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.

Who Wins, Who Gets Fired, And 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
ExpertTom BowlesNikki KroneToni Heffelfinger
TitleManaging EditorAssistant EditorAssistant Editor
1stTony StewartJeff GordonMatt Kenseth
2ndKevin HarvickCarl EdwardsTony Stewart
3rdJimmie JohnsonJeff BurtonJimmie Johnson
4thJeff GordonKevin HarvickKevin Harvick
5thCarl EdwardsMatt KensethJeff Gordon
6thGreg BiffleDenny HamlinKasey Kahne
7thKasey KahneDale Earnhardt Jr.Carl Edwards
8thKyle BuschJimmie JohnsonDale Earnhardt Jr.
9thRicky RuddTony StewartCasey Mears
10thMatt KensethClint BowyerDenny Hamlin
11thJeff BurtonScott RiggsKyle Busch
12thDenny HamlinKasey KahneElliott Sadler
Rookie of the YearPaul MenardDavid ReutimannJuan Pablo Montoya
First Driver FiredJJ YeleyJJ Yeley or Mike BlissDavid Ragan
Why They Picked Their ChampionAfter 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
ExpertKim DeHavenAmy HendersonJeff Meyer
TitlePR CoordinatorDriver Interview CoordinatorSenior Writer
1stTony StewartTony StewartTony Stewart
2ndMatt KensethJimmie JohnsonCarl Edwards
3rdJimmie JohnsonDale Earnhardt Jr.Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4thKevin HarvickKasey KahneJeff Burton
5thJeff GordonKevin HarvickJeff Gordon
6thDale Earnhardt Jr.Matt KensethJimmie Johnson
7thJeff BurtonJeff GordonDale Jarrett
8thKasey KahneDenny HamlinBobby Labonte
9thRyan NewmanJeff BurtonGreg Biffle
10thCasey MearsCasey MearsDenny Hamlin
11thElliott SadlerKasey Kahne
12thCarl EdwardsTony Raines
Rookie of The YearPaul MenardJuan Pablo MontoyaPaul Menard
First Driver FiredDavid StremmeDavid RaganJohnny Sauter
Why They Picked Their ChampionStewart’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
ExpertBecca GladdenMike NeffCami Starr
TitleSenior WriterSenior WriterSenior Writer
1stKevin HarvickDale Earnhardt Jr.Tony Stewart
2ndDale Earnhardt Jr.Tony StewartKasey Kahne
3rdTony StewartJimmie JohnsonGreg Biffle
4thMatt KensethKevin HarvickMatt Kenseth
5thJimmie JohnsonCarl EdwardsJeff Burton
6thKasey KahneKasey KahneKevin Harvick
7thJeff BurtonMartin Truex Jr.Jimmie Johnson
8thJeff GordonJeff GordonCarl Edwards
9thKurt BuschGreg BiffleDenny Hamlin
10thRyan NewmanElliott SadlerJeff Gordon
11thDenny HamlinKyle BuschElliott Sadler
12thCarl EdwardsMatt KensethBobby Labonte
Rookie of the YearJuan Pablo MontoyaJuan Pablo MontoyaJuan Pablo Montoya
First Driver FiredAJ AllmendingerJamie McMurraySterling Marlin
Why They Picked Their ChampionRCR 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
ExpertMatt McLaughlinBeth LunkenheimerTommy Thompson
TitleContributing WriterContributing WriterContributing Writer
1stTony StewartTony StewartJimmie Johnson
2ndJimmie JohnsonKurt BuschGreg Biffle
3rdKasey KahneKasey KahneMatt Kenseth
4thDenny HamlinKyle BuschTony Stewart
5thKevin HarvickKevin HarvickJeff Gordon
6thJeff GordonDale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff Burton
7thDale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff GordonKurt Busch
8thMatt KensethRyan NewmanRyan Newman
9thCarl EdwardsMatt KensethDenny Hamlin
10thGreg BiffleDenny HamlinJamie McMurray
11thKurt BuschCasey MearsCasey Mears
12thBobby LabonteDavid ReutimannJoe Nemechek
Rookie of the YearJuan Pablo MontoyaDavid ReutimannJuan Pablo Montoya
First Driver FiredDavid StremmeJamie McMurrayTony Raines
Why They Picked Their ChampionThis 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
ExpertVito PuglieseMeegan SweeneyMike Lovecchio
TitleContributing WriterContributing WriterContributing Writer
1stJimmie JohnsonDale Earnhardt Jr.Tony Stewart
2ndMatt KensethTony StewartJeff Gordon
3rdCarl EdwardsJimmie JohnsonKyle Busch
4thJeff GordonJeff GordonCarl Edwards
5thDale Earnhardt Jr.Denny HamlinJimmie Johnson
6thKasey KahneKevin HarvickKasey Kahne
7thKurt BuschJeff BurtonKevin Harvick
8thClint BowyerMartin Truex Jr.Jeff Burton
9thElliott SadlerClint BowyerMatt Kenseth
10thTony StewartMark MartinDale Earnhardt Jr.
11thKevin HarvickCasey MearsBrian Vickers
12thJeff BurtonBrian VickersGreg Biffle
Rookie of the YearJuan Pablo MontoyaPaul MenardDavid Ragan
First Driver FiredJamie McMurrayNoneJJ Yeley
Why They Picked Their ChampionNow 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
ExpertMatt TaliaferroRen JonsinFrontstretch
TitleContributing WriterPublisherMost Popular Staff Picks
1stTony StewartTony StewartTony Stewart
2ndJimmie JohnsonDale Earnhardt Jr.Jimmie Johnson
3rdMatt KensethKevin HarvickKasey Kahne
4thGreg BiffleJeff GordonKevin Harvick
5thKevin HarvickJeff BurtonJeff Gordon
6thDale Earnhardt Jr.Denny HamlinDale Earnhardt Jr.
7thJeff GordonCarl EdwardsJeff Burton
8thCarl EdwardsMatt KensethCarl Edwards
9thKasey KahneJuan Pablo MontoyaDenny Hamlin
10thJeff BurtonKasey KahneGreg Biffle
11thKyle BuschGreg BiffleKyle Busch
12thDenny HamlinDale JarrettCasey Mears
Rookie of the YearJuan Pablo MontoyaJuan Pablo MontoyaJuan Pablo Montoya
First Driver FiredJohnny SauterJamie McMurrayJamie McMurray
Why They Picked Their ChampionStewart 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.


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About Frontstretch Staff

Frontstretch Staff
The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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