This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Chase Elliott took advantage of his speed and the mistakes of his competition to grab his second win in the round of 12 and third of the season on Sunday in Kansas. Elliott's pace on Sunday was enough to hold off late charges from Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson to maintain momentum and maximize his position heading into the round of eight. The next three races, starting this week in Martinsville, represent the final elimination round of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series before the winner-take-all championship finale at Homestead. Elliott's recent wins give him the momentum once reserved for rivals Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch earlier this season and that could prove to be a pivotal advantage as the season enters its final four races.
Chase Elliott – Elliott took advantage of his uptick in performance by scoring his second win in the playoffs and his third this season. Elliott overcame the odds on Sunday to top the Ford-powered teams and remain mistake-free to come out on top for his first win at Kansas Speedway. In six Martinsville starts Elliott has one top-five and two top-10s. Many fantasy players will remember that he was nearly a winner at the track before contact with Denny Hamlin put him out of contention. We may be able to point to that moment as the turning point in Elliott's career that pushed him from contender to winner. He is beginning to look like a serious championship contender.
Joey Logano – Logano