Winners, Losers, Did Not Finish: NASCAR 2009 Preview

Robert PritchettContributor IJanuary 25, 2009

The 2009 Nascar season is just around the corner and it time to predict who will win, lose, and not finish. There are just a handfull of drivers who have what it takes to become the NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion this year. So let's begin.

Jimmie Johnson should be the hands down favorite. He has three titles and doesn't look like he will cool off. He and his crew chief have the ability to take a bad car and make it good and finish off the race or take a good car and make it better.  With his knowledge and ability and that of his crew chief look for No. 4.

Jeff Gordon just cannot find the right setup once he is in the car.  He is just too picky, just drive the car, make the adjustments and put it across the finish line first.  He needs to take lessons from Jimmie Johnson.  Gordon will place well in the majority of the races but his constant need for better handling will keep him from the 5th championship and one he will never reach.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will never win a championship. He runs well at the race but the desire to win at all cost is not there so a championship is just a dream.  He will stay the most popular driver by riding the coat tails of his ruthless father Dale Sr.  Dale Jr. is a great person and ambassador for Nascar but he will won't win a championship, the personality and the desire not there.

Mark Martin with the jump to Hendrick, it is thought, will have the best chance to win his first championship.  That may be true but it won't happen.  He will run a constant 5th to 15th and be in the chase, but sorry no championship.  New team and age have caught Martin has it always does.

The best bet for a championship is Carl Edwards. His attitude is, give me the car and drive the wheels off, and he does.  He takes what he has and can get it to the end and as last season first in races is where he finishes.  Carl has a chance to take eight championships and break the record as well as Jimmie Johnson.

Kyle Busch is one of the losers.  Not as a person but someone who wins and dominates until the chase and then flounders like a fish out of water. He won't win the championship.  Kyle took the car to the red zone in the first 26 races but couldn't cross the goal line and expect more this year.

The dark horse is Brian Vickers with the Red Bull team.  Qualifies well and finishes well.  With Toyota in its third year watch for those cars and Vickers to have an outstanding finish.

Losers are Tony Stewart due to new team and just can't drive and not complain.  With all first year teams it is a learning experience and by the time the team is ready to win Stewart will be pass his prime. Juan Montoya gets to much press but can't do it on the track, so no championship in his future. Clint Boyer outside chance but needs one more year then the championship will come.  Doesn't have the needed desire yet to do anything it takes to win.

The Did Not Finish starts with Michael Waltrip.  Had a car and team with DEI but on his own the chemistry and strength is not there.  He will keep himself in the top 35 just to be in the races but his career is over.  The rest of the field will just race.  There be the once in a life time winner but most will be racing for the top 35 and just race and finish well. 

There are so many other drivers such as Hamlin, Smith, Kenseth, just to name a few who will make a run but their time is not here.  Jimmie Johnson the 2009 Sprint Car Nascar champion.