The Frontstretch: Who'll Win It? 2010 Fearless Chase Predictions by Frontstretch Staff -- Thursday September 16, 2010

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Who'll Win It? 2010 Fearless Chase Predictions

Frontstretch Staff · Thursday September 16, 2010

 

The seventh edition of NASCAR’s Chase is upon us, and the vibe amongst garage insiders is that this year’s version won’t disappoint. With six, seven, maybe eight drivers with a realistic chance at taking home the hardware, more people than ever have stepped up and dared to say Jimmie Johnson’s historic reign of dominance is over.

Or is it? Our experts have pored over all the data and have their yearly picks in order, hoping their crystal ball will help you find some answers on J.J. and the rest of the Chasers. Read below for the inside scoop from the writer you trust on who’s finishing where!

2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Tom Bowles Phil Allaway Toni Montgomery
Title Editor-In-Chief Newsletter Editor Senior Editor
1st Jimmie Johnson Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick
2nd Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch
3rd Tony Stewart Denny Hamlin Jeff Gordon
4th Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Carl Edwards
5th Kurt Busch Jeff Burton Greg Biffle
6th Carl Edwards Carl Edwards Tony Stewart
7th Kevin Harvick Jeff Gordon Clint Bowyer
8th Jeff Burton Tony Stewart Kyle Busch
9th Clint Bowyer Clint Bowyer Denny Hamlin
10th Greg Biffle Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson
11th Jeff Gordon Greg Biffle Jeff Burton
12th Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth
Darkhorse Title Pick Jeff Burton Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Juan Pablo Montoya Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 9 of 12 8 of 12 7 of 12
Why They Picked How They Did As I said on SI.com, the reigning four-time champ leads the circuit with 1,083 laps led, has five victories in 26 races and charges into the postseason with back-to-back top-5 finishes. Tell me again how he’s lost his mojo? I think Hamlin will make a race of it, but ultimately Joe Gibbs Racing will make that one crucial mistake they do every year. Biggest surprise: I expect Jeff Burton to make some noise, hang in the top 3 through halfway and be this year’s version of Cinderella. That’s where Juan Pablo was last year, but I think he’ll like this Chase better: I see his first ever oval track Cup win happening this Fall. I just do not think that Johnson’s going to get it done again this year. Granted, his form over the past couple of weeks has been excellent, but it’s way too early to just give him the title. Too many things can happen, and Harvick’s been the model of consistency throughout the regular season. If NASCAR is to be believed, they’re not going to throw drivers in the penalty box for rubbing up against a Chaser like they might have been more willing to do in the past – keep that in mind. As a result, I’m only 35% sure of this order. The bottom two guys I think are just about locked in, but the other spots are all up for grabs. And look out for Carl Edwards: if he can keep up that summer performance, it will go a long way in the points. Look for EGR teammates Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya to possibly steal one race apiece as well. Why? ‘Cause Eeny Meenie says so. And it really liked Harvick — apparently it’s really hard to close your eyes, randomly move the mouse, and not land on the same guy over and over. Either that, or he really is supposed to win this deal.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Matt Taliaferro Amy Henderson Tony Lumbis
Title Senior Editor Senior Editor Marketing Director
1st Jimmie Johnson Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin
2nd Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Jimmie Johnson
3rd Kyle Busch Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards
4th Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick
5th Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Tony Stewart
6th Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch
7th Carl Edwards Kurt Busch Jeff Gordon
8th Kurt Busch Greg Biffle Greg Biffle
9th Jeff Burton Carl Edwards Jeff Burton
10th Greg Biffle Jeff Burton Clint Bowyer
11th Clint Bowyer Clint Bowyer Kurt Busch
12th Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth
Darkhorse Title Pick Carl Edwards Tony Stewart Carl Edwards
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Juan Pablo Montoya Jamie McMurray Juan Pablo Montoya
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 10 of 12 10 of 12 9 of 12
Why They Picked How They Did Why: Why? Do I really have to explain? Johnson and Knaus have won it four years in a row, and sure, that run has to come to an end at some point. However, no team in any sport has a playoff format figured out better than the No. 48 team has the Chase down. If you’re betting against them, it’s only to be different, and that’s not a valid reason in my book. Hamlin has been the Chase favorite since day one, and with Jimmie Johnson mailing it in the past few weeks, there’s no reason to think that Hamlin won’t ride the wave of his sixth win all the way to the head table in Vegas. As for those outside the top 12, McMurray could easily grab a couple of wins – and the points that go with them – in the final ten with no pressure to do anything but go for broke. Last year, I didn’t think Jimmie Johnson could take it all because the odds were against him. I was wrong, but I’m following the same logic again. More importantly, though, I think Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 team have lost enough to know how to win one. However, Carl Edwards has been getting stronger, and there could be just enough mile-and-a-half tracks to pick up a few much-needed wins and vault the No. 99 team to that elusive championship. Finally, riding a string of five straight top-5 finishes, Juan Pablo Montoya is about the only driver outside of the top 12 who is displaying any type of consistent momentum.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Bryan Davis Keith Mike Lovecchio Beth Lunkenheimer
Title Assistant Editor Assistant Editor Assistant Editor
1st Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch
2nd Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson
3rd Kyle Busch Tony Stewart
4th Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch
5th Denny Hamlin Jeff Gordon
6th Kevin Harvick Denny Hamlin
7th Tony Stewart Kevin Harvick
8th Carl Edwards Carl Edwards
9th Clint Bowyer Greg Biffle
10th Matt Kenseth Clint Bowyer
11th Jeff Burton Matt Kenseth
12th Greg Biffle Jeff Burton
Darkhorse Title Pick Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 9 of 12 9 of 12
Why They Picked How They Did Does anyone out there that isn’t a Johnson fan really think that anything is different this year from the last four? The No. 48 makes the Drive For Five happen. Behind them, the second they win the No. 24 becomes very relevant in this Chase; and between the plate race at Talladega and the Charlotte night race, the No. 1 will be back in Victory Lane at least one more time this season. I know I should probably be picking Jimmie Johnson, since he and the entire No. 48 team tend to wake up right about now each year – but I stand behind my preseason pick of Kurt Busch. Following the late-season improvement last season with Pat Tryson at the helm, Steve Addington walked in, and the No. 2 team seemed to pick up right where they left off at the end of 2009. Add in the improvement in the elder Busch brother’s communication style with his crew chief, and you’ve got a dynamic duo armed with the mentality to take the trophy at Homestead-Miami.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert S.D. Grady Mike Ravesi Vito Pugliese
Title Assistant Editor Fantasy Writer Senior Writer
1st Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson
2nd Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin
3rd Kevin Harvick Carl Edwards
4th Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick
5th Jeff Gordon Greg Biffle
6th Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon
7th Clint Bowyer Jeff Burton
8th Kurt Busch Tony Stewart
9th Greg Biffle Kurt Busch
10th Jeff Burton Clint Bowyer
11th Tony Stewart Matt Kenseth
12th Matt Kenseth Kurt Busch
Darkhorse Title Pick Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Brad Keselowski Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 8 of 12 8 of 12
Why They Picked How They Did It’s still the Chase, and the Johnson/Knaus juggernaut is about to be brought out of the closet for these last 10 races. Thinking that anybody else has the perfect combination of driver/crew chief/team/equipment is foolish…as has been proven to me repeatedly these past few years. But watch for Keselowski; like a bad penny, he’s gonna end up in the middle of some kind of on-track incident and people will be ticked with him. So goes my rookie’s year. And as for Gordon … hope springs eternal in this No. 24 fan’s heart. Yeah, big surprise here. Try as NASCAR may to convince everybody that this is the closest Chase field ever – it isn’t. The No. 48 team is still the class of the field, the team to beat, and the group who has mastered how to race The Chase to perfection. Make whatever analogies to other sports teams you want; The Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Braves, or Ohio State – but the regular season fades into obscurity when it comes time to line ‘em up for the final go round. Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team has finally come of age and will prove a worthy contender to the No. 48, but there will likely be one small hiccup or miscue that dashes their chances late – very late – in the homestretch. And although Kevin Harvick led the points nearly all season, he will prove to be the 2009 Tony Stewart of 2010. Jeff Burton will finish seventh because that’s where he runs every week, while Kyle Busch will suffer yet another lackluster Chase appearance. Will there be a darkhorse to come out of this field of 12 and upset the apple cart? In short, no. Carl Edwards could pose a threat with his recent momentum, but I have a hard time believing that we’ve seen everything Jimmie and Chad have to offer that will allow that to be a possibility. Biggest Spoiler? Oh that’s easy, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Why? Either he will win Talladega and single-handedly over-shadow the final three weeks of Chase racing, or his continued descent into irrelevance will continue, again dominating racing coverage of what was supposed to be the closest Chase since the eight-point margin of 2004. Except it won’t be.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Mike Neff Jeff Meyer Matt McLaughlin
Title Senior Writer Senior Writer Senior Writer
1st Jimmie Johnson Kevin Harvick Denny Hamlin
2nd Kyle Busch Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson
3rd Greg Biffle Jimmie Johnson Kevin Harvick
4th Tony Stewart Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch
5th Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Kurt Busch
6th Denny Hamlin Jeff Burton Tony Stewart
7th Kurt Busch Kurt Busch Greg Biffle
8th Jeff Burton Kyle Busch Jeff Gordon
9th Jeff Gordon Clint Bowyer Carl Edwards
10th Carl Edwards Denny Hamlin Jeff Burton
11th Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth
12th Clint Bowyer Greg Biffle Clint Bowyer
Darkhorse Title Pick Kurt Busch Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Jamie McMurray Brad Keselowski Ryan Newman
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 8 of 12 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick) 9 of 12
Why They Picked How They Did Jimmie Johnson is still the man to beat. He and Chad Knaus both admitted they were experimenting all summer, and have finally come up with a package that took the best of what worked and discarded the rest. They started working with that package at Atlanta, and how did it turn out? Two straight top-3 finishes. Kyle Busch finally seems to have figured out how to bring it home with a quality finish when he can’t win. The rest of the top 12 can end up in just about any order, but Biffle seems like the only Roush car that has actually figured out how to win, which will make him the better of the Roushketeers. Hamlin will have a bad race or two, and it will kill the teams’ momentum like it always does. Harvick is consistent, but he has been consistent while not winning for most of the year. As for Kurt Busch? No one is calling for him to win it, and that might just set the table for him to sneak in and steal it from the No. 48. Finally, Jamie McMurray will have a very good shot at bringing home the win at Talladega and might even snag the checkered flag at Charlotte as well. He’ll most likely end up in 13th if he can eliminate DNFs in the final 10 races. Why: Why not! Harvick’s been leading all year. Edwards, if he can keep up his consistent Top Ten finishes, could be the one with no wins to win it all, thus causing Brian France to replace the Chase with something even more bizarre and inexplicable. But really, if I could pick the finishing order, I’d use that skill for picking Powerball numbers, not something as silly as NASCAR!!!! I’ve got about three weeks left to ride the bike before Winter takes over. No time to bother with this all-singing, all-dancing Chase that should never be.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Doug Turnbull Danny Peters Kurt Smith
Title Senior Writer Senior Writer Senior Writer
1st Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson
2nd Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart
3rd Tony Stewart Kevin Harvick Carl Edwards
4th Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Kevin Harvick
5th Carl Edwards Carl Edwards Denny Hamlin
6th Kyle Busch Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch
7th Kurt Busch Kyle Busch Jeff Gordon
8th Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Jeff Burton
9th Greg Biffle Greg Biffle Kurt Busch
10th Jeff Burton Clint Bowyer Greg Biffle
11th Clint Bowyer Jeff Burton Matt Kenseth
12th Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth Clint Bowyer
Darkhorse Title Pick Carl Edwards Kyle Busch Carl Edwards
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 9 of 12 8 of 12 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick)
Why They Picked How They Did The Sprint Cup is Johnson’s until he loses it. The No. 48 team (along with winner Tony Stewart’s No. 14) aced AMS, the last 1.5-mile track before the Chase. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus know the Chase tracks and will own them. If he falters, Denny Hamlin has proven he can run up front consistently and take the point. Tony Stewart’s team is heating up and will surpass Harvick’s classic points system-leading No. 29 team, because Harvick’s nickel-and-dime-but-never-run-up-front method won’t work in the Chase. Carl Edwards is hot lately, but hasn’t proved he can outrun those in front of him. The Busch brothers’ seasons have been too up-and-down to be considered serious threats to the others. The non-Harvick RCR contingency has been mostly invisible this season, while Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth also have only shown flashes of brilliance at brief times. Second in classic points, Jeff Gordon will be the Chase’s biggest disappointment: he has no momentum heading in, and has proven that he can’t close the deal (recalling memories of the ’09 Phillies’ Brad Lidge) late in races. How can he close the deal on a season title then? This year seems to be the title that no one wants to win, because of the lack of laps led and few wins between the two season-long points standings front runners Harvick (three wins, not many laps led) and Gordon (zero wins, more laps led than Harvick) along with bad luck and inconsistency amongst the rest of the field. That makes it easy for the No. 48 to take control. Simply put: Johnson’s the man until someone steps up and proves otherwise. I’m not convinced anyone else can be consistent enough over the final ten races — when the pressure’s really on. It should, that said, be a pretty close fight all the way to Homestead. Thus far, Jimmie Johnson has historically stepped it up at this time of year. No disputing that. The No. 48 car is currently the only Hendrick team running consistently well; even in races where he finished poorly, he led quite a few laps. Denny Hamlin’s win at Richmond isn’t enough to convince me he’s going to be as strong — Richmond is a unique track, and there’s no other venues like it. Harvick is running well, but he needs to run better than he’s been in a Chase. Jeff Gordon has been falling off the pace and likely won’t recover in time. Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards, I believe, are starting to peak and may steal it. But nobody peaks in the Chase like Jimmie Johnson. Look for five in a row and more yawning.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert John Potts Jay Pennell Brock Beard
Title Senior Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer
1st Tony Stewart Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson
2nd Jimmie Johnson Kevin Harvick Denny Hamlin
3rd Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch
4th Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Kevin Harvick
5th Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Kyle Busch
6th Kyle Busch Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon
7th Carl Edwards Kyle Busch Tony Stewart
8th Kurt Busch Carl Edwards Greg Biffle
9th Greg Biffle Clint Bowyer Jeff Burton
10th Matt Kenseth Greg Biffle Carl Edwards
11th Clint Bowyer Jeff Burton Clint Bowyer
12th Jeff Burton Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth
Darkhorse Title Pick Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Kyle Busch will spoil someone else’s title A.J. Allmendinger Jamie McMurray
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 9 of 12 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick) 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick)
Why They Picked How They Did Don’t like this kind of deal, but gave it my best shot! Denny Hamlin has simply shown to be too strong throughout the entire year not to be looked at as the favorite, in my opinion. Mechanical failures and simple mistakes have cost this team, but they have proved when they can move past those mistakes they will contend week-in and week-out. I see Dover and Talladega as the biggest hurdle for this team, and if they can make it through these two events look out. But Jeff Gordon is my dark horse pick because I feel this team is too good to simply write off. They contended for wins at many of the tracks in the Chase earlier this year, and if they can find Victory Lane, look out. Gordon and the No. 24 bunch are a streaky type of team and when they win once, they typically keep winning. I chose A.J. Allmendinger as my spoiler because he now sees himself as the leader of Richard Petty Motorsports and feels he has something to prove. The team was strong in Richmond and his comments after qualifying that weekend showed he is not going to simply lay down for those in the Chase. Johnson will take the point lead at New Hampshire after a tough battle with Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin. He will not relinquish it: Game Over. Hamlin will struggle at Dover as he has in the past, but Kyle Busch will take the win after barely getting a Top 10 at New Hampshire. From there, I expect these four drivers (48, 2, 11, 18) to break away from the rest of the pack. Kyle will stumble at the mile-and-a-half tracks, where brother Kurt will capitalize to make it a three-car race for the Chase, eliminating Kyle. Kurt will hang on in third like Montoya did last year, but will fall back from a lack of Chase wins. Kevin Harvick will recover from an early Chase hiccup to creep into contention, but will only be able to get past Kyle Busch in the last two races. Everyone else in the Chase will struggle to find consistency during the entire 10-race stretch, with Gordon topping them all in sixth thanks to a popular win at Martinsville. Jamie McMurray may play spoiler, winning Talladega and possibly Charlotte, given his strong run in the 600.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Summer Dreyer Nick Bromberg Garrett Horton
Title Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer
1st Jimmie Johnson Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson
2nd Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick
3rd Tony Stewart Denny Hamlin Carl Edwards
4th Kyle Busch Jimmie Johnson Denny Hamlin
5th Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards Clint Bowyer
6th Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart
7th Kevin Harvick Clint Bowyer Kurt Busch
8th Kurt Busch Kevin Harvick Jeff Gordon
9th Greg Biffle Greg Biffle Jeff Burton
10th Clint Bowyer Kurt Busch Kyle Busch
11th Jeff Burton Jeff Burton Greg Biffle
12th Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth
Darkhorse Title Pick Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Clint Bowyer
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Jamie McMurray Joey Logano Juan Pablo Montoya
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick) 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick) 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick)
Why They Picked How They Did Like most, I refuse to be fooled by this recent talk of Jimmie Johnson’s “slump.” More than likely, he’s going to win multiple races in the Chase and once again find his way to the top of the standings. Just 10 points behind current points leader Denny Hamlin, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the four, going on five, champion to have the lead after the series leaves Loudon. I do think the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch could give him a run for his money, but ultimately Johnson is going to be the guy to beat. Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing have shown enough improvement the past few weeks to make me think he could finish in the top-5 in points. Keep an eye on Jamie McMurray, though. His dream season hasn’t ended yet. I’m taking Stewart because he’s been the best car at the intermediate tracks over the last 10 races, and he and Darian Grubb seem to be trending upwards. If he can be as strong as he was at Martinsville in the past — and I don’t mean the spring — to counteract JJ and Hamlin and avoid trouble at Talladega, he should win the Chase. As for a spoiler, Logano has continued to show consistent improvement. If he can be as consistently fast as the other two Gibbs cars, he could be the guy that everyone takes to make the Chase in 2011. While I believe that Johnson will make it 5 in a row, it appears the competition will be stronger than in years past. Harvick has displayed amazing consistency this season to where if Johnson slips up even once in the Chase, the 29 team will capitalize. As for Denny Hamlin, he needs to hope his summer slump doesn’t carry over into the final ten races and that the mechanical gremlins don’t show up any more this year. But watch out for Bowyer; if he can manage to win early in the Chase, he will be a contender, just like in 2007. Remember, Mark Martin barely squeaked into the Chase last year and finished second in the standings.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Kyle Ocker Dave Johnson Matt Carey
Title Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Podcast Host
1st Kevin Harvick Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch
2nd Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson
3rd Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards Denny Hamlin
4th Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart Tony Stewart
5th Kurt Busch Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick
6th Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Jeff Gordon
7th Tony Stewart Kevin Harvick Carl Edwards
8th Greg Biffle Denny Hamlin Clint Bowyer
9th Carl Edwards Clint Bowyer Jeff Burton
10th Clint Bowyer Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth
11th Jeff Burton Jeff Burton Kurt Busch
12th Matt Kenseth Greg Biffle Greg Biffle
Darkhorse Title Pick Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Carl Edwards
Spoiler (Best Non-Chaser) Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya Unsure
Correctly Picked How Many Chasers? 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick) 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick) 0 of 12 (Didn’t Pick)
Why They Picked How They Did Jimmie Johnson won’t win his fifth straight title this season — just because NASCAR isn’t going to script that into the Chase This year, NASCAR is going to show the old fans that consistency can still win you a title. Also, to again please the older fans, Jeff Gordon will finish higher than Johnson, proving the teacher can still race with the student. I pick Johnson because of the obvious reasons (four in a row, this is their time of year, etc). #2 Kurt Busch through #6 Kyle Busch are a toss-up, but I put them there because of either past championships and/or running well recently. #7 Kevin Harvick drops because he’s been Mr. Consistent, and I think hard driving will be favoured over consistent driving. The shock of not being talked about will throw them. #8 Denny Hamlin… just don’t see it happening. And the rest are just happy to have made the Chase. They’ve been quiet, and will stay that way. I picked Kurt Busch as a dark horse because he’s a past champion, has a win at a Chase track this year, and he seems a little calmer than Edwards. The spoiler, though, is Montoya. He’s got nothing to lose, can get aggressive… what a time for a first oval win. Despite a season on which is wasn’t “dominant” Jimmie is still the man to beat. This season, however, is the year to challenge the four-time champion. Kyle Busch is aggressive, hungry and a winner. This is his year to win it all. I think Kyle seals the deal at Homestead-Miami after winning 3 of the 10 Chase races.
2010 Chase For The Championship Picks
Frontstretch.com Top 12 (Based On Averages Of All Staff Predictions)
TABULATED WHEN ALL PREDICTIONS ARE IN

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Carl D.
09/17/2010 08:15 AM
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Staff…

Not a very good web design here… The comments below some of the staff members don’t seem to match their picks, and listing staff members who have no picks makes it all even more confusing. Or maybe it’s my Internet Explorer. I Dunno.

With the past four cup trophies sitting on Chad Knaus’ mantle, is there any reason to think he won’t take home #5? He’s got to be the favorite until someone beats him.

RaCoon Glenn
09/17/2010 09:33 AM
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Best non-chase driver: Dale Jr.

Hahahaha… ok I couldnt even type that with a straight face. When is danica going to show up and kick him out of his ride? Ir-regardless of his fan base, she could drive circles around him.

Carl D.
09/17/2010 10:58 AM
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RaCoon…

“she (Danica) could drive circles around him (Dale Jr)”

She can’t even drive around Morgan Shepherd.

RaCoon Glenn
09/17/2010 11:01 AM
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Like dale jr can?

babydufus
09/17/2010 11:37 AM
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jimmie
harvick
kurt
kyle
edwards
tony
gordon
denny
boyer
Kenseth
burton
biffle

dark horse: anyone but JJ

chase spoiler:
Brad K as he turns Edwards into the wall who collects denny ending both of their shots at the title and proving instant Karma’s gonna get ‘cha..
oh come… I can dream can’t I?

Carl D.
09/17/2010 11:41 AM
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RaCoon…

Not really a Dale Jr. fan but definitely not a Danica fan. She’s 95% marketability and 5% talent at best.

babydufus…

I’d love to see Brad K. be the spoiler but probation has his hands tied I’m afraid.

HankZ
09/17/2010 11:54 AM
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1st Jimmie Johnson
2nd Kyle Busch
3rd Kevin Harvick
4th Denny Hamlin
5th Tony Stewart
6th Kurt Busch
7th Carl Edwards
8th Jeff Burton
9th Clint Bowyer
10th Matt Kenseth
11th Jeff Gordon
12th Greg Biffle

DHP: Hamlin
Spoiler: ‘Dinger

24Crazy
09/17/2010 12:31 PM
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CarlD agreed on the web design-I’m on Safari…

As for the head honcho-Jeff Gordon puts JJ in his place at Hendrick …. You read it here 1st

Carl D.
09/17/2010 01:01 PM
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Randy…

Digger is cartoon gopher I’m sure you’re familiar with. ‘Dinger is short for A.J. Allmendinger.

RaCoon Glenn
09/17/2010 01:07 PM
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Come on guys! Digger doesnt actually race. He is a cartoon! How is he supposed to win the chase? Jeez! Use your heads.

NascarTuna
09/17/2010 02:41 PM
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Callin it right now (like gwen stefani), guarantee Danica will finish higher than jr in the points her first season in the cup series. That is… if they still let jr race.

Doug In Washington (State)
09/17/2010 03:15 PM
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When I made my season predictions, I got 9 of 12 in the chase (I had Martin, Logano, Newman making the chase) so I have to revise:

1) Johnson (was 1)
2) Hamlin (was 3)
3) Stewart (was 2)
4) Edwards (was 4)
5) Harvick (was 22)
6) Ku Busch (was 6)
7) Gordon (was 7)
8) Ky Busch (was 8)
9) Burton (was 20)
10) Kenseth (was 11)
11) Biffle (was 14)
12) Bowyer (was 12)

I didn’t change much from my pre-season picks; I swapped Hamlin & Stewart, plugged Harvick in where I had Martin, moved Kenseth up one (where I had Newman), plugging Burton where I had Logano, and Biffle where Kenseth had been before moving him up.

As for a “Spoiler”, that depends on the definition. Who will win the most Chase races but isn’t a Chaser? I was going to pick Kahne, but I think he’s treading water. Maybe Jamie Mac will win Talladega, and be the ONLY non-chaser to win a Chase race. The other definition of “spoiler” is who takes out a chaser, and I suspect it will be accidental, not intentional, and it’ll be Hornish.

MR.ED
09/17/2010 03:47 PM
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it pains me to say but JJ wins the title and who cares about 2nd thank goodness for DVRs

Razz
09/17/2010 11:28 PM
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Top 10s win championships.
But Johnson knows the game, so:
Top 3
Harvick, Kurt Busch, Johnson – odds are 1 of these drops lie a stone and finishes 8-10.
If ‘momentum’ actually means anything, Bowyer and Kyle Busch are hot, so I give them the nod for ‘darkhorse’ contenders from a group of 6 otherwise ‘equal’ chasers.
1. Harvick
2. Johnson
3. Bowyer
4. Edwards
5. Kyle Busch
6. Stewart
7. Gordon
8. Kurt Busch
9. Biffle
10 Burton
11 Hamlin
12 Kenseth

Dream finish: Montoya has 9 top 10s, 8 top 5s, and wins 5 races to make a complete mockery of the ‘Chase’. (OK, so it’s already mocked, but still … )

WaltB
09/18/2010 06:02 PM
permalink

I’ll have to love the irony if Kenseth’s team gets their act together and win 3 or 4 races.

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