Enterprise: Race in and get the same deals drivers and teams use

NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Who Wins, Who Gets Fired & Who’s The Best Rookie? Frontstretch 2007 Staff Predictions

Now that another new season is officially upon us, the time is here for our Frontstretch¬†staff to look like geniuses… or, more likely, make fools of ourselves with our season picks for who takes this year’s title.

Read on to find out who your favorite expert picked to not only win the Nextel Cup championship, but Rookie of the Year, as well as the one honor no one wants to take home… the official title of first Nextel Cup driver fired from their ride during the season.

2007 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Tom Bowles Nikki Krone Toni Heffelfinger
Title Managing Editor Assistant Editor Assistant Editor
1st Tony Stewart Jeff Gordon Matt Kenseth
2nd Kevin Harvick Carl Edwards Tony Stewart
3rd Jimmie Johnson Jeff Burton Jimmie Johnson
4th Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick
5th Carl Edwards Matt Kenseth Jeff Gordon
6th Greg Biffle Denny Hamlin Kasey Kahne
7th Kasey Kahne Dale Earnhardt Jr. Carl Edwards
8th Kyle Busch Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9th Ricky Rudd Tony Stewart Casey Mears
10th Matt Kenseth Clint Bowyer Denny Hamlin
11th Jeff Burton Scott Riggs Kyle Busch
12th Denny Hamlin Kasey Kahne Elliott Sadler
Rookie of the Year Paul Menard David Reutimann Juan Pablo Montoya
First Driver Fired JJ Yeley JJ Yeley or Mike Bliss David Ragan
Why They Picked Their Champion After missing the Chase in ’06, Stewart will be so driven in ’07 that he will take it all. He’s due! With a new wife and a baby on the way, some may think Gordon will be too distracted, but I believe putting his personal life in order was just the push he needed to claim another championship. Kenseth is still out to prove to NASCAR that he can win the championship under any format, and he has pretty much the only Roush team that has been immune to the personnel swap drama.
2007 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Kim DeHaven Amy Henderson Jeff Meyer
Title PR Coordinator Driver Interview Coordinator Senior Writer
1st Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Tony Stewart
2nd Matt Kenseth Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards
3rd Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4th Kevin Harvick Kasey Kahne Jeff Burton
5th Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick Jeff Gordon
6th Dale Earnhardt Jr. Matt Kenseth Jimmie Johnson
7th Jeff Burton Jeff Gordon Dale Jarrett
8th Kasey Kahne Denny Hamlin Bobby Labonte
9th Ryan Newman Jeff Burton Greg Biffle
10th Casey Mears Casey Mears Denny Hamlin
11th Elliott Sadler Kasey Kahne
12th Carl Edwards Tony Raines
Rookie of The Year Paul Menard Juan Pablo Montoya Paul Menard
First Driver Fired David Stremme David Ragan Johnny Sauter
Why They Picked Their Champion Stewart’s 2006 got sidetracked with an injured shoulder, but by the end of the year he was as good as anyone out there. With his whole team intact and Stewart focused for ’07, there’s no reason to think the No. 20 team can’t rebound quickly towards a third championship in six years. Stewart’s streaky, but usually hits his high mark right in the middle of the Chase – he’ll make it in this year, and then he’ll be trouble for everybody else. Stewart is just going to “toy” with the rest of the field all year! When they reset the points for the Chase, Tony will be at least 70 points ahead, making a mockery of the whole Chase ‘restructure’ in general.
2007 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Becca Gladden Mike Neff Cami Starr
Title Senior Writer Senior Writer Senior Writer
1st Kevin Harvick Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Stewart
2nd Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Stewart Kasey Kahne
3rd Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson Greg Biffle
4th Matt Kenseth Kevin Harvick Matt Kenseth
5th Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards Jeff Burton
6th Kasey Kahne Kasey Kahne Kevin Harvick
7th Jeff Burton Martin Truex Jr. Jimmie Johnson
8th Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards
9th Kurt Busch Greg Biffle Denny Hamlin
10th Ryan Newman Elliott Sadler Jeff Gordon
11th Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch Elliott Sadler
12th Carl Edwards Matt Kenseth Bobby Labonte
Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya
First Driver Fired AJ Allmendinger Jamie McMurray Sterling Marlin
Why They Picked Their Champion RCR engineers will be ahead of the learning curve for the Car of Tomorrow, giving Harvick just enough of an edge in the Chase to put him on top. Junior’s team finally puts all of the pieces in place, forcing Teresa’s hand and ultimately giving Junior a stake in the company. Catching fire, the No. 8 team then romps to its first Nextel Cup title. Smoke has the tendency to get hot and go on a winning streak. I think the new bonus points for wins will be key for the No. 20 team as Stewart heads toward his third Cup title.
2007 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Matt McLaughlin Beth Lunkenheimer Tommy Thompson
Title Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer
1st Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson
2nd Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch Greg Biffle
3rd Kasey Kahne Kasey Kahne Matt Kenseth
4th Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch Tony Stewart
5th Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Jeff Gordon
6th Jeff Gordon Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Burton
7th Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch
8th Matt Kenseth Ryan Newman Ryan Newman
9th Carl Edwards Matt Kenseth Denny Hamlin
10th Greg Biffle Denny Hamlin Jamie McMurray
11th Kurt Busch Casey Mears Casey Mears
12th Bobby Labonte David Reutimann Joe Nemechek
Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Montoya David Reutimann Juan Pablo Montoya
First Driver Fired David Stremme Jamie McMurray Tony Raines
Why They Picked Their Champion This year, it’s more difficult than ever to handicap the field. With the CoT as a wild card and the new Chase format, you might as well throw darts at a board. After a disappointing end to the regular season, Stewart found himself missing the playoffs, and will be ready to show everyone it was just a one-time thing. There’s no reason not to expect Johnson to continue his winning ways. Johnson, Chad Knaus, and the No. 48 crew are intact and in championship form.
2007 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Vito Pugliese Meegan Sweeney Mike Lovecchio
Title Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer
1st Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Stewart
2nd Matt Kenseth Tony Stewart Jeff Gordon
3rd Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch
4th Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards
5th Dale Earnhardt Jr. Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson
6th Kasey Kahne Kevin Harvick Kasey Kahne
7th Kurt Busch Jeff Burton Kevin Harvick
8th Clint Bowyer Martin Truex Jr. Jeff Burton
9th Elliott Sadler Clint Bowyer Matt Kenseth
10th Tony Stewart Mark Martin Dale Earnhardt Jr.
11th Kevin Harvick Casey Mears Brian Vickers
12th Jeff Burton Brian Vickers Greg Biffle
Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Montoya Paul Menard David Ragan
First Driver Fired Jamie McMurray None JJ Yeley
Why They Picked Their Champion Now that he’s relieved himself of the Dan Marino syndrome, more titles will follow for Johnson, especially with the 10-race Chase format. Despite the distractions, I just believe it’s going to be his year. Stewart has a chip on his shoulder after missing the Chase last season.
2007 Chase For The Championship Picks
Expert Matt Taliaferro Ren Jonsin Frontstretch
Title Contributing Writer Publisher Most Popular Staff Picks
1st Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Tony Stewart
2nd Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jimmie Johnson
3rd Matt Kenseth Kevin Harvick Kasey Kahne
4th Greg Biffle Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick
5th Kevin Harvick Jeff Burton Jeff Gordon
6th Dale Earnhardt Jr. Denny Hamlin Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7th Jeff Gordon Carl Edwards Jeff Burton
8th Carl Edwards Matt Kenseth Carl Edwards
9th Kasey Kahne Juan Pablo Montoya Denny Hamlin
10th Jeff Burton Kasey Kahne Greg Biffle
11th Kyle Busch Greg Biffle Kyle Busch
12th Denny Hamlin Dale Jarrett Casey Mears
Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya
First Driver Fired Johnny Sauter Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray
Why They Picked Their Champion Stewart will have something to prove and, being the purest talent on the circuit, should adapt to whatever nuances the CoT throws at him better than most. 12 spots in the Chase allow the No. 20 team their perennial slow start AND a 10-race sprint to the championship once they hit their stride. Smoke was a clear pick by our writers to take home his third Nextel Cup title this decade.

 

Share this article

Frontstretch