Friday, February 13, 2009

2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Predictions - How did I do?

The season is upon us...for those of you who have not watched three non-points races AND qualifying, I am sure you think I am referring to baseball or some other "ball" sport. O contraire! The OFFICIAL start of the 2009 Sprint Cup Season is Sunday, February 15 when the green flag drops at, in the spirit of wondering "what might be" I offer the following predictions:

1. The 2009 season will have greater parity than ever. With all of the contractions of teams in the off season, this is a year that a "little guy" can make some noise and win some races.

GRADE C - Several "little guys" won this year, including Brad Keselowski (Talladega Spring), David Reutimann (Charlotte), Brian Vickers (Michigan), and Jamie McMurray (Talladega Fall). However, the guys from Hendrick and JGR still dominated.

2. One of the "big guys" will win the championship. My money is on a Hendrick driver - surprise, surprise - but not JJ.

GRADE D - Probably should be an "F." Truth is...until somebody beats him, Jimmy Johnson has to be the favorite...

3. Mark Martin will win a big race...and maybe a championship.

Grade A - Martin won 5 races: Phoenix, Darlington, Michigan, Chicago, and Loudon. He finished 2nd (again) in the points, but could have won the championship in a bad year at all!

4. Dale, Jr will win more than one race....but probably not a championship.

Grade F - Jr had a terrible year, finishing spot below AJ Allmendinger. He won no races. In all honesty, Jr needs to pick it up in 2010.

5. Tony Stewart won't lose his cool until AFTER the July Daytona race. (Because he will have yet to win AND will have just gotten wrecked!)

Grade C - Tony actually won 2 races before the July Daytona race (but only one points race). Of course, he WON the July Daytona race, too...and, obviously, wasn't wrecked! He did maintain his cool until well into the season...but his tempermental competitiveness emerged nicely at Miami...

6. Juan Pablo Montoya will win an Oval Track race.

Grade C - JPM was closer than ever with 7 top 5's this year...PLUS, he had all but won the Indy race when a silly mistake cost him dearly. I look for JPM to be VERY strong in 2010.

7. Kyle Busch will win more than anyone else PRIOR to the race for the which time he will choke, again.

Grade C - Busch managed to win 5 races this year, including three in a row early. Unfortunately (for his fans), he didn't make the fact, the implosion I expected during the chase began to happen was close...

8. The championship will be decided in the fall race at Phoenix, making Homestead a Ho-Hum race.

Grade D - I got this one wrong. Homestead was a race that mattered...albeit only to two people: JJ and Mark Martin. Only if JJ made a mistake could Martin capitalize, so, again...close...

9. The Daytona 500 will be won by someone NOT LEADING at the White Flag.

Grade B - since the White Flag never officially flew, I cannot take credit for an "A." However, Kenseth passed Sadler just before the caution came out and a rain delay ended the race. So, I give myself a "B."

10. By November, the season will seem too short and the winter ahead too long.

Grade A - Absolutely...let's go racin boys!

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