Erik Jones and Aric Almirola have to be two drivers near the top of the list.

Which driver is most itching to turn that calendar to 2018?

GODSPEAK: Erik Jones because he has grown weary of being NASCAR's Rookie of the Year (three straight seasons).

KEN'S CALL: Lots of anticipation spread around the garage, but I'll say Aric Almirola, who must feel like he'll finally get a great chance to show his stuff.


Take a stab at that driver's numbers for 2018.

GODSPEAK: Jones gets that first Cup Series win, 15 top-10 finishes and makes the playoffs and wins NASCAR's Sophomore of the Year Award.

KEN'S CALL: For Almirola, let's say one win, a playoff berth, and maybe even a near-doubling of his career top-5s (currently at 11).


Will the new Petty-Childress alliance pay off for the No. 43 team?

GODSPEAK: I want to say this is the making of a super team, but it's a downgrade from Penske-Roush deal.

KEN'S CALL: At first blush, let's assume the 43 takes on the past competititiveness of RCR's No. 27 team.