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Thursday, February 16, 2012

And your 2012 Sprint Cup champion will be ... Carl Edwards (sorry Jimmie Johnson)

Who’s gonna be the champ?
That’s the big question as the year begins once again in NASCAR.

And the media, which I can claim to be a part of, has gone with a safe choice: Jimmie Johnson.

Yes, the formerly dominant driver is no longer defending champ, for the first time in a long time. But that hasn’t lessened the impression that he’s the one to beat.

Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. Eventually, yes, he will win another title, and god forbid he might even tie or pass the almight Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most titles of all time.

No, this year I think that a non-Hendrick affiliated car will take the crown .. so no Jimmie, no Gordon, no Jr., no Kahne, no Stewart.

I think Carl Edwards might be able to finally seal the deal, in a tight battle with Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski nipping at their heels. Forget the idea that last year's No. 2 flakes out the following year: Carl is hungry, and angry he didn't win in 2011 due to a stunning surge from Tony Stewart; he'll get the title this time.

Here’s how the media voted in their preseason picks:
Johnson received 147 votes in the annual preseason poll, just two more than Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top 12: defending champion Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.
“To be honest I'm stoked they did,” Johnson said in response to the vote. “They know racing and know how much last year will motivate us. Now, we need to go out and do our best to make them all look good.”

In Nationwide, the media picked Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to be a repeat champ -- not a bad choice; though Austin Dillon might give him a run for his money.

And in Trucks, Johnny Sauter was chosen, just ahead of Ty Dillon ... though that series is so competitive it’s pretty much impossible to predict a winner. Sauter could pull it out though if he has a year like he did in 2011, but I don’t expect Ty to make as big an impact as his brother.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl Edwards has let two championships slip away from him. The first was forgiveable, but in 2011 he simply choked. And as confident as Carl always appears to be, that choke collar gets tighter with every near miss. He gave it away in 2011 and that will haunt him for the rest of his career. He will not ever be a Cup champion, because he is damaged goods. He lost the championship by laying back and letting Tony get the momentum. Sure, Homestead was a great race, but Carl knows he should have taken care of business much sooner. And you should know that too!

Losing the big one can get to be a habit.

February 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM 

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