decent equipment and not get bulldozed along the way, then they will do well and pick up maximum points. 

For now, Let’s say these three best drivers, as mentioned, just far have tried their best & done okay today.

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