5. Jimmie Johnson
Not only will Jimmie Johnson be without his
Maybe its just his age, or just the fact that better competition has reached the Cup Series, but Johnson just seems way out of place on the track today. Beyond that, he struggled to stay competitive last year, didn’t win a race and continues to be surpassed by teammate after teammate.
In the end, there’s nothing about this formula that screams success in 2019 and that’s exactly why he will likely struggle all season long. Of course he could always surprise us all with a win or two throughout the season, but anyone who thinks he is in championship form right now is diluting themselves.
4. Kyle Larson
Another driver that is most likely doomed to struggle is non other that Kyle Larson. Of course some might believe his slump was last season, there really isn’t anything that shows he and his team can improve heading into the 2019 season.
Think about it! Kurt Busch will be his new teammate and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, he now has to get used to driving a Chevrolet again. Furthermore, Chevrolet is still dealing with speed and handing issues, which could also be a huge obstacle for Larson.
3. Kurt Busch
Speaking of Chip Gannassi Racing and their performance woes, they now bring Kurt Busch into the fold, which seems to be a step down for the former Cup Series champion. In fact, with Jamie McMurray’s 20th place finish last season, 2019 might be a struggle for Busch
Beyond that, Busch has suffered a drop in performance over the course of the last few years and it doesn’t seem like a new ride is going to help that. Beyond all that, it will be his first time in a Chevrolet in several years, which is yet another strike against him
2. William Bryon
Its no secret that Chad Knaus has struggled to put Jimmie Johnson in victory lane in over a year, so what are his realistic chances of being able to do so with a young gun like William Byron? In fact, shouldn’t fans be setting realistic expectations for two men that struggled mightily in 2018?
Sure, Byron and Knaus might get lucky and reach victory lane once next season, but its not going to be the championship season everyone is looking for. Furthermore, with the woes Chevrolet is having, Byron’s lackluster performance so far and Knaus on a dry streak, what makes anyone think this will work?
1. Daniel Suarez
Act surprised if you want, but Daniel Saurez is the driver most in danger of being doomed to fail in 2019. Not only is that obvious from his pitiful performances at JGR the last two seasons, but also the scathing interview he gave about his time there after his release.
If nothing else, Saurez doesn’t seem to be able to take responsibility for his part in his performance. Beyond that, he is going to have to deal with some growing pains when moving from Toyota to Ford, which is also going to take some time to get used to.
With that being said, the problem with Daniel Saurez is simple. He honestly just hasn’t had the performance to back up his words. He also got in sponsorship trouble during his time at JGR, which is another reason why he should be considered damaged goods at this point in his career.
Whether it was the equipment and the changes at JGR that made Saurez unsuccessful remains to seen, but it seems much more likely that he just didn’t have the talent to fill the seat. In fact, with four top-fives 21 top-tens and one pole to his name, the answer is obvious.