NASCAR Futures: The Best Bets To Win The NASCAR Sprint Cup Title In 2016

Nobody would have predicted a driver that had failed to win a Sprint Cup championship in his decade of racing would manage to overcome a broken leg and left foot and return to dominate the rest of the field and pull secure his first title. That is exactly what happened in 2015 but the past is prologue for what is to come next and with the 2016 season right around the corner the focus has already shifted to what is to come in NASCAR’s top division.

A look ahead

Kyle Busch took the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by storm a year ago, recovering from brutal leg and foot injuries in order to win a Cup championship for the first time in his career. The fact that Busch was able to overcome those injuries and return to win it all was impressive enough that it doesn’t make sense to count him out as a potential repeat champion but it is worth noting that there are only two drivers to repeat in the last 20 years and it will be even tougher to do it now with the new Chase format. Here is a look at the best bets to win the 2016 Sprint Cup title.

The Favorites
Kevin Harvick +500

Harvick was the victim of the new Chase format in 2015 as he was technically both the best and most consistent driver in the Sprint Cup Series and it wasn’t enough to win a title in the end. Harvick registered a series-best 28 top-10 finished including 23 in the top-five but his three wins were ultimately two fewer than Busch and his inability to get to Victory Lane down the final stretch ultimately cost him. Harvick will be looking for redemption in 2016 and with a greater emphasis on winning races in 2016 it really won’t surprise anybody if he finds a way to win it all.

Joey Logano +600

Logano appeared primed to make a run at another Sprint Cup championship in 2016 but like Harvick he ultimately fell short despite registering some impressive numbers. Logano’s six wins were the most in the Sprint Cup Series but consistency was an issue throughout the year and in the end it was Busch that dominated when it mattered the most. Logano is still just 25-years-old and he is one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR’s top flight so don’t be surprised if he is in the mix again next year as he looks to make a run at another Sprint Cup title.

Jimmie Johnson +700

It might seem hard now to remember a time when Johnson dominated the NASCAR’s top circuit but he has won six Sprint Cup championships and after a couple of relatively terrible seasons he should be poised to bounce back this season. It’s no secret that Johnson failed to win a title in each of his first two seasons under the new Chase format but after making progress in each of the last two years he will be eager to regain his title as the best in the business in 2016.

Kyle Busch +700

The fact that Johnson and Jeff Gordon are the only two repeat winners in the last 20 years of the Sprint Cup is testament to how difficult it is to do and Busch will certainly have an uphill climb repeating but when you consider what he was forced to overcome a year ago it’s impossible to completely write him off. Busch managed to recover from broken bones and missed time to win it all in 2015 and based on what he went through last year the road to repeating as Sprint Cup champion should technically be easier than winning that initial title.

Sleeper Pick
Kasey Kahne +2500

Kahne went through an incredibly difficult 2015 season but there is plenty of reason to believe that he can bounce back in 2016 and return as a legitimate Sprint Cup title contender. The first and most obvious point is that Kahne has done it before, but just as important is the fact that the Hendrick Motorsports stable struggled as a whole a year ago and is due to bounce back. Kahne has the talent to thrive at the highest level but his team will need to do a better job in preparation on week-to-week basis and consistency will be the key. The HMS team definitely fell short in 2015 but that will only serve as added motivation heading in to 2016 and Kahne will be among the best sleeper picks on the board to rebound and contend for a Sprint Cup championship.

Consensus Best Bet: Kevin Harvick +500