The Daytona 500 Is 2 Weeks Away, Check Out Some Preseason Rankings!
9.Ryan Newman: Hello, Newman! This is where he finished in 2009, and this is where I'm starting him out in the rankings for 2010. I see no reason to believe Stewart-Haas racing won't continue to improve, and Newman just might make a few visits to victory lane this year.
8.Carl Edwards: He went winless in 2009, which was a surprise in itself. I see Carl rebounding in 2010. He might be moving further up the ladder as the season progresses.
7.Kyle Busch: Here's the third and final driver who missed the Chase in 2009 that will make it back into the Top 12 in 2010. I think missing the Chase last year taught him a lesson, take the 4th place finish instead of wrecking yourself out trying to win and you'll be in much better shape!
6.Jeff Gordon: Gordon will easily make the Chase, but will not win the title, and just miss a top 5 finish in the points, slightly worse than last year overall. However, he'll win 3 races at the least in 2010, putting him above the cluster of Waltrip, Allison, and Yarborough, and leaving him all alone in 3rd place on the all-time wins list.
5.Mark Martin: Mark will win a couple more races, and will make the Chase once again, but I really believe 2009 was his last legitimate shot at winning a championship. Oh how I'd love to be wrong, but I just don't think it's going to happen.
4.Juan Montoya: This man emerged as a true dark horse to start last year's Chase. He will make it again, and this year he WILL win on an oval. As I said in an article last week, it's not a question of if he will, but rather when.
3.Denny Hamlin: Denny will be a huge factor all year, making the Chase, winning quite a few races, but will come up just short of the title. Don't think he'll go down without a fight though, and I mean that both literally and figuratively *cough-KESELOWSKI-cough*!
2.Jimmie Johnson: Yes, he's the reigning 4-time Champ. Yes, he will make the Chase again. Yes, he will be in victory lane at least 5 times. No, he will not win 5 in a row. The dominance will finally come to an end, but this begs the question, who's left?
1.Tony Stewart: He had an incredible first year as an owner/driver. He led for much of the season, and while he didn't win in the final 10 races, I see no reason to believe 2010 won't be even better than 2009. Smoke is the man who will dethrone Jimmie Johnson.
The only sure thing with these rankings is that they will be changing faster than Bill Elliott's Talladega qualifying record. It's time to start answering all the questions, and they'll start being answered on Valentine's Day with the 52nd running of the Daytona 500, now let's go racing!
BK over and out