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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2015 Frontstretch Cup: Staff Predictions for the GEICO 500 at Talladega

Welcome to our eighth year of staff predictions! Each week, our experts attempt to tell you who the winner of each Cup race will be. Take a look to see who your favorite writers think will win it all (or at least score some points) this week!

Think you can out-prognosticate our staff? Leave your picks in the comments and see how they stack up!

 Prediction Scoring
+5 – Win
+3 – Top 5
+1 – Top 10
0 – 11th-20th
-1 – 21st-30th
-2 – 31st-40th
-3 – 41st-43rd

This week’s predictions: GEICO 500

Amy Henderson, Senior Editor: Casey Mears did right by me in Daytona. He’s underrated as a plate racer, too.
Jeff Wolfe, Senior Writer:
It’s always a crapshoot on who is gong to win these plate races so I’ll go with… Kevin Harvick.
Matt Stallknecht, Senior Editor: Can’t help but chuckle at all of you who are making picks out of a blind draw. I’ll take Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win in authoritative fashion, no luck or randomness necessary. Just for effect I’m gonna pick a full top 5: 1. Junior 2. Kenseth 3. Johnson 4. Ragan 5. Bowyer
Mark Howell, Senior Writer: Lady Luck will smile graciously on Clint Bowyer this weekend.
Joseph Wolkin, Senior Writer: I’m going with Landon Cassill this weekend. He’s been outrunning those he needs to all year long, and had two great runs at Talladega last year. 
Jeff Meyer, Senior Writer:
Carl Edwards.
Tony Lumbis, Financial Manager:
Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 team break through to get that win everyone is expecting them to get this year.
Zach Catanzareti, Contributing Writer: AJ Allmendinger will end his hate for plate racing and get the win.
Toni Montgomery, Senior Editor:
Joey Logano. I gave some absolute serious consideration to David Ragan.
Huston Ladner, Senior Editor: Da Biff: Greg Biffle.
Mike Neff, Short Track Coordinator: Dale Jr. Duh.
Matt McLaughlin, Senior Writer: Picking a winner at a plate track is like trying to pick which fantail guppy lasts the longest in a piranha tank. Thus I’ll go off the grid and pick Danica Patrick to win. If nothing else the conspiracy theorists would have a field day with saying she got an oversize plate to help attract a new sponsor. Guppies are sentient beings and should not be fed to piranhas.
Brett Winningham, Contributing Writer:
Earnhardt Jr.
Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer:
Juuuuuuuuuuunyer. It’s been a long time, and he’s been close again in the last few years.
Greg Davis, Senior Writer: I’m going with Kurt Busch (back2back)!
Phil Allaway, Senior Editor: Talladega is quite the toss-up.  Assuming that he gets in the field, I’m going with David Gilliland.  He’s got poles there in the past and that nice second behind Ragan.
Danny Peters, Senior Writer: Danica.

Toyota Owners 400

WriterPickFinishing PositionPoints
Matt McLaughlinKurt Busch1st5
Jeff WolfeKevin Harvick2nd3
Zach CatanzaretiKevin Harvick2nd3
Huston LadnerJimmie Johnson3rd3
Brett WinninghamJimmie Johnson3rd3
Joseph WolkinJamie McMurray4th3
Sean FeskoJamie McMurray4th3
Mike Neff Kyle Larson12th0
Toni MontgomeryDale Earnhardt Jr.14th0
Matt StallknechtDale Earnhardt Jr.14th0
Aaron BeardenBrad Keselowski17th0
Jeff MeyerCarl Edwards19th0
Tony LumbisCarl Edwards19th0
Amy HendersonDenny Hamlin22nd-1
Mark HowellDenny Hamlin22nd-1

Standings

 WriterPointsBehindStartsWinsTop 5Top 10
Matt Stallknecht219456
Jeff Wolfe18-39267
Mike Neff16-59156
Sean Fesko16-58156
Huston Ladner15-68246
Matt McLaughlin11-108244
Danny Peters11-108245
Tom Bowles11-106234
Brett Winningham11-107135
Jeff Meyer6-159114
Vito Pugliese6-158035
Joseph Wolkin6-159134
Zach Catanzareti4-178025
S.D. Grady4-176024
Amy Henderson3-189224
David Ifeguni3-181011
Phil Allaway2-193011
Mark Howell1-209014
Toni Montgomery1-209033
Tony Lumbis-1-229013
Greg Davis-2-238003
Aaron Bearden-2-238023
Clayton Caldwell-3-244001