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2024 NASCAR Cup championship goes to William Byron ... maybe

William Byron has won three times in the first eight weeks of the Cup season. Based on NASCAR history, it's time to crown him the champion ... or at least consider him one of the favorites.

There have been 10 Cup seasons since 1995 when a driver has won three races in the first eight weeks. Five of these seasons ended with that driver winning the championship.

NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400
NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400

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Two of these drivers achieved the feat multiple times while multiple others ended the year top five in points.

History shows that drivers with three wins in the first eight weeks of the season could be more likely to win the championship but the one-race format for the title could limit Byron's chances.

There have been three seasons in the current playoff format where a driver won three races in the first eight weeks. Only one driver went on to win the title. Byron could be the second.

Winners of three races in the first eight weeks since 1995

1995: Jeff Gordon was the first driver to achieve this feat. He won at Rockingham, Atlanta and Bristol in the first six weeks of the season. Gordon went on to win seven races and the championship.

1996: Gordon won at Richmond, Darlington and Bristol in the first six races of the season. He finished second in the championship standings after winning 10 races.

1997: Gordon kicked off the year by winning the Daytona 500. He then won at Rockingham, Bristol and Martinsville in the first eight weeks of the season. Gordon won 10 races and the 1997 championship.

2001: Dale Jarrett was the second driver to win three races in the first eight weeks of the season. He won at Darlington, Texas and Martinsville. Jarrett won four times in 2001 and ended the year fifth in the championship standings.

2007: Jimmie Johnson delivered his own 10-win season in 2007. He won at Las Vegas, Atlanta and Martinsville in the first six weeks of the season. He added seven more wins and closed out the season with his second consecutive championship.

2008: Johnson won his third championship in 2008 but it was Carl Edwards who won three times in the first eight races. He won at Fontana, Las Vegas and Texas. Edwards went on to finish second in the Cup championship standings after a nine-win season.

NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400
NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400

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William Byron has two wins in the last three Cup races.

2010: Johnson won the championship for the fifth straight time in 2010 after a six-win season. Three of these wins — Fontana, Las Vegas and Bristol — were in the first five weeks of the season.

2018: Kevin Harvick put on a show early in the 2018 season. He won three races — Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix — in the first four weeks of the season. He then reached the Championship 4 after winning five more times. Harvick ended the year third in the Cup standings while Joey Logano won the season finale and the championship.

2019: Three different drivers won the first three races of the 2019 season but it was Kyle Busch who then won three of the next five. He captured trophies at Phoenix, Fontana and Bristol. Busch won five races and the championship that season.

2024: Byron kicked off the year by winning the Daytona 500. He then won the sixth race of the season — Circuit of the Americas. The eighth race of the season — Martinsville — was the site of Byron's latest win. Will he win the championship? Only time will tell.