Goodbye 2011. Say hello to 2012. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is wide open with new team affiliations, new crew chiefs, and a few rookies in the mix. Danica Patrick will make her NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Daytona and if she makes the field she has a good opportunity to score a great finish.
While Danicamania will be talked about heavily in the new year, I don’t believe she is not going to be one of the top five stories during the season. The following are my predicitions for the best stories and most talked about drivers during the 2012 season.
1. Dale Earnhardt, Jr wins three races
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had a very good 20011, but unfortunately he did not win a race. With Steve LeTarte back on the pit box, I am going to make a bold prediction that he will win three races in 2012 and one of them will be at Daytona or Talladega with Jimmie Johnson pushing him to victory.
2. A.J. Allmendinger will win his first career race this season
A.J. Allmendinger has been on the verge of his first win for a season and a half, and now he is racing with one of the best owners in racing, Roger Penske. Allmendinger is the type of driver that puts his head down and digs. I predict in 2012, that Allmendinger will win at Dover International Raceway.
3. Kyle Busch gets flack from media for being too boring
Kyle Busch will give the media nothing in 2012 and they will ridicule him for being so bland. Don’t blame Kyle Busch, blame NASCAR for their return to boring interviews and boring non-controversial drivers in 2012. No one will put themselves out there in 2012, but the younger Busch brother will get the most blow back from being boring.
4. First time Sprint Cup champion
Brad Keselowski had a stellar 2011 season. He joined the elite No. 2 Miller Lite team and hit another gear after breaking his ankle in a testing crash at Road Atlanta. Keselowksi was lucky enough to limp away from the accident and proceed to win in the same weekend. Carl Edwards has been a high consistent driver during most of his career, as he usually finishes as one of the top ten drivers. Edwards and Keselowski gave the NASCAR fans a great battle for the NASCAR Nationwide title a few year ago and in 2012 the two will battle to the end for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title. Give the edge to Edwards in this battle.
5. Joey Logano will leave Joe Gibbs Racing
Does Joe Gibbs regret replacing Tony Stewart with Joey Logano yet? He might after Logano struggled in 2011 by finishing 24th in points with four top-fives and six top-ten finishes. Logano was thought to be the next up and coming superstar. He flew though the NASCAR ranks and such an early age. The question comes up, does Logano belong in the Sprint Cup Series? After earning his only career win during his rookie year in 2009, Logano has struggled to be consistent. In 2012, my prediction is that Logano doesn’t step up and win even with having Jason Ratcliff as his new crew chief. If he doesn’t win a race and be a Chase contender, Gibbs maybe finding someone else to drive the No. 20 Toyota.
Alright NASCAR fans, it’s time to here from you. Do you have any predictions for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season? Feel free to post them in our comment section. I’d love to here from you!