Who has the best chance on winning the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship? Let’s take a look and see if we can predict a new champion.
, driver of the #48 Lowes Chevrolet Impala and 5 time in a row Sprint Cup Champion. He has a team who has been there and done that. He has a crew chief (Chad Knaus) who appears to be the best guy for the job and knows his driver’s abilities and needs on the track. Jimmie should be the favorite choice for a repeat championship in 2011. The down fall for Jimmie is that there are some other drivers who don’t want to see this happen and will be tough competitors making a 6th
championship something he will have to work very hard for this year.
, driver of the #11 Fed Ex Toyota Camry and second place in the 2010 Chase for
the Championship. Denny is a tough competitor, but he still has some growing to do in NASCAR. Pressure is not his friend and he does not easily adapt to it on the track. Many things went wrong for Denny during the final race of the season and it got to him and made it hard for him to focus for the victory. Denny is a fan favorite whose youth and energy play a big part in his future success in NASCAR. I believe he will make the Chase this year, but will not win the championship.
, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet Impala and third place finisher in the 2010 Chase for the Championship. Kevin is a driver who knows all about fighting to be his own guy. He has earned his name and reputation as one of the best drivers in NASCAR, and it wasn’t an easy task. I won’t dive in the pool of stories where he was the driver who replaced a legend. He did what he had to do and has won races, built successful Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series teams. Now with Budweiser on his car, Kevin will take RCR back to victory lane and be one of the strongest contenders for the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship.
driver of the #24 Dupont Chevrolet Impala and four time Sprint Cup Champion. Don’t count Jeff out for his drive for five
just yet. Jeff kicks of 2011 with a new team behind him and a new crew chief (Alan Gustafson) who led Kyle Busch to many win’s while at Hendrick Motorsports. Being teamed up in the same shop with Mark Martin should open more discussions between the two drivers and help Jeff with newer ideas. This new energy should bring this team to new heights and wins in 2011, and a place in the Chase.
, driver of the #27 Menard’s Chevrolet Impala for RCR…OK, I was just checking to see if you were still paying attention. Maybe a top 5 in a race would be a good goal for this team?
driver of the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion…If Roush-Fenway had the new FR-9 engine figured out and Carl keeps the
momentum going that he showed at the end of last season, he should be everyone’s pick to make the Chase this year. Carl is a true racer and winning is something his team is good at. Don’t count Carl out for this seasons races.
driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota Camry. Brian has been away from the track for all most a full season and many questions are still up in the air about if he’s ready to come back full time and if he can still be completive. I think he will pick right back up where he left off and show everyone he’s ready to win and try for the chase. I’m on the fence as to if he will make the chase, but it would be cool.
Dale Earnhardt Jr,
driver of the #88 Amp Energy/National Guard Chevrolet Impala. What can I say here? No Sprint Cup wins in 2010,
in fact the only thing he won in 2010 was most the popular driver award. What needs to happen here? Let’s start with focus…He has to show up to the track ready to race and contend for the win. He has a new crew chief (Steve Letarte) who was Jeff Gordon’s crew chief for the past two years, and that’s not saying much. Back off the tv shows, radio show, night club’s and Nationwide team and show up to win. I like Dale, he’s a great guy but he needs to refocus on his racing career, or just become an owner and race every now and them (Ok, here is the comment this will set you “Jr Nation” fans off) become a clone of Michael Waltrip! Yes, I said it!!! One more thing…lose the beard Jr.
driver of the #1 Bass Pro Chevrolet Impala. Jammie has never been a driver that I thought would be better then a mid-pack driver, but he really impressed me with his win’s last year…Daytona, The Brickyard and the Coke 600. Maybe this kid has the right stuff? Is he a possible contender for the Chase this year? I’ve seen stranger things happen in NASCAR, haven’t you?
driver of the #4 Red Bull Toyota. I want to think he will do well, I hope he does well, but let’s just call it what it is. Kasey
is seat filler waiting for his new ride at Hendrick Motorsports. Mr. Hendrick made a huge mistake turning the whole media circus upside down with his hiring of Kasey. He should have kept it quiet and under thr radar for most of this season.
I know, I left out Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano (who I believe will make the Chase this year), Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and some others. Do you agree or not with me? Did I leave your favorite driver out? Maybe it’s because they aren’t a good pick for the Chase? You tell me.
Stay tuned for the return of The WING Racing Show on 1410 ESPN Radio. Eric the Great and myself will be back with all the news you need you survive the 2011 NASCAR season.
Brian “BC” Casey