With the new rules of NASCAR meaning that drivers have to have a win in order to qualify for the Chase it means that there is increasing pressure for drivers to get a win under their belts. Last week saw Jimmie Johnson get his first victory of the season, but there are still some top names that have not yet been able to secure a win including Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth.
Whether they are feeling the pressure is hard to know. Johnson had said that people were saying he should have been worried about not yet securing a win, before his win last week but he said that he was not feeling under pressure himself. He said that many people were shocked that his massive amount of wins, which he was being criticised for was suddenly dropped down to none this season but he said that he shrugged it all off. He said that the team was fortunate and has done well in the past and he doesn’t have to worry about people thinking that he cannot win this season and can move forward and work towards more wins.
Tony Stewart however, is the defending champion of the FedEx400 and is expected that he will behaving the pressure put on him instead, but he says that he isn’t that worried about it either. He has had a bunch of top five finished and Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick from his Stewart-Haas Racing team have already secured wins. This probably gives him confidence in his team and his driving to know that he is pretty close. He said that he has always had a win each season and so he is not panicking. He said he thought that everyone was learning this season with the new rules and that they are not worried about things.
Matt Kenseth was also taking it all in his stride explaining that every driver tries for a win each win and that is what they will continue to do. He explained that they wish they had one but it is not easy or else they would be winning each win. He said that he has been close to a win a few times but the speed is not quite there so they will work on that and try for a race with no mistakes so that they can give themselves the best possible chance.
Kahne and Bowyer have struggled rather more with few top ten finishes compared to their better performances last season. They still have six to eight weeks to go before they might start to worry though as there are still many opportunities for them to be able to qualify.