Posted on: November 28, 2009 11:45 am
Edited on: February 4, 2010 3:21 pm
Well, another year is gone, now its time to look back, and guess.... what will happen next year? Here is my predictions for the upcoming year. (The numbers in parenthesis, in order, are wins projected, top 5s projected, and top 10s projected.)
1.) Jimmie Johnson
Can he be stopped... who knows? This man has won four championships in a row, and the question isn't "Who can stop him?" but "Can anyone stop him?" He has just shown dominance throughout the chase since it started, losing the first one by only 8 points to Kurt Busch. So he is that close to having 5 of the 6 chase championships. Right now, its too hard to predict anyone that can get in his way, and who will it be? (7 - 16 - 25)
2.) Tony Stewart After a dissapointing chase from what he did before the chase, you have to wonder if he will do it again, or can he rebound. Tony Stewart did exceptionally well during the pre-chase season, and remember, it was his first year in the car. From what people were saying about Stewart, about him might not even making the chase, one just has to up their projections for this year, and who knows what he will really do? (5 - 14 - 24)
3.) Jeff Gordon Well if it isn't Mr. Bad luck in the chase Gordon. He is always a good competitor for the money, but never seems to pull it off. This year, its hard to project him to win the championship after a one win season, but a top 5 is almost a sure thing. Jeff Gordon will likely get more wins than he did last year, but the true question is, what track will throw away Jeff Gordon's hopes of winning the championship? (3 - 15 - 23)
4.) Carl Edwards This guy was deviled up in 2009, to say the least, yet its hard to not project somewhat of a turnaround for Roush-Fenway, they are just too talented of a team to be down too long, and look at RCR, they started to work things out before the end of the season. RFR will likely start to come alive in 2010, its just the question of, "When does that happen?" Even if RFR comes back though, you can't expect Carl Edwards to immediately have a 9 win season like in 2008 though. (3 - 12 - 21)
5.) Kurt Busch Kurt Busch had very similar stats compared to his winning year, except he had 1 win less and about 50 less points in 2009. During 2010, there are two questions about Kurt, 1.) "How will Kesolowski affect him as a team member?" and 2.) "How will Kurt do without Pat Tryson." These two questions make it really hard to put a pinpoint on how good Kurt will do, yet after this year, there just has to be some optimism for Kurt Busch to finish good this year as long as Penske doesn't focus too much on Kesolowski. (2 - 12- 22)
6.) Denny Hamlin How many times will this guy get bad luck in the chase, who knows!? All that can be said is that this guy is probably going to have bad luck in the chase somewhere, taking him out of the championship. This guy is really good in the car, its just that he has some huge hiccup somewhere in his chase, and throughout the whole year for that matter. Even at his best tracks, short tracks, he always seems to have some sort of problem with 20 or so laps to go. If this guy can snap his bad luck, he might stand a chance, but its all but a lock at least that he will make the chase. (4 - 13 - 19)
7.) Mark Martin So this old timer proved he can still race. The problem with Mark Martin, is how much longer can he make the magic last, and can he really keep it going into next year. Mark Martin fans are likely already putting him in for his first championship in 2010, yet its hard to say that. He had his best chance in 2009, and didn't make it. Although he may do better than 7th, there are so many teams that have the chance to redeem themselves, and its hard to project Mark Martin for another year like he just had. (2 - 12 - 20)
8.) Jeff Burton This guy, during the last 4 races of the chase, had all top 10s, the last two both being runner-up positions. Mr. Consistency might be coming back into business, so do not underestimate this guy by any means. He still might not put up a lot of wins, but expect his top 5s and especially 10s to go up next season. (1 - 8 - 18)
9.) Matt Kenseth This guy started hot, getting his two races as wins, but its hard to project that he will start that hot again. Kenseth, however, never missed a chase before next year, and if RFR does get back on hits feet, its hard to say that Kenseth won't make the chase at least. (2 - 8 - 17)
10.) Juan Pablo Montoya This guy proved that he does deserve to be in NASCAR, and with such a mediocre team! Things right now look pretty good for the guy, and he should make the chase yet again, but like 2009, he likely will be out of the running early in 2010. (1 - 6 - 17)
11.) Kyle Busch He will win races, there is no doubt about that, but how many will he win? And will it be enough to overcome his inconsistency? Or could he possibly overcome his inconsistency? Kyle Busch is hard to spot, yet he will get his wins, and he will likely try hard to make it in the chase this year, just how good will he do once he gets there is the question? (3 - 10 - 15)
12.) Ryan Newman In his first year with NHR, he made the chase, yet he wasn't extremely hot once he got there, and he can't seem to win. Still, Newman has a decent chance of making the chase again now that the team has a year of experience, its just, will there be more competition this year to stand in his way? (0 - 4 - 14)
13.) Kevin Harvick After a year where he got 19th, its hard to project that he will make the chase. But hey! Kurt Busch did it, so why not Harvick? After a year like that though, Harvick's chances don't seem too great, and Jeff Burton was the only guy who truly started to shine from RCR at the end of the season, still, he should make his mark, just will it be enough to make the chase? (1 - 5 - 12)
14.) Greg Biffle Even with RFR struggling, eh still got a 7th place, and apart from losing two wins, he really didn't do that much worse this season. Greg Biffle has been known to miss chases though, both in 2006 and 2007, and if RCR and the other drivers of RFR get back on their feet, it begs the question, "Will Biffle be able to make the chase in 2010?" He also is known for getting 5 or even 6 DNFs in one season, so watch out for that. (1 - 7 - 14)
15.) Kasey Kahne The main reason why Kasey Kahne made the chase, he avoided DNFs this season. From 2004-2007, he has had 6 or more DNFs in all of them, even a huge 9 in 2005! Although during the past two years he has pulled down his DNF totals, even with the 4 he had last year he didn't make the chase, and with Kahne, its hard to project another season where he has 2 or less DNFs. (0 - 6 - 13)
16.) Clint Bowyer What an awful year he had... and unless he has a major turnaround, he likely won't make the chase. This guys killed others with his consistency, and he didn't have it in 2009. Even with a turnaround of RCR, Clint Bowyer doesn't seem great in this setup, and if they keep on doing the switching of part/crew they have done over the past year, they will likely send most of the goods to Harvick's and Burton's way. (0 - 5 - 15)
17.) Joey Logano Throughout this whole year, he never really showed any true domination, so its hard to say he will become chase potential this year, but he is hard to predict, for he is a rookie who was amazing in the Nationwide series in 2008. They did rush this guy up to Sprint too soon though, and he might need another year before he is in full gear. He will likely improve a bit off last season though. (1 - 5 - 12)
18.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. The toughest guy to project for me, he was 3rd before entering the chase in 2008, and in 2009, he didn't even make the top 20. While he should make the top 20 this year, HMS seems to care too much about the duo of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, and Jr. might just not fit in that greatly here. He could make the chase, but I would need to see the first few races before believing that he can. (0 - 4 - 11)
19.) David Reutimann He was so close to making the chase, once he got to the chase, he got 2 top 10s only though, and although he did get a lot of top 20s, he fell down to 16th in the standings. Michael Waltrip is supposively retiring, and he may put all his focus on Reutimann, so he could do better, but if RCR kicks up its gears, then Reutimann will likely fit right in around this area in the standings. (0 - 3 - 9)
19.) Brian Vickers He made the chase!... then what...if you guessed not a single top 10 nor lap led in the chase, then you are correct! That chase was just pitiful compared to what he was doing, his consistency just left, and I don't see it coming back again for the start of this season. (0 - 3 - 6)
Other people of note:
David Ragan- After a 27th, Ragan's status that he gained from last year came down to the ground, and it left people wondering if last year was a one time thing. While its hard to project if he will make it into the top 20 if RFR comes back, things don't look too good right now for Ragan.
Martin Truex Jr.- He made the chase in 2007, but that's it, fact is that he can't get top 5s, apart from 2007, the most he has is three, and 2009 wasn't very kind to him. He won't be much of a factor this year.
Brad Kesolowski- He, like Logano, seems to be getting rushed into Sprint Cup racing, and although he did show he can hang with the big boys from time to time in 2009, he never ended on a high note, except for at Talladega. Assuming he doesn't pull on another Talladega win, which rarely comes twice, he might not be a huge factor this year, but could be a top 20 competitor, its hard to project these rookies.
A.J. Allmendinger- He seemed like he had some good moments, yet in the whole scheme of things he didn't do much in 2009. This guy has proven that he is an underdog at times, but you can't project him for that good coming off of a 1 top 5 season.
Marcos Ambrose- He had his good times as well, but they came at road courses and superspeedways for the most part. He may get in the top 20, but he doesn't seem like he will do much better from last season unless more road courses are added to the schedule.
Posted on: September 17, 2009 4:13 pm
Alright, I said I would do this once the chase came, and now here it is. I will put up all the chase drivers as predictions for the chase, explain a bit what they have done, and my power rankings for each driver during the second half of pre-chase.
7.) Carl Edwards Since mid-may, 7 races in the top 5, one other in the top 10, and only 1 crash, yet, 7 have been between 10th and 20th, just indicating so-so performances, you can't do that in the chase, yet it is the chase, you can't count Carl Edwards out after last year, yet without a win so far, he might not be able to do it, he's pretty decent at chase tracks this year, but he will need a win and quick for momentum or his so-so finishes will be the death of him this year, don't expect more than 1 really bad finish though. (7)
Posted on: January 6, 2009 3:37 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2009 4:49 pm
I'm back to my predictions, I may take awhile for this, but I will put some studies as to who I say will land where.
1.) Carl Edwards Except for 2 crashes, his worst finish in the chase was 4th, add in that his last 3 of 4 were wins, and he will try all he can this year to win, he has learned this CoT well, and I think he can work with his great Roush teammates to grab his first championship.
2.) Jimmie Johnson No matter how this guys looks before the chase, when it comes he steps it to high gear, with a slightly different schedule, it might be a bit harder for him, nevermind that Mark Martin will join the fray too, as well as Tony and Newman with backup engines, making it relaly hard for any of these guys to get there, however, time and time again Johnson pulls it off, we will just have to wait and see until the chase, a long time away, to see if he is as deadly of force as before.
3.) Matt Kenseth He is my dark horse to win this season, like last year, nobody could have predicted Carl Edwards (except a fan of his) to do as great as he did, this year, I give this title to Kenseth for two reasons, 1.) At the start of the chase, he was getting top 5s, thats it, until crashes came, he got 3 or 4 DNFs pretty much in the chase, and that kills hopes. 2.) At the beginning of the year, he started in 21st, then in no time, he got back up into chase contention, and then some, boosting his fantasy pricing week after week. This guy will be a force to be reckoned with, oh yeah! And he is one of the few out there to have won a championship that race often.
4.) Jeff Burton He was doing very good at the start of last year, then lost it, then went back to his old self of just consistency, he is still a good driver, and I think he will improve come chase time unlike last year, expect 2 wins, but 10 top 5s this time.
5.) Kevin Harvick RCR will get at least 3 of their drivers in, Harvick is one, and I don't see Mears bringing down the team too much (except maybe Bowyer). Anyway, I believe this guy will get a win this year, and he finished 4th last season, he doesn't get DNFs, and he should be a consistent driver just like Burton.
6.) Jeff Gordon Expect this cat to jump back up... a bit... but this will be as good as he gets, he will be hungry for a win this season, he is a great driver, he needs to be let out of his cage, yet all of HMS is probably going to suffer. This guy though, almost always gets in the chase, and can't ever be underestimated, his top 10s should be good, yet I believe his top 5s maybe limited.
7.) Greg Biffle He jumped back up in the chase last season, yet I don't think he will be able to be as good as that, a win during the beginning of the season will likely come, and for the first 10-15 races, he may be HOT, however, if he is, he will cool down, and then end up right around here by chase end, though in fantasy leagues, he may have a better regular season, thus, have a greater fantasy value.
8.) Kyle Busch There he is! I know, some may not like me for this pick, but look, Jeff Gordon was expected to win the season at the beginning of last year, Tony was never expected to be lower than 5th by the end, and Penske was expected to do a lot better all over. Did any of those things happen? No, Joe Gibbs will be the team that gets dragged down this year, and Kyle Busch will be like the chase, not a former shade of that amazing regular season, he is done with his greatness, and expect him to slowly fall like his bro.
9.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. He fell like Kenseth and Kyle in the chase, he looked pretty good at the start, but then fell down, he got a win last year, but don't expect one this year, and his top 5s maybe limited too with Mark Martin in the fray. Sorry Jr. fans, but for good news, a leading top 15 finsiher could be in the books.
10.) Denny Hamlin Now this guy is also expected to be good, but what about last year, before the chase came, that didn't happen, with the Gibbs downfall that I predict, he will fall a bit more, don't expect Hamlin to be a top 5 finisher.
11.) Mark Martin This guy can get first place in a part time season until he takes a break, with a full season, he is wide open again, and if he does his great beginning again, he will probably make the chase, however, I don't know if he will be able to hang with these drivers when that comes, his age will come into account, not running some chase races, and not even being in a chase really, will greatly decrease his chances at this stage.
12.) Tony Stewart He still is a great driver, and he decided to go back to Chevy, good for him! However, with his new team, I'm not sure how long he will last with his new team, but I do believe he is good enough to still make another chase, after all, he only missed it once, and that was due to bad luck, not due to bad driving, and he is known for stepping it up the 2nd half, that should be right around the time he gets used to his car and crancks it up to get in the chase.
13.) Kurt Busch He had a lot of bad luck last season, and the big thing, Newman is gone, meaing Busch will be primarily focused on in Penske, and that means more wins, and not just due to rain delays, he is a dark horse to make the chase, and he improved by the end of last season, we will have to wait and see how good he really does though, it could just be another bust season for him, the only thing that will hold him back is DNF's, if he can get by those, then he should actually make the chase.
14.) Clint Bowyer All the good stuff he had, that's going to Casey Mears, his car, crew chief, crew for that matter, he will have to start pretty much all over, it won't be easy, and I don't think he will actually make the chase this season, because he is only known for getting finishes 12+, now though, 17+ will be more like it, and that's not good enough to make it like other years.
15.) Kasey Kahne The chase will be even harder, and it will be even harder for him to get into the chase this year, he seems to be getting worse and worse, Lowe's is the onl thing that saves him, when he loses his touch at Lowe's, expect him to be similar to the fast fall of Bobby LaBonte.
16.) David Ragan This maybe another guy I am dangerously underestimating, but I feel that the competition will get even tougher, and it will be hard for him to get anywhere, I feel he won't have nearly a breakout season, and will just be your run of the mill driver.
17.) Casey Mears Its true that he was above this, and he may do better this year, but like I said, competition will be very tough, and it will be hard to get in the chase, I don't see a 4 man RCR chase, however, after seeing him this season, he could become chase contention, but for now, don't count on it.
18.) Jaime McMurray Another dark horse, he is pretty much set off from roush though, and though he might try to go hard in the beginning of the season, it will end up in a similar result to the beginning of last year, say goodbye McMurray.
19.) Ryan Newman He probably won't do too good, as Tony Stewart will probably get absorbed in himself, and Newman gets the worse stuff that he or Stewart doesn't want, also take in that he was pretty low last year, however, next year, this guy could be big, as well as others wanting to join Stewart Haas, he is hard to predict.
20.) Joey Logano He may be a force to reckon with, but don't count on it, he is coming up too soon, however, with more Nationwide experience, he could become a chase contenter, and possibly save JGR, for now though, just think of him as a really deep dark horse.
Missing the list
Bobby LaBonte- Do we even know where he will be?
Martin Truex Jr.- He just seems to fall every year.
Brian Vickers- A valiant effort last year, but I feel that the height of Red Bull Racing has passed us now.
David Reutimann- A guy for MWR that still gives them only a glimmer of a hope.
A.J. Allmendinger- Will now work with Kahne, which could actually help him a bit, still, it will be hard to get up there with the rest of this field.
And for the record, some of the guys really low could make, and some really high could bomb, you can never tell, but it looks like the top 20-25 will be a mess, after that, then the guys who are not good will fight for the top 35.
Posted on: October 28, 2008 5:15 pm
Well, Jimmie is just about to win again, but I agree that Edwards is the better driver, I mean look, in the chase w/o a crash, he has never finished below 3rd, that will make him so that he gets at least that in my PR, and Jimmie pretty much the same, who will be the one that can stop them this week? Let me tell you it was hard to rank this week, a lot of people has ups and downs, honestly anyone as low as 17th could top 5.
1.) Jimmie Johnson He's hard to stop, and here yet again, pure gold, he has 1 crash, other than that, no finish worse than 11th, nevermind he won this event last year, he will be hard to stop yet again, and can rebound from any difficulty here except a crash.
2.) Carl Edwards Carl Edwards is a lot better and different at these kind of tracks, and thats good, he has 2 wins here, including one this year, but other than those 2, no top 10s here! Still, with this season, I expect big things from Edwards, don't be surprised if he wins, also take this into account, he beat Jimmie by 1 position last race, and he beat him by 1 position at Texas, he is refreshing his hold of Jimmie abilities for this race, and if he can do it, Carl could very well win as many times as Kyle Busch.
3.) Matt Kenseth If he can win I don't know, but 5 top 3 finishes here, he won once, and 3 2nds, all from 2006-2007, he also got a 9th in the spring here and 2nd last year, and besides crashes in the chase, which he has 3, all top 10s, so a top 5 here is likely, but a top 10 is all but a lock.
4.) Tony Stewart He won this at the event in 2006, and after the last 6 races, no finish worse than 11th, it is true that he is falling in the sprint cup with bad luck, but at this track, I kind of like his chances.
5.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. This guy showed greatness here early, he won in his debut, and all top 10s until 2006 (besides 1 crash) now he has fallen off his game in Texas, with 12th and 14 as his last 2 here, but in his last 3 races here, he has led 10+ laps, so he can still run good here, just has hit some bad luck, nevermind that in the spring Carl lapped all but 10 drivers, leaving him and Harvick the leaders of the lapped cars, so if he can avoid bad luck, and with his rising momentum in the cup, a good day might be in the cards.
6.) Jeff Burton This guy has fallen lately, with a 17th and 18th, but at this track, in his last 5, he has 1 crash, a win last spring, and then 3 6th place finishes, since he is falling in the sprint cup, but still pretty strong, I'll bet on him getting that lucky #6 yet again, but don't be surprised if he gets a top 5, maybe even wins.
7.) Denny Hamlin He got 2 top 5s in the last 2 sprint cup races, so he is gaining momentum like Jr., but he has only 1 non top 10 here, then again, he has a 4th for best finish, so he could be a top 5 car, but I can't see him going for the win with Edwards and Johnson.
8.) Kevin Harvick He is very consistent in the cup, getting right around top 10, and why not here, he used to be a top 15 man here, but over the last 2-3 years, has moved to a top 10 man, heck, he even got a top 5 sweep in 2006, and 10 and 11 for last 2 here, so I believe he can do something again.
9.) Kyle Busch In his last 3 of 4 here, top 5s, all around 3rd, except 1 crash, but still, he is falling, but I believe we can see another top 10, he could even get a top 5 if he really works at it.
10.) Kurt Busch He has struggled a lot in the sprint cup, but as of late, he has been starting to grab top 10s again, and at a track like this, where he had 8,11,8 in 2006-2007, and other than 3 finishes below 20th, he has no worse finish than 11th here, if he can keep his momentum, he could get a top 10 yet again at this track.
11.) Mark Martin He has 2 bad finsies here as of late, one due to a crash, other than that in his last 6 races here, 8,3,9 and 2, I think he will top 10, with one above him crashing, lets see what he can do, he's kind of unpredictable.
12.) Jeff Gordon Uh oh! It's Texas! And you know what that means Jeff Gordon fans, one of the only 2 tracks where Jeff has not won, it is true that he has top 10d in all but 2 races in the chase, and that he has 3 of 4 top 10s lately here, but he crashed in the spring, and that no win at this track 2 in the season, and with depression after no win yet in the cup where he is falling, I'm not sure if he will top 10, but I could be very well be wrong, if you Jeff Gordon fans say that he will top 10, I don't blame you, if you say he will top 5... not likely, but possible, yet I assure you, with his season, he won't get the win here yet.
13.) Clint Bowyer He has 3 12ths in the sprint cup, and it could happen again, with 1 crasher, which is likely, anyway, at this track, he has a 5,10,16 and 2 19ths, so he is non top 15 more often, but I think he can show us something.
14.) Martin Truex Jr. Other than a crash here, no finish worse than 15th, but with his season, he might only get there, he has top 10d 50% of the time here, but he crashed in the spring, that could bring his morale here down.
15.) Jaime McMurray He is a dark horse, with 14,9,5 for his last 3 here, and with him with a 7 and 5 in 2 of his last 3 sprint cup races, he might be underrated, but with his overall bad season, I still need to see more before I start to boom him ahead of talent in my PR.
16.) Greg Biffle If people consider Biffle getting a 10th and 12 as falling big time, then I can't wait until I hear what they say after Texas, get this, at this track, he has a 1st, 6th and 20th, but other than that, 6 races where he has gone multiple laps down!!! Honestly, if you are asking yourself, don't risk Biffle, he could do something, but this is Texas, he is faaaaarrrrr too risky....
17.) Ryan Newman At his last 2 here, 4th and 5th, that included this season, he won back in 2003, and that is his only other top 10 here though, he had Daytona as well for momentum here, so I don't think he will do quite as good in the CoT now, but he could break out for a great performance.
18.) Kasey Kahne Kasey Kahne... hmmm... where should i start, he has a 2nd in the chase, but other than that, no top 10s, no wait, no top 15s, no wait! no top 20s except a 2nd at his precious Lowe's, now since he's Kasey I need to show him on my PR, at least for now, he's close to leaving, at this track, has a win and 2nd, in 2006 and 2004, but only 1 top 20, an 18th, other than those 2, and that was here last year, so he could land there again.
19.) Elliot Sadler His last 3 here were 26, 12 and 17, and 2 top 10s made in the chase, other than that though, he's not too great in the cup or here, however, he did win back in 2004 here, but quite honestly, I can't see him getting anything better than a 10th, right around 20th likely...
20.) A.J. Allmendinger In the cup, other than 2 crashes, all his finishes have been in the top 20, he has a 39th here, but like many times before, he has proven he can do good at those bad track, I might be underrating him yet again, I still wanna see more out of him.
Other Drivers of Note
Casey Mears- has a 4th here and has top 15s in all but 2 races in the cup, but at this track, 22,31,23 as of late, he needs to show me that he can pull off those 4ths and 7ths he has before at this track.
Juan Pablo Montoya- 19,25 and 8 here, but he can't do anything right this season...
Bobby LaBonte- best of 3rd, 20.3 avg. finish here, and with Petty, stay away, top 20 at best.
Brian Vickers- 16th in the spring, 12th though for best finish, again, he could be good since he has improved this season, but a top 10 is very unlikely, top 20 with his 23.5 avg finish might not even come.
David Ragan- A dark, dark horse, as dark as the headless horsemen, and just in time for Halloween, anyway, he has a 13th, but then 37 and 39 here, he has been having a breakout season with more passes and top 15 passes than any other driver, and with his last 5 races in the cup being no worse than 13th, he could got another top 10 here if he plays his cards right, but I need to see less crashing and more results.
Posted on: October 22, 2008 3:31 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2008 8:14 pm
I'm running out of catchy nicknames, lol, anyway, Jimmie Johnson is on his game, as for Biffle and Burton, they are falling off, Edwards is still fine, just had that bad luck twice, and last week I hit some like Gordon on the spot, and some surprises, like Burton, but anyway, to the projections.
1.) Jimmie Johnson This guy has it all right now, and quite honeslty, I'm not sure if he can be stopped, he's like a Runningback who can put fear into everyone and make them run away from him instead of tackle, anyway, this guy also has a great record here, with excluding 3 bad runs in the beginning of his career here, he only has 2 non top 6s, unfortunately, the spring one this year is on that list, but then again, Johnson struggled in the beginning of the year, not too much anymore! But in the fall, he has 2 wins compared to one, and w/o the 3 crashes, his spring avg. is 4.833333, while the fall is 4.6, so he is slightly better at this time.
2.) Carl Edwards This guy, without his crashes, in the chase, has never finished before 3rd!!!!! That's amazing huh, in addition, other than 2 crashes here, one in the spring, he has 2 1sts, 2nd, 3rd, and 2 7ths, so he has a good chance of getting a top 3 yet again if he doesn't crash, honestly I think his bad luck is done, but Jimmie still has something coming, Edwards could benefit with a win if that crash comes this week, and if its early, Edwards is right back in the cup. The 2 1sts were in a sweep in 2005 btw... also another little fact, that he never crashed in the fall race.
3.) Tony Stewart He has had bad luck recently, out of his last 6 races here, 5 were top 10s, and one a problem race, which was the one last year, so he seems to have had the bad luck here last year, now top 10 is in his view, and without his incident last fall, 2 2nds and a win at this track, so he seems very likely to go up there, with Edwards and Johnson it will be tough getting another front row position, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tony won.
4.) Jeff Gordon Like Martinsville, HMS is great here, and they proved that at those tracks, they can do it, after all, they all top 5d (I wonder who will be next in my PR?????) At this track, his last 6 have been no worse than 7th except once, which was still a 12th, this may show that bad luck could be near, but I believe another top 5 is in order, him and Jr. are very close in my power rankings, I only gave Gordon the edge because Jr. is doing horrible in the chase.
5.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3rd in the spring, 2nd last track, he could be a surprise, esecially since he crashed late in one race for 25th, had a 14th, and then his last 4 of his last 6 are 3 3rds and a 4th! With Edwards in the mix, and him in the chase, he probably will only get affected by 1 position, but if Johnson crashes like I said, 4th or 3rd could come.
6.) Clint Bowyer He has been decent throughout the cup, and with 3 6ths in the last 3 races here, I like his chances of yet again... 6th!
7.) Greg Biffle Simply said, he is good here, decent here, and bad here, all in all, he is good here, with 6 top 10s and 3 of those being top 5, with his sprint cup season, I might be underrating him, but he is falling a bit, and he struggles more in the fall, having a 5th for best finish.
8.) Matt Kenseth In his last 6, none worse than 13th, an 8th, and 4 top 5s! That's nice huh, however, there is a lot of competition, and he is struggling a bit, with Edwards and HMS, I can't see that top 5, but a top 10 should be in the bag.
9.) Jeff Burton 10th last time here, then a 5th, 4th and 13th, it is true he is pulling for the win, but he is getting top 10s in every race, not winning, I have a feeling it will be the same here, and with Martinsville's disappointment, I can't put him much higher.
10.) Mark Martin Has stuggled recently, most due to problems, but 2 years ago, had 4 top 5s in a row, now after the last 4, only a 10th to show, but he has been top 10ing a lot in the sprint cup when he races, and he will race here, expect around a 10th if he doesn't have problems.
11.) Kasey Kahne I'm hoping his bad luck is up here, he got a win here, and 3 top 5s, but the last 4 races, only 1 top 10, then mistake, crash, gone, ouch, 3 finishes not in the top 25, so 3/4 crashes in his last 4 races, with the competition, I think he will finally pop out, but that 9th for worse non crash will become an 11th, he needs a momentum shift here before he goes higher, and I don't think it will come this time.
12.) Kyle Busch He is doing much worse in the cup compared to earlier where he got his win, still, with that win this season, and 3 12ths at this track, he might be able to dish out another one.
13.) A.J. Allmendinger He has been doing great in the Sprint Cup recently, and now look, we are coming to a track where he got 16th before, he is a true sleeper, and watch this guy, he could go for top 10 yet again.
14.) Denny Hamlin 8, 15, and 2 19ths for Denny here from top 20 finishes, it seems as if he will land right around here, and with no crash finishes worse than 16th in the cup so far, I say he should get around here.
15.) Brian Vickers Has been doing much worse than at the beginning of the season, and CHEATER ALERT!, that wil bring him down, with a 9th and 10th for his last 2 finishes here, he seems to be a top 15 contender, but you never know, he could do better, or worse...
16.) Kevin Harvick He did get a 7th here in the spring, true, but other than that only 2 other top 10s! Both in his first 2 races here, which were a win and 3rd, but he has fallen big time at this track, avoid him if you can, this might even be overrating, but that 7th does show promise, and the fact that no finish of his has been worse than 20th for 12 races, and 10/12 were top 10s!
17.) Kurt Busch In 4 races, not worse than 14th, yet, he wasn't this bad, he has a 3rd for a glimmer of hope, and he had a 2nd at Daytona back then, he could got a bit higher, but top 15 is about it if he can make it there.
18.) Bobby LaBonte Last 4 here were 12,41,16 and 12, so he has fallen here, with PE, don't except better than those finishes.
19.) Juan Pablo Montoya He has a 5th, 16th, and 34th, but with him in the cup recenlty, a 14th last track is his only glimmer, I can't say that I can expect much.
20.) Ryan Newman The 14th in the spring is his only glimmer here recently, and with him now, this might even be overrating Newman.
Other Drivers of Watch
Joey Logano- Will try to race here, and in the 02 car where he practiced top 10 back at New Hampshire with, but then again, it will probably rain again, if he can qualify and get in, he could be a sleeper.
Martin Truex Jr.- got an 8th here, and 10th at Martinsville, but his 27.6 avg. finish here says don't ride on his back.
David Ragan- He is better this season, but at this track, no finish better than 23nd, which was in the spring, but that's probably about the best he can do here.
Sam Hornish Jr.- He has 1 finish here, a 25th, if he can turn it into magic I will be amazed.
Casey Mears- A HMS track, but only 12th for best finish, and 17th here in the spring, he could be top 20 material, but don't count on it.
Posted on: October 14, 2008 4:50 pm
Alright, good job to Jeff Burton last week, Johnson did just what I expected, and same as Kahne, its a shame that Edwards was knocked out, he was hanging in the lead. And now for the predictions.
1.) Jeff Burton Expect for unlucky 06 and the beginning for him here, he is great, almost always getting top 15 or just missing, and a lot of top 10s, he got 3rd in the spring here, and won all the way back in 1997, his last 3, excluding 2006, is 3,5,6 and 12, which is very nice, he is back to the better consistency that he had at the beginning of the season, and he won at Bristol, the race before this one, he is short track gold, and with a win at Lowe's to jump off of, he could do it again and be a major threat in the chase, it is still a 3 man chase, but with a change.
2.) Jimmie Johnson He finished 4th earlier this year, and Burton could have momentum to overthrow him, but he is absolute gold here, having 4 wins, including 3 in a row, which were in 2007 and 2006, the best stat, that he has only NOT finished in the top 10 once here, his debut, where he had vibration trouble, so take that out, and you do the math, this maybe his best track, and it will be fun to see Johnson duel Burton at the end of the race if it comes down to that.
3.) Tony Stewart He is a bit more up and down that Burton, but overall very nice, in his last 6 races, missed the top 10 only once, which was a 13th, this includes 4 top 5s in his last 6! He won at Talladega, and if he can avoid bad luck, which he did earlier this year, top 5 is in his alley.
4.) Jeff Gordon He has been top 10ing in 3 of his last 4 races this season, so he is getting steam back, but still, he is struggling, this track could change all that, get this, in his last 11 starts, has top 5s in all but 2, and the other 2 were both in 2004, a 9th and 6th, and 7 of those 11 are top 2, oh boy!!!! But with his bad season, that 4/11 will come and hit to 5/12.
5.) Denny Hamlin Many people after that crash and his horrible chase season are counting this dog out, and let me tell you, don't! He crashed once for a 38th, other than that, 1,2,3,6,8, this guy knows this track, and despite a bad chase, he has been having bad luck all over, except here, where he actually won earlier in the season! This guy may only be top 10 material with his season, but even top 10 is nice.
6.) Kyle Busch He is slowly coming back, got a 4th last week, but here, 2 crashes, 2 4ths, 2 5ths, and an 18th, if he can avoid a crash, with his season disincluding the chase, he can top 10 or even top 5.
7.) Dale Earnhart Jr. He is either make or break here, either top 10 or not even top 20, with Hendrick, 6th earlier this season here, I think top 10 again, although his chase has been all bad luck and horribleness, he can come back just like Hamlin right here, watch these 2 dogs, but unlike Hamlin, no win here, and no finish above 3rd, he has top 5d 7 times, but 5 of them were during the great streak of 2002-2004, just be a bit careful with Jr., but if your a fan of Jr., its pretty safe to pick him in fantasy leagues.
8.) Carl Edwards He still kind of stands a chance for the chase.. especially if Burton crashes into Johnson, unlikely, but they will be near eachother sometime unless one crashes early, I can guarentee you that, anyway, he has been getting better and better here, 2005 not even able to top 20, 2006 able to top 20, 2007 almost at top 10, and at 2008, finally top 10, he is getting better and better, and with his chase dreams on the line, he will step it up and improve again, he could crash too and end his season like Kyle Busch... but you never really know, do you?
9.) Matt Kenseth Not including the crash this season, 5,10, and 11 for last 3, I think he can do something here, and then before a 26th, an 11th and 12, so he seems to be right around top 10 material given his bad luck doesn't continue, and since he did top 5 in the first 2 races in the chase, with good luck he can go somewhere.
10.) Kevin Harvick He is pretty consistent in the chase, and same thing here, if he can avoid trouble, top 10 seems like it will come, but he gets bad luck a lot, and I think Kenseth is a better driver this season, but these 2 should be very close, if you want one, decide yourself, its really that hard to choose between these 2, I just had to give it to Kenseth though.
(RFG, where is he??? He will come... for all you know)
11.) David Ragan Top 10 in his last 3 races in the cup, never got a top 10 here, but earlier this season, he got very close, 11th, with running for 13th and momentum, I think he will finally crack the top 10, if not, get very close.
12.) Clint Bowyer This guy has a 9th, 10th, and 11th here, and with 4 races being 12th and the rest better over the chase, there is nothing wrong in saying he will get yet another 12th.
13.) Jaime McMurray Got a top 5 last race, has 7 top 10s here, I might be underrating him, but his season is bad this season, and his top 10s all but 1, which was a 2nd, were 7th or lower, so if he makes top 10, its only barely, and I don't think he can quite do that.
14.) Kurt Busch Good job with your top 5 at such a track like Lowe's for you, Bristol is his track, this one though, is far from, though he can top 10 here, he has a lot of bad luck here, only getting top 11 6 times, I think the finish at Lowe's will give him momentum, but with his season, the momentum should only get him this far, but if he has that amazing luck, watch out!
15.) Juan Pablo Montoya He has an 8th, 13 and 16 here , true he has struggled a lot in the chase, but I think he can finally go for top 15, then again, he could get his worst finish too, he is pretty hard to predict.
(RFG, where is he?!?!?!, Patience my son...)
16.) Kasey Kahne He finishes 15th through 17th a lot here, despite Lowe's momentum, and his best finish was a 2nd, in the spring, so right around 15th and 17th seems like where he will end up.
17.) Ryan Newman He is good here, but other than a 2nd last year, his last 6 have all been double digits, with a 1 in front, and with his season, right here sounds good? Right, then again, he could pull off that Kurt Busch magic and make it Penske magic.
18.) Casey Mears In his last 4, a crash, then a 20th, then 7th and 6th, so he is pretty good here as of recently, so don't count him out, still though, he is a small sidenote with his overall failiure at this track.
And without further ado... here is, he....
19.) Greg Biffle Last year he got a 7th here, but that is it, it is true his season is amazing so far, but he will lose it here, I mean he has some decent RF drivers to work on here, but he can't do the same, out of 11 finishes, that 7th is his only top 15 here!!! So I might be underrating him a little bit, but a lot of these others guys have better records too, he will do better than this due to some crashing, but still, do not bank on him in anything given the chance.
20.) Brian Vickers 23, 17 and 8 for last 3, other than that horrible here, but with his great comeback season, you never quite know, he could be better.
Other Drivers of Watch
Bobby LaBonte- I did want to put him up here, but where were too many people in the midde/lower class, he did win here, but he is with Petty now, his last 2 have been pathetic, but he could top 5 too, since he did that pretty recently twice, still, should be a sidenote, but with the 17th and 6th in the cup recently, he could do something.
Martin Truex Jr.- His best finish is 19th, 24.8 avg. finish, bad season this season, that's all I have to say...
Regan Smith- 2 finishes, 14th and 26th, avg. to a 20, could he top 20? Watch and find out. and the 14th was this season.
Aric Almirola/ A.J. Allmendinger- I will put both of them as the same name, since they have very similar descriptions, anyway, both raced here twice, both crashed both times for horrible finishes, with A.J.'s spark of a season, and Almirola's greatness at Bristol, I think they still have something to show here.
Posted on: October 7, 2008 7:48 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2008 8:00 pm
Couldn't think of a classy nickname for this one, lets just go to the pwr rankings
1.) Carl Edwards This guy won't want to pay a penny to get a top 10 finish, after all, he has only not finished there once, with a 7.6 avg. finish, and a few 3rds, I think it is finally his time to win here.
2.) Jimmie Johnson Now, normally I would give Johnson the numero uno spot, but in his last 3 races, 39, 10, 14, hasn't been up to par with his usual performance, now, with leading every race, and at least 20 in all but 2 races, you can tell he has only had bad luck, though Edwards is a big obstacle here, as well as another, we will have to wait and see if he can get around them.
3.) Kasey Kahne Ya, can you say, amazing here! last 5 starts are 1,8,23,1 and 1. 3 wins in the last 5! And the all star race where he got in from a wild card, this guy has been falling in the Sprint Cup, but he could make it all up here.
4.) Jeff Burton 6,4,24,3,6 for last 5 here, he is amazing here, and he has been getting top 10s during this whole chase, expect another one at the least.
5.) Tony Stewart He will get momentum, but trust me, he won't win, 18, 7, 6, 13, 42, he is on and off here, with momentum, you can think top 5, but only one here once, back in 2003, I might be overrating this guy.
6.) Matt Kenseth 2 top 10s recently, he will probably do it again, but he only won back in 2000, and in an all star race here in 2004, Kenseth should get a top 10, he is reliable here.
7.) Greg Biffle This guy has been getting better here, just a lot of bad luck to show, with his spark in the Sprint Cup, no reason to not think top 10, but that crash might prevent him from top 5 momentum, I could be wrong, watch him.
8.) Dale Earnhart Jr. Been racey at this track, with a team that has been great here recently, top 5 might be up his alley, but he usually has a nice Talladega to look back on, this time he doesn't, but with Johnson and Gordon, and only 1 finish outside the top 10 from 2006 to now, but 2005 sweep of crashes hurt his rating here, let's see if he can make some back up, give a name for himself before the chase is over now that he is all but done.
9.) Mark Martin Top 15s all around recently, and all over this track period, with a win in 2004, this is a great track for him on the circuit, he is under the radar being on part time, but with the 4th rated avg. finish, expect something from him, he does trail Edwards, Johnson, and the next guy down, Kasey has some bad luck here...
10.) Bobby LaBonte Hey RFG, you forgot to add 10... no I did not, why? Because 11,12,13,5,17, true they have all been below 10th, but he has the 2nd to best avg. finish here, in addition, top 5 recently, and 6th at Talladega, now I might be overrating him, but this is a great track of his, and he can do something here given the chance.
11.) Kyle Busch his bad luck has to stop somewhere right? 5th at Talladega, he is 31st in avg. here, but got a nice 3rd in the spring for his best finish, now he probably won't go to prime form, but a top 10 with his season is not out of the question.
11.) Jeff Gordon 4 and 1 for last 2 finishes, don't expect that good with his season, but those were the last 2, so 4th in the last race, the crash in Talladega had to bring him down, but if he can avoid trouble, he might even be top 10 material.
12.) Kevin Harvick Finally! A 9 race top 10 run, and he finally stopped, so he is not immortal, and I think non top 10 is coming again, about 3 top 10s here, I might be overrating Harvick thats how mediocre he is here, but he is good this season, you never know.
13.) Clint Bowyer Last year finished 2nd here, other than that, just some top 20-30s, he can do something, since he does have all top 15s in the chase, but he has to step it up to get into the chase, he is still a contender however.
14.) Casey Mears This guy is crash crazy here, and only 2 top 10s... until 2007, where he came out of nowhere where nobody would have predicted him to win, but he did it! With being able to ride with HMS and the great Jimmie here, its possible that he could do something, and has 3 top 15s in his last 3 races, still, his season is much worse, don't expect another win or anything...
15.) Monster Muffin Man He had a win in debut, he led for a bit in a recent race, this one last year, just had bad luck to end 3 laps down, but if he can avoid bad luck here, he could be a surprise, still, has to show me that he can improve from the season's badness.
16.) Brian Vickers Got a 5th here, but with a 42nd after a crash last race, we don't know his potential for this season, it could be great at this track, and he won the pit crew challenge here, you never know... but just expect a top 15... since one above him will likely crash
17.) Denny Hamlin He has 50% chance of top 10, and 50% of top 30, with a 5th place, but him not being too good recently, and seeming like a 20-30 won't come this time, it seems that he will finally get a top 15... if the injury doesn't get to him, and I think it will, expect a top 20 still though, but he could do even worse, don't bet on him at a bad track and with an injury, its not a good idea.
18.) Martin Truex Jr. He is usually top 20, with his season, don't expect one of his top 10s, the top 20s should fit him nicely
19+20.) The Penske Blues With Kurt 18th and Ryan 19th, they both got a 2nd here, but both struggle a bit here, and with their seasons and Penske in general, expect them in the top 20, in fact, I will put another friend with them.
Other Drivers of Note
Sam Hornish Jr.- He got a 13th here... once, don't expect too much from him now, but he could be a surprise, would be neat if Penske had all 3 right next to eachother, and it could happen.
A.J. Allmendinger- Will driver the 00 this week, watch him... he can always be a surprise.
David Reutimann- Another MWR driver, top 10 in the spring, he could go for a top 20 again!
Regan Smith- 1 finish, a 19th, it is possible for yet another top 20, maybe even better with the momentum from Talladega where he very well could have won or at least got 2nd.
David Ragan- After a top 5, he could pull something off,and got his best 12th in the spring, but don't bank on anything specacular.
Posted on: September 24, 2008 1:20 pm
Ya, I know it has a different name this year, but I like the Banquet name, anyway, Greg Biffle has proved himself, and its hard to not place him high, but some questions remain, where will I put Tony, and Jeff, Edwards, Kyle, you maybe surprised by where some of these guys go. by the way, at this track, there has been a different winner every year except for its 2 debut years where Gordon won both, can Biffle now match that?
1.) Greg Biffle Look for him to get 3 for 3 wins, at this track, he has a 12th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, and 12th, and the 1st was last year! Nevermind that he never had this much momentum going into here, they also predicted him to win this race before the chase even started and he got on his role, he did crash his first time for a 36th, but that's the only blemish.... He seems to have only 1 opposition, you guessed it!...
2.) Jimmie Johnson He could very well win this week, don't deny it, but Biffle with 2 wins in a row and a 1,2,3 roush, and his record surpassing Johnson here, with all that, Johnson will need to race hard to beat Biffle, but if Biffle crashes, he should win by a mile. He has 1,1,2,5 for his last 4 races, so he has the momentum, but I have a feeling that Biffle will win, and at Talladega is where he can strike hard, Biffle is horrible there, he just needs to pray the "Roush Attack" doesn't rebirth. His avg. is 12.0 and with no finish below 32nd.
3.) Tony Stewart Stewart fans rejoice, except for Atlanta, this is his time to strike, he won in 2006, and in 07 he led for a decent amount, just to crash, but it seems that Tony strikes at the end at this track, only leading 19 laps, with all 3 in the last 3 races, and 13 last year where he crashed. He seems to be getting better and better, and with 4ths and 8ths as a standard, expect no less than a top 10. Avg. is 11.1, he also has been doing not too bad recently, and this is a track for him to gain momentum at.
4.) Jeff Gordon Another shocker huh, these 2 have the ability to get back up there. In last 3 races this season has 2 top 10s and a top 15, and now is his time to move up. Had 2 wins in the first 2 races here, other than that, been just decent, but last year got a 5th for a ray of hope, it seems that he may get back to his top 5 ways here. Avg. is 10.6
5.) Clint Bowyer A LOT OF SHOCKS IN THE TOP 5! This guy raced twice here, but for a 2nd and 9th, if there is any time to regain his momentum, its here, still a bit unpredictable, but I believe in him.
6.) Mark Martin Hey, this late in his racing career, and a great record here, he even won in 2005! Nevermind that he did get 4,6,6,8 in his last 4 cup races, and at this track his record has greatly increased in the last 3 races, getting the win, 3rd, and 12th, watch his to spark up there, his avg. is 12.4
7.) Carl Edwards 6th, 3rd, 22nd and an accident, accident being last race, and with his greatness this season, I maybe underrating him, I just need to see him race here with his new greatness.
8.) Casey Mears CASEY MEARS! A TOP 10! RFG YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR MIND! Trust me, this is where he deserves this race, a top 10, his last 3 races have been 2nd, 4th and 8th! And before that, 24th, and a 31st in 2004, but he led for 14 laps before getting caught in something, He is amazing at this track, and despite his bad season, he will show everyone that he still has some juice left in him.
9.) Dale Earnhart Jr. 2 accidents here, but other than that, no finish worse than 10th, well, an 18th too, and with his decline in the series, he doesn't have quite as much, but with some other people here and their records, he can go for top 10. avg. is 17.1
10.) Kevin Harvick Hasn't not got a top 10 in 8 races, he has a great record this season, and expect another top 10, though with these no names, if they do good, you may want to watch out Harvick, has 2 6ths for best finish, but other than that, no top 10s, but I think he can nudge on for another top 10. avg. is 16.1
11.) Brian Vickers This track is just so great, all these low drivers with great shots for a top 10, after 3 races, 8,11, and 19, true he has been worse recently, but overall he is having a better season than ever before, and a top 10 is possible.
12.) Jeff Burton Good recently, one top 10, a 5th, only though for this track, he should do decent considering that the 5th was in 06 and in 07 he seemed good, just for an accident, but he has momentum, still, I need 1 more good finish in this race to give him a top 10. avg. is 19.6
13.) Ryan Newman He won in 2003, in 02 and 01 2nd place! Great right... NOT! In 2004-2008, no finish above 20th, given, one he went a lap down after leading, 2 were accidents, and 1 was just him having bad driving, he has struggled much at this track recently, and in the cup, it doesn't add up for Newman, but if he can avoid all trouble, top 10 is possible. avg. is 18.3
14.) Kasey Kahne I maybe underrating him, but he does have a 9th, 12th, 19th and 33rd (small accident) with all this combined, he needs a bit more to do good here after not making the chase, but he hasn't a lot, and he has some better stats than some other drivers, avg. is 18.3.
15.) Matt Kenseth I can't hide him any longer, 5th and 7th here, but other than that, rotten luck, he led some laps here, but has just fallen a lap or more down, I expect it to happen again, avg. is 22.1
16.) Kyle Busch He is out of the season now, he needed some reinsurance coming here, all he got was much lower in my rankings, only 1 top 10 here in 4 races, a 7th, other than that, a 26.5 avg. finish, do the math, he is a crash dummy here, and may go 3 for 3 in crashes, He will have a record just like Biffle's
17.) David Ragan Has a 16th for only finish, with his better season, though declining, he is still well in 14th, could he do better, maybe even a top 10? Just wait and see.
18.) Martin Truex Jr. He has an 11th and 38th here, he could surprise us, but I doubt it with his worse season.
19.) Kurt Busch Can he do anything right htis season, he wants out of Penske, and for good reason, at this track, 4 top 15s and some accidents, but with him being him this season, he's not that good, Hey, he is starting to seem like Manny Ramirez
20.) Jaime McMurray Bad recently, same as this track, but 18,7, and 8 in his first 3 races here, could he go back up there?
Other Drivers of Note:
Joe Nemechek- I know he is nothing this season, but he won in 2004, and in 2002 a 4th, also top 30 last 3 races, this is his best track right now, but that doesn't mean much for this guy.
Travis Kvapl- Better this season, with a 19th and 22nd here, could he do something, its very well possible.
Elliot Sadler- He got a 4th here, had a roll earlier this season, could amazingly do something.
Sam Hornish Jr.- Never raced here before, bad rookies are only a minor watch, he can top 20 in some races though as we have seen.
Denny Hamlin- You thought I forgot him didn't you? Nope, he fell from what people thought he would do, and now he will pay the price, has an 18th, 29th, and 32nd here, he needed momentum, and he doesn't have it anymore.