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NASCAR’s Most Underrated Drivers of the 2023 Season

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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Plenty of great driver performances have been highlighted this NASCAR season. However, some performances have flown under the radar. Who are some of the most underrated drivers of the 2023 season?

Cup Series: Christopher Bell

By the Numbers: 1 Win; 5 Top-5s; 11 Top-10s; 4th in Points

Breakdown: In the midst of a very solid season, Christopher Bell is quietly sitting in fourth in the points standings. He runs near the front week-in and week-out, and people forget about the clutch win at Martinsville last year to get him into the Championship Four. He has run well this season, but he also has proven he can work his way through the Playoffs as well. He is a Championship threat.

Xfinity Series: Parker Kligerman

By the Numbers: 0 Wins; 4 Top-5s; 9 Top-10s 12th in Points

Breakdown: Parker Kligerman has taken a race team with no wins and only one full-time season to the cusp of the Playoffs. He is having one of his best seasons he has ever had in NASCAR, and it is a season that has been a long time coming. After many years of part-time rides, Kligerman is now working his way into full-time driving once again, and he is running solid week-in and week-out.

Cup Series: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

By the Numbers: 1 Win; 2 Top-5s; 7 Top-10s; 14th in Points

Breakdown: Since winning the Daytona 500, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has had one of the best seasons of his career. He has the best average finish of his career, and he is on pace to break his career high in top-10s. He is not only a Playoff driver, but he could easily contend to make it deeper into the Playoffs.

Xfinity Series: Riley Herbst

By the Numbers: 0 Wins; 5 Top-5s; 9 Top-10s; 10th in Points

Breakdown: As much grief as some people give Riley Herbst, he is still a legitimate Playoff contender. He has more top-10 finishes than Chandler Smith and more top-5s than Sammy Smith, who are both above him in points. He may not have a race win, but he has been remarkably consistent this season.

Truck Series: Matt DiBenedetto

By the Numbers: 0 Wins; 1 Top-5s; 9 Top-10s; 9th in Points

Breakdown: After winning a race in the Truck Series one season ago, he followed that up with a Playoff season the next year. After having a difficult stay in the Cup Series, it seems that DiBenedetto has found a home for himself in the Truck Series. The potential for him in the Playoffs is endless given that he has found some consistency this season.

Many drivers have had good seasons this year despite not getting quite the recognition that they could or should. However, they have opportunities to make their good seasons special with a good Playoff run.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts