The 2011 season saw 18 drivers get to the winners circle, which was a lot considering the history of the previous years in the Sprint Cup. With the 2012 season on the horizon, let's take a look at which drivers will see victory lane in the upcoming season and at which race tracks the wins could occur.
With one win and five runner-up finishes in 2011, it is no doubt Cousin Carl will take a checkered or two in 2012. Look for Carl to reign supreme at Vegas, Texas, Michigan, Dover, Pocono and Homestead.
With only two wins in 2011 for Johnson, look for him to get back to his winning ways in 2012 at Las Vegas, Fontana, Dover, Charlotte, Martinsville and Kansas.
With just one win midseason in 2011, look for Hamlin to rebound in 2012 with possible champagne celebrations at Martinsville, Richmond, Pocono, Atlanta and Loudon.
The 2011 champion had five wins in the last 10 races in his championship year. Smoke will continue his winning ways in 2012 with possible burnouts at Texas, Martinsville, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Atlanta and Daytona.
Jeff Gordon broke back into the winning scene in 2011 by taking three races throughout the year. Gordon should continue his success in 2012 with possible wins at Watkins Glen, Kansas, Darlington and Loudon.
Tallying four wins in 2011, Kevin Harvick will continue his success in 2012 with possible wins at Richmond, Martinsville, Fontana and Indianapolis. I would not be surprised if he picked up one on a road course.
With four wins in 2011 for the wild card, look for Kyle Busch to be in contention in a lot of races in 2012. Look for those checkered flag bows on top of the No. 18 car at tracks like Dover, Kentucky, Bristol, Richmond and possibly a restrictor plate track.
Brad Keselowski was surprising the Sprint Cup scene in 2011 with three wins. The aggressive-driving Keselowski should be in contention for some wins at Talladega, Kansas, Bristol and Kentucky.
Moving to top equipment in 2012, Kasey Kahne will be running up front at the cookie cutter tracks he is always so good at, which include Charlotte, Texas, Kansas, Atlanta and now Phoenix.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a turnaround season in 2011, placing in the Top 10 in points for most of the year. Despite not making it to victory lane in 2011, we saw many close ones for Junior. It seems the combination of Letarte and Junior is working. We could see more progress in 2012 with getting Dale Jr. back to winning at his normal threats of Richmond, Martinsville, Talladega and Daytona.
For more NASCAR insight and Fantasy Sports advice. Please visit us at FantasySportsKings.com and follow us on Twitter.