What Drivers Will Step Up In 2010?

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent INovember 23, 2009

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 14:  Mark Martin, driver of the #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, talks with Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 14, 2009 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It is official Jimmie Johnson has won the 2009 Sprint Cup championship.  In doing so he as achieved even more greatness with becoming the first driver to win 4 in a row in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series or any series for that matter.  Hendrick motorsports has become the only team to ever win 4 straight championships in cup as well.

With Mark Martin finished 12th, Johnson won by the biggest Margin since Matt Kenseth won by 90 points in 2003 and since the chase was formed-141 points. 

It looked like we could have a very good battle for the championship but the 48 team played the chase once more and succeeed more than likely better than ever.

With that being said will drivers mount a charge actually defeat Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, Ron Mallec and the 48 team?

The notable candidates are Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, and Denny Hamin.  If Carl Edwards can get back to his 2009 form you bet he is better than ever and could try to steal JJ's thunder.

Kyle Busch one of the best drivers NASCAR has seen in years may have missed the chase in 2009 but he will not in 2010.  If this driver can mature and have the team around him, he will be very hard to beat and who knows we might finally have the Kyle Busch era.

The one team that most weeks was better than the 48 was the 11 team of Denny Hamlin.  If not for wrecking himself at Auto Club, and 2 engine blow ups, he might be celebrating his first Sprint Cup championships.

Johnson's regin won't last forever (though I haven't seen any driver/team who can prove otherwise)

What driver and team do you think will be able to step up the plate and deny Johnson 5 in a row?