Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2010 Predictions

It's that time of the year again. The previous season just ended, and the withdrawal symptoms have begun to get in. A lot of NASCAR fans find themselves asking "is it February yet?!" (53 days!)

After the awards banquet, us fans have nothing to do but wonder what next season will bring. I actually hate doing this. Maybe it's because i'm never right. There are also a number of variables that go into success in racing. Sure, I can write down twelve names of drivers i think will make it into the Chase, but something as simple as a loose lug nut can affect this. Rather then list off twelve names, I find it more valuable to give overall sentences. So here it goes...

  • Jimmie Johnson will make it an even five championships, with Mark Martin being a bridesmaid once again.
  • Hendrick Motorsports as a whole will continue their domination, except for a mediocre season by Jr.
  • Sorry Kyle Busch, changing your crew chiefs will not help you get into the Chase this season. (I never understood this move anyway, Steve Addington is one of the best crew chiefs today in my opinion)
  • Kurt Bush will benefit from this change though, as he will no longer have to butt heads with old crew chief Pat Tryson.
  • RCR will end up winning some races, continuing their positive improvements, but i don't see anyone being completely on par with Hendrick Motorsports. (Thank you testing ban..)
  • Roush racing will continue it's improvements as well, with Carl Edwards winning multiple races.
  • Vickers' Chase season was just a fluke...
  • Montoya will continue forward progress, winning an oval race.
  • Keselowski will quickly realize he can't push people around in the Cup series.
  • Uniform race start times will help the TV ratings.
but most importantly...
  • Clint will enjoy the Chase once again

When thinking about predictions for the 2010 season, i can't help but think of some things i'm hoping for. This season, a few things stick out. The main thing is qualifying. In the past recent years, there was been a dramatic increase in rain outs on qualifying day. This sets the field by points. Sometimes, this leads to a "start and parker" making it into the race, running two laps, and parking the car because of "handling" issues, and banking the cash purse for last place. Meanwhile, a guy that is running full time and has every intention to run the duration of the race is on a plane home to his race shop. Something is very wrong about this, and a simple solution would be attempting to run washed out qualifying the next day. Even if this overlaps Happy Hour, NASCAR would throw a competition caution anyway, so teams would have a chance to adjust.
Another thing i'm hoping for is set guidelines for penalties. It irks me when one of NASCAR's most popular drivers can slam a guy into a wall, and have no disciplinary action, while a less popular driver can be pitted for blocking. This isn't right, and while i know that no two incidents are ever the same, there should be some sort of guide to determine penalties.

Comments? Disagreements? Have your own predictions? All feedback welcomed.

All opinions are solely of the writer.

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