With the Daytona 500 just a few more weeks away I thought I would go ahead and make some predictions for the 2010 season. While last year was an awesome season, and it was great seeing my favorite driver Mark Martin do so well, I really think that this year has to be different for a few reasons… By different, I am not implying that anything needs to change in terms of the format, or the venues, or even the cars, I just think that this year someone besides Jimmie Johnson needs to dominate, and there probably needs to be a lot more on and off the track bump drafting between the drivers.
When I say on and off the track bump drafting, I mean that the drivers need to all feel free to conduct themselves like the drivers in the 70’s and 80’s did. I look at the current NASCAR driver roster and out of the 50-60 drivers that I have followed for a while, a lot of them just don’t have any personalities to them in comparison to some of the old timers like Ricky Rudd, or Junior Johnson. The point I am trying to make is this, who would you rather see coming back out onto the track after Montoya put them into the wall, David Reutiman or Buddy Baker? I think you can see where I am going.
Granted, I love the sport itself, just watching the teams tweak their equipment to win a race by outperforming their competition with something as simple as an air pressure adjustment really does appeal to me, always has. But the races you remember are the ones where one driver throws his helmet at another driver on the caution lap. That’s what I am hoping to see a lot more of this year.
Now, on to my predictions for 2010…
- Mark Martin will win the Daytona 500.
- Sam Hornish will continue to wreck each week.
- Juan Pablo Montoya will morph from a turd into a butterfly. He will also get along with the other drivers a lot better and I think that he has picked up enough experience in NASCAR and this might be his breakout year.
- Danica Patrick will make some awesome television commercials, and probably cook a mean pot roast, but she will not win a race in either of the two major series (she might pull off an ARCA race, or finish in the top 10 but I suspect it’s more about merchandising w/ her than anything else.)
- Hendrick Motorsports will continue to lead the pack this year but I suspect that Roush and Ford will close the gap a bit as will Penske and Dodge.
- Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman will only continue to get better and better. I have called the Stewart / Newman thing a dream team since day one. If Mark Martin doesn’t stand on the stage at the end of the year holding the trophy, I hope it’s Ryan or Tony.
- I think Dale Earnhardt Jr. will continue to sell an asinine amount of die-cast cars and t-shirts, but I don’t think he will be very visible in his teammates rear view mirrors again this year. Something is just not right with Team Junior and it hasn’t been for a while. Until he gets his mojo back they need to milk the t-shirt and decal sales while they last.
- Marcos Ambrose will continue to be awesome and by the end of the season his grass root following will rival that of Ken Shraders people. (Ken Shrader has more fans than you can imagine).
- Kevin Harvick will move on or do his own thing after this season.
- Jamie McMurray will try a few new hairstyles this year but won’t come up with anything he really likes.
- I think the Roush guys will either work together a lot better this year or it will fall apart big time between Edwards and Kenseth or Biffle. Either way, I see Roush stepping in and making some changes if they aren’t contenders from the start.
- Kyle Busch will have beer cans thrown at him on more than one occasion this year.
- Based on the success that he had with having his ears trimmed back a few years ago, Kurt Busch will further explore some more cosmetic surgeries. Possibly getting lips like Angelina Jolie.
- David Ragan will win a race or two this season, or come very close.
- Joey Logano will mature a lot more this season and I look for Hamlin to be a big part of that.
- Finally, last but not least. I think that there is a good possibility that after a long grueling race at one of the super speedways, Tony Stewart will lose all control and eat that keselowski kid. It will all happen during the post race interviews, and while Stewart is able to devour the boy rapidly, the first televised accidental act of cannibalism will be frowned upon by sponsors and it willl be a serious setback for ABC and they will be forced to let FOX cover the entire season. This chain of events will make NASCAR fans around the world immediately forgive Tony Stewart and look at him now as a hero…
There you have it folks, let’s watch this season and see how close I am. I would love to hear your predictions for the upcoming season as well. Shoot me a comment and let me know what you think.