Blog Entry

Edwards leads list of next first time champions

Posted on: November 25, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 5:33 pm
 
By Pete Pistone


Image Detail
(Edwards will be doing flips over a Sprint Cup Series championship before too long)

Tony Stewart
is enjoying his third Sprint Cup Series championship after prevailing in the most dramatic title race the sport has ever seen. 

Stewart’s thrilling drive to this year’s crown derailed Carl Edwards’ shot at taking his first Cup title and sent the Roush Fenway Racing driver into a bittersweet offseason. 

But Edwards can take solace in that he’s a member of a club that includes some pretty impressive names all still searching for Sprint Cup championship No. 1.

Edwards leads the list of top ten current drivers never to have won the title at NASCAR’s highest level and appears to have the best chance to erase his name from that roster: 

No. 1

Carl Edwards 

If the old adage of having to lose one before winning a championship applies then Edwards is a shoo-in for a Cup crown. The experience of being involved in the closest title race in NASCAR history will help Edwards cope with the pressure when he contends again, which should come as soon as next season. Edwards is the lead dog at Roush Fenway Racing and with a brand new contract, hefty sponsor support and all of the organization’s resources at his disposal, "Cousin Carl" will be on the preseason favorite list for several seasons to come. 


No. 2

Denny Hamlin 

Like Edwards, Hamlin knows the disappointment of coming so close to NASCAR's Holy Grail only to fall bitterly short. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver followed up his championship run of 2010 with a disappointing season chock full of mechanical issues and engine problems. JGR’s commitment to eradicate those power plant gremlins is key to Hamlin returning to championship form in 2012. 


No. 3

Kevin Harvick 

Despite scoring multiple victories and making solid runs at the championship the last two years, Harvick reportedly pushed for a change at crew chief and sent veteran Gil Martin packing as season's end. Shane Wilson gets moved over from inside the Richard Childress Racing stable to call the shots for the No. 29 team next season but the question of whether or not Harvick can make a serious run for the title still lies behind the wheel. Harvick's fiery personality and emotions need to be held in check to some degree for a title shot to come to fruition. 


No. 4

Greg Biffle 

"The Biff" is still trying to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win titles in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series. He has the talent to do contend and the Roush organization’s resources behind him. But Biffle will have to find a way to be much more consistent that the wild roller-coaster seasons he has had in recent years. 


No. 5

Kyle Busch 

This was to be the year Busch finally became a legitimate Sprint Cup title contender and put to rest the doubts that have plagued him since he first moved to the top level of the sport. Despite coming into the Chase as the number one seed on the strength of his four regular season victories, Busch once again faded in the playoffs and saw the wheels completely come off with his emotional meltdown in the celebrated truck series incident with Ron Hornaday at Texas. Unless Busch can finally harness those emotions he will never be able to win a Cup title pure and simple. 


No. 6

Kasey Kahne 

Easily one of the hottest drivers down the stretch of the 2011 season, Kahne's move to Hendrick Motorsports next year provides the best opportunity to challenge for a Sprint Cup crown. It may not come in 2012, but Kahne and crew chief Kenny Francis have the look of a tandem that can work their way to the top of the mountain sooner rather than later. 


No. 7

Brad Keselowski 

His breakout season of 2011 was not a mirage. Keselowski matured tremendously this past season and the chemistry he shares with crew chief Paul Wolfe is among the best in the Sprint Cup garage. The nurturing hand of team owner Roger Penske will help guide Keselowski’s ascension to championship contender in years to come. 


No. 8

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

The clock is ticking on Earnhardt's quest for a Sprint Cup championship. He made vast improvement in 2011 and struck a nearly perfect chord with crew chief Steve Letarte. Just making the Chase was a stellar achievement for a team that ended last year floundering. However more gains need to be made in a hurry for Earnhardt to join the ranks as title contender.


No. 9

Ryan Newman

At times Newman demonstrated a perfect balance of wins and consistency this past season, showing he was capable of both. But it was short-lived and a string of disappointing performances ended any chance to contending for the crown early on in the Chase. He's a member of a championship-winning organization at Stewart-Haas Racing but at this point is light years behind his boss and teammate Tony Stewart on the title radar. 


No. 10

Clint Bowyer 

Had Bowyer remained at Richard Childress Racing, his championship caliber stock would have remained higher than it is now with the move to Michael Waltrip Racing. Although MWR has made adjustments in hopes of bringing the organization to the next level including the hiring of form RCR cog Scott Miller as Director of Competition, Bowyer will have his hands full trying to compete for wins and a title early on as the team tries to sort things out.

 
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Comments

Since: May 28, 2011
Posted on: November 26, 2011 9:41 am
 

Edwards leads list of next first time champions

I'm not a Carl Edwards fan, but I do feel he will be back next year. Next year there will be quite a few drivers in the hunt for a championship again. I think the strong contenders will be Edwards, Stewart, Johnson, Biffle, and Denny Hamlin. I am a JJ fan, but I have to agree, I dont think the season could have ended much better.



Since: Nov 25, 2011
Posted on: November 25, 2011 10:34 pm
 

Edwards leads list of next first time champions

5, 6, and 7 should be 2, 3, and 4. 




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 25, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Edwards leads list of next first time champions

"If the old adage of having to lose one before winning a championship applies then Edwards is a shoo-in for a Cup crown. The experience of being involved in the closest title race in NASCAR history will help Edwards cope with the pressure when he contends again, which should come as soon as next season. Edwards is the lead dog at Roush Fenway Racing and with a brand new contract, hefty sponsor support and all of the organization’s resources at his disposal, "Cousin Carl" will be on the preseason favorite list for several seasons to come. " 
 

 
 
DUMB DUM DUM DUM DUMB...!!!!!  I should dock your paycheck for THIS one...

  

2 days in a row I catch Newbie Nascar fan Petey Pistonie here showing his total IGNORANCE of Nascar HISTORY!!!!!  Why dontcha try telling your 'adage' to Mr Mark Martin, the Nascar driver who is still competing in his 50's?!  The whole 'logic argument' you make for your cuz Carl also applied to Mark Martin in the late Eighties and through the Nineties.... He was Roush's Top Dog with all the support and sponsorship advantages and the most tech help Ford could give....and he placed, get this.... RUNNER UP IN THE CUP POINTS STANDINGS....FIVE TIMES!!!!!  Count 'em, Newbie....FIVE freaking times, and there never was a guy more deserving of a WINSTON CUP Championship, but the magic season NEVER happened for Mark, and eventually his star faded and today he is somewhat competitive in some races, but he'll probably never compete top level for a championship again... too bad, 'cause Mark is one heck of a nice guy and a great driver, kinda like your boy cuz Carl there, huh....


Goes to show ya.  Nobody learns from history.  Fact is, they tend to ignore it.     And the competition never lets up.  Someone else is always climbing the ladder behind ya, and eventually passing ya for the top spot...  See also, Jeff Gordon (the guy most writers picked to beat King Richard and Dale Earnhardts record of SEVEN championships back when he was young and hungry) and ask him how hard it is to be the guy on top....


But I digress... as long as it's a Chevy driver winning, nothing else matters.....:)  

   




Since: Aug 22, 2009
Posted on: November 25, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Edwards leads list of next first time champions

Edwards might be the next champion, but you'll see pigs fly before Dale Jr wins a championship.  I still believe in T Bayne!


WVBeachBum
Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: November 25, 2011 5:36 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: November 25, 2011 4:36 pm
 

Edwards leads list of next first time champions

I think Carl Edwards and John Cena should trade places and see if anyone knows the difference.  I guess Cena would be more willing to swap paint, while Edwards would have a better aerial attack in the ring.  Carl would probably have to "juice up" a little and hit the weight room, though.


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