This weekend's race at Sonoma will be the 16th points event of the season, marking just 10 races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup. There have been some great surprises this season, from Kevin Harvick continuing his top-2 finish streak to Martin Truex Jr. having the season of a lifetime. This season looks to be a solid one, but for every surprise there have been plenty of disappointments thus far in 2015, and that is the topic of my blog today.
Before I start I want to define what I consider a disappointment. A disappointment in NASCAR to me is when a driver does not compete at the level I have expected or wanted them to run. This will be personal disappointments to me, so some may not agree. I am going to pick my top 3 disappoints of the 2015 season. So lets get started.
The biggest disappointment of this season thus far for me is the lack of performance out of 3-time Champion, Tony Stewart. Stewart has had a rough last few seasons, before the tragic incident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. in 2014, Stewart sat out 15 events in 2013 due to a major leg injury. Smoke hasn't been smoking for quite some time. I myself have never been a huge Tony Stewart fan, but I can say for sure that NASCAR fans miss the Rushville Rocket mixing it up in the front of the pack. After 15 events Stewart has a 26.2 average finish, with just 1 top-10 at Bristol. Stewart is in the middle of the worst slump of his career and currently sits 26th in points. The summer is coming which use to be known as Stewart season, but a win is the only way I can see the #14 team being even close to qualifying for the Chase.
Second, as a fan of the 4-time Sprint Cup champion, I am disappointed in the performance of Jeff Gordon. Gordon has an average finish just outside the top-15 (15.5), and has only scored 2 top-5's thus far. 'Big Daddy' as the call him has scored 8 top-10's but just hasn't performed at the level everyone expected considering this is his last full season. Honestly, Gordon just doesn't seem to have that spark this season. There is still plenty of time and I am confident he will make the Chase either by winning or points, but as a fan I wanted this season to be special. Gordon has been his own opposition this season with mistakes at Martinsville and Talladega, but still needs a little more from his car to make the jump to victory lane. I do believe things will get a little better and Gordon will make the post season, but as a fan I wanted something a little more from ole 4-time by this point in the season.
Lastly, my third disappoint of the season is Kyle Larson. I was among the many fans just waiting for the 22-year-old to find victory lane last year. Larson has been hyped up to be the future of the sport (which I think he will be), but has had sort of a Joey Logano like effect (both drivers were hyped up to be the next Jeff Gordon, but didn't run as expected). Larson had many bright moments last season, and if he had made the Chase, could have made it to the 3rd round due to his great performance the first half of the post season. In 2015, Larson has gone a little stale. The sophomore slump is in effect as the #42 team sits 18th in points with an 18.3 average finish. Larson has just 5 top-10's, which have been enough to keep him in Chase contention, but aren't good enough for me. I do like Larson and think he can still be the next big thing, but with so much hype I expected the young driver to surprise many this year and compete for wins and a championship. I know Ganassi is still not a premier team, but its shocking to think that in 2015 Jamie McMurray is the highest performing driver. Jamie Mac is a good driver, but I along with others were banking on 'LAR-SON!' having a bigger impact and emerging as a title contender.
There you have it! I want to know who has disappointed you the most thus far! As always thanks for reading!