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Who Will Win The 2006 Chase? Frontstretch Weighs In

Now that the field is set, who will win the 2006 Chase for the Championship? Read below to find out who your favorite Frontstretch writer picked… and why.

Championship Picks
ExpertCami StarrTom BowlesKim DeHaven
1stMatt KensethMatt KensethMatt Kenseth
2ndKevin HarvickKevin HarvickKevin Harvick
3rdJimmie JohnsonKasey KahneMark Martin
4thDenny HamlinMark MartinKasey Kahne
5thJeff BurtonJeff GordonJimmie Johnson
6thJeff GordonJimmie JohnsonDenny Hamlin
7thKasey KahneDenny HamlinKyle Busch
8thDale Earnhardt Jr.Dale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff Gordon
9thMark MartinKyle BuschJeff Burton
10thKyle BuschJeff BurtonDale Earnhardt Jr.
Why They Picked Their ChampionKenseth proves that he can win titles in either format. He’s always been known for consistency, and this year he’s racking up the wins, too.Having struggled in the Chase the last two years, Kenseth is determined to prove he can win in this playoff format, which was created partly because of how he won the title three years ago. With wins at every type of track in the Chase except the superspeedways, this team’s ability to adapt to any situation that comes its way will make Kenseth difficult to beat, despite some stiff challengers.Kenseth will be the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion. Despite all of the changes to the point system, the driver crowned champion is the most consistent one. This season, Kenseth earned 13 top-five finishes. What makes this year any different then others? He has gone victory lane four times and has amassed more bonus points then eight of his nine Chase competitors. Kenseth has the resources, ability, a great team and momentum in his favor. These things will lead him to the 2006 championship.
Championship Picks
ExpertToni HeffelfingerDennis MichelsenAmy Henderson
1stMatt KensethMatt KensethJimmie Johnson
2ndKevin HarvickKevin HarvickMatt Kenseth
3rdJimmie JohnsonKasey KahneKevin Harvick
4thKyle BuschMark MartinKyle Busch
5thJeff BurtonDenny HamlinKasey Kahne
6thDale Earnhardt Jr.Jimmie JohnsonJeff Gordon
7thKasey KahneDale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff Burton
8thJeff GordonJeff GordonDale Earnhardt Jr.
9thDenny HamlinKyle BuschDenny Hamlin
10thMark MartinJeff BurtonMark Martin
Why They Picked Their ChampionKenseth has clearly shown the best form of anyone this season and he knows how to be consistent. Still feels he was the reason for the Chase and still determined to prove he can win a championship no matter what rules they throw at him.Kenseth and his DeWalt team have been the most consistent team this season. The news that NASCAR will be cracking down on the coil-binding setups used by other teams will help the Roush teams even more.Of the 10 tracks the championship will be decided on, Johnson’s average finish is third or better among Chase drivers at eight. The No. 48 team thrives under pressure, almost always producing an autumn to remember. Provided they get through Loudon with a decent finish and Talladega without incident, this team should ride the wave all the way to Homestead. Kenseth and┬áHarvick will be ready to pounce on any mistakes, though, so Johnson cannot afford to get down on himself if the team has one subpar race. If Team 48 keeps the mojo, they’ll win it all.
Championship Picks
ExpertJeff MeyerBecca GladdenMike Neff
1stMatt KensethMatt KensethMatt Kenseth
2ndKevin HarvickJimmie JohnsonKevin Harvick
3rdDenny HamlinJeff GordonDale Earnhardt Jr.
4thDale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff BurtonJimmie Johnson
5thJeff BurtonKevin HarvickKyle Busch
6thKasey KahneDenny HamlinDenny Hamlin
7thJeff GordonKyle BuschJeff Burton
8thMark MartinKasey KahneKasey Kahne
9thJimmie JohnsonDale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff Gordon
10thKyle BuschMark MartinMark Martin
Why They Picked Their ChampionKenseth is on a roll. The No. 17 team knows how to get things done and, more importantly, WHEN to get it done. Pit stops are second to none. In the end, Kenseth will eventually eclipse Gordon in championship rings, to be second only to the King and Dale Earnhardt Sr.Kenseth has consistency and momentum on his side, two key factors in winning the championship.Roush’s lead team is on a roll at the right time. Unless something disastrous happens, they will hoist the trophy in Homestead.
Championship Picks
ExpertJess NicholasTommy ThompsonBeth Lunkenheimer
1stMatt KensethMatt KensethKevin Harvick
2ndKevin HarvickJimmie JohnsonMatt Kenseth
3rdKyle BuschMark MartinDenny Hamlin
4thKasey KahneJeff GordonKasey Kahne
5thJimmie JohnsonKevin HarvickJimmie Johnson
6thMark MartinKyle BuschDale Earnhardt Jr.
7thDale Earnhardt Jr.Kasey KahneKyle Busch
8thJeff GordonDale Earnhardt Jr.Mark Martin
9thDenny HamlinDenny HamlinJeff Gordon
10thJeff BurtonJeff BurtonJeff Burton
Why They Picked Their ChampionAll the talk is about Harvick, but Kenseth took over the points lead from Johnson and this team is great when it’s running in front of everyone else – which is what’s happening now.Kenseth simply has no weaknesses. His team has been a cohesive unit for a long time, able to improve on their performances with no real setbacks or distractions. Plus, Kenseth has started to peak at the right time, just prior to the beginning of the Chase.Coming off of a win at Richmond, Harvick and the No. 29 team have just the right momentum to carry them to the title. Harvick has run with quiet consistency for the majority of the season; with three wins and 11 top-five finishes, Harvick is definitely looking like the car to beat.
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