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

Writer Pick Finishing Position Points
Matt McLaughlin Kurt Busch 1st 5
Jeff Wolfe Kevin Harvick 2nd 3
Zach Catanzareti Kevin Harvick 2nd 3
Huston Ladner Jimmie Johnson 3rd 3
Brett Winningham Jimmie Johnson 3rd 3
Joseph Wolkin Jamie McMurray 4th 3
Sean Fesko Jamie McMurray 4th 3
Mike Neff Kyle Larson 12th 0
Toni Montgomery Dale Earnhardt Jr. 14th 0
Matt Stallknecht Dale Earnhardt Jr. 14th 0
Aaron Bearden Brad Keselowski 17th 0
Jeff Meyer Carl Edwards 19th 0
Tony Lumbis Carl Edwards 19th 0
Amy Henderson Denny Hamlin 22nd -1
Mark Howell Denny Hamlin 22nd -1

Standings

 Writer Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10
Matt Stallknecht 21 9 4 5 6
Jeff Wolfe 18 -3 9 2 6 7
Mike Neff 16 -5 9 1 5 6
Sean Fesko 16 -5 8 1 5 6
Huston Ladner 15 -6 8 2 4 6
Matt McLaughlin 11 -10 8 2 4 4
Danny Peters 11 -10 8 2 4 5
Tom Bowles 11 -10 6 2 3 4
Brett Winningham 11 -10 7 1 3 5
Jeff Meyer 6 -15 9 1 1 4
Vito Pugliese 6 -15 8 0 3 5
Joseph Wolkin 6 -15 9 1 3 4
Zach Catanzareti 4 -17 8 0 2 5
S.D. Grady 4 -17 6 0 2 4
Amy Henderson 3 -18 9 2 2 4
David Ifeguni 3 -18 1 0 1 1
Phil Allaway 2 -19 3 0 1 1
Mark Howell 1 -20 9 0 1 4
Toni Montgomery 1 -20 9 0 3 3
Tony Lumbis -1 -22 9 0 1 3
Greg Davis -2 -23 8 0 0 3
Aaron Bearden -2 -23 8 0 2 3
Clayton Caldwell -3 -24 4 0 0 1

 

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