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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Edwards will knock off Johnson, take the Sprint Cup this season

I know I’m hardly original, but I don’t see how I can go against what I have been thinking all offseason -- that Roush driver Carl Edwards will the valiant warrior who in 2009 restores competitiveness to NASCAR by taking the trophy that seems to have been attached indefinitely to the #48 team of Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports.

So why not Johnson again? Simple -- four in a row is really, really hard to do. And the way Carl charged at the end of 2008, you can tell he wants that tire more than ever. He was consistent all year, even moreso than Johnson, won nine races, and if not for a boneheaded move at Talladega he could have taken the title last year.

Johnson will no doubt be a force once again, I just see him being outlasted this year by Edwards. Another contender is Kyle Busch, who has freakish racing talent, but he’s too erratic to be counted on for the consistency needed in the Chase. He’ll win a title at some point, but not in 2009.

No, Edwards and his AFLAC duck will be gracing our screens so much this year we’ll be quacking in our sleep. Carl has been called a lot of things, but a quitter is not on that list. His kamikaze move to try to pass Johnson during a race last year was a perfect example of just how dedicated Edwards is to reaching the pinnacle of his sport.

Jimmie Johnson has been the thorn in Edwards’ side since he rose to prominence, and we can look forward to another great duel between the two of them this year.

The difference will be the victor.

Keselowski qualifies
A solid top-20 qualifying effort put Oakland County’s Brian Keselowski into today’s Nationwide, only a handful of positions behind his own brother on the grid. With the exception of Brad’s failure to qualify for the 500, it’s safe to say the Keselowski family is so far very happy with how things are going at Speedweeks.

Truck race excellent as usual
As usual, the unrestricted Trucks put on one of the best shows of the week at Daytona with an awesome race that featured both awesome racing and some scary wrecks. A driver named Brent Raymer had a wreck that was so scary it looked like something out of a Stephen King movie. His car, mangled and deformed from an initial hard impact with the wall, had its throttle stick and smashed straight back into the wall a second time. Luckily he was OK, but wrecks like this and the one Geoff Bodine had at Daytona in a truck years ago show that some serious sparks can fly in this race.

Meanwhile, back up front, something strange happened. Kyle Busch didn’t win. It looked for a while like he was going to get around Todd Bodine and take the win, but it wasn’t to be. The final five laps were nail biting, as a hard-charging J.R. Fitzpatrick passed nearly a dozen cars after taking new tires, testing the yellow-line rule along the way. The young former Canadian Series champ could only get up to fourth, though. Amazingly, Bodine won his fourth-straight Daytona/Talladega race in the Truck Series. The odds against that are phenomenal, especially since Bodine doesn't even have a sponsor this year.

No matter what they do to this series, including adding the silly new “tires OR fuel” pit stop rule, I don’t think they could make it boring.


Anonymous David said...

What color is the sky in your world? You must live on fantasy Island with Carl.

February 14, 2009 at 8:45 AM 

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