NASCAR: 10 Predictions for Champions Week in Las Vegas

Todd JacobsCorrespondent INovember 29, 2010

NASCAR: 10 Predictions for Champions Week in Las Vegas

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    Jimmie Johnson Accepting the 2009 Sprint Cup from Brian France.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe's team will once again be at the head table for this years NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Week celebration. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus may as well have their names engraved in the table by now.  Johnson has finished first or second seven out of his eight NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons.

Jimmie Johnson Will Not Break Rear Axle While Doing Donuts On Las Vegas Strip

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    Jimmie Johnson did donuts on the Las Strip during the first annualTodd Warshaw/Getty Images

    Jimmie Johnson led the inaugural Victory Lap down the Las Vegas Strip in the first Las Vegas Champions Week.  During the parade lap, Johnson did donuts in the middle of the world famous Las Vegas Strip and broke the rear axle of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevy.  Rest assured precautions have been taken this year and Johnson will not break the axle on his car.

Chad Knaus Will Tire of Being Asked Who His Pit Crew Will Consist of Next Season

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    The now infamous decision to change pit crews is still a topic of discussionJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    The Richard Childress Racing decision to change pit crews at the beginning of the NASCAR Chase received some attention, but the dramatic decision of Chad Knaus to completely change out crews at Texas is still being talked about. 

Tony Stewart Will Steal Show By Winning 1st Night of Sprint Car Super Nationals

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    Tony Stewart strapped into his Tony Stewart Racing sprint car & won Friday night.Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

    This prediction already came true, but it will still be the talk of the event.  Tony Stewart steps into a sprint car a total of 15 times a year tops (that we know of).  Thanksgiving weekend he pulled off the victory behind the wheel of Steve Kinser's sprint car (owned by Tony Stewart Racing) that won in New Mexico a few weeks ago.  Quite an accomplishment from the modern day A.J. Foyt.

Kyle Busch Will Be Only Busch On the Stage for Awards Ceremony

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    Kyle Busch & Sam Sarcinella with NASCAR Camping World Truck Owner ChampionsChris Graythen/Getty Images

    Kyle Busch made the top-10 in the final NASCAR Sprint Cup standings but brother Kurt finished in 11th place.  Kyle Busch will also have NASCAR fan favorite driver fiance/wife Sam Sarcinella on his arm for the evening.

Carl Edwards Will Do a Back Flip On the Las Vegas Strip

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    Carl Edwards and his famous back flip. Will the fans see one on the Las Vegas Strip.Jason Smith/Getty Images

    Carl Edwards is famous for his back flip and when the NASCAR Victory Lap travels down the Las Vegas Strip it is a given he will get out of his car and do at least one back flip on the world famous stretch of road.

Best Place to View Victory Lap on Las Vegas Strip Will Be Bridges

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    This photo of NASCAR hauler parade down Las Vegas Strip was shot from pedestrian bridge over Flamingo.David Becker/Getty Images

    When the top ten NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers parade down the Las Vegas Strip the best place to view spectacle will be on the pedestrian bridges.  The parade begins at the Planet Hollywood Casino and will travel North first going under the Flamingo/Las Vegas Boulevard pedestrian bridges and then under the Sands/Las Vegas Boulevard pedestrian bridges.  The parade will end at the Hard Rock Hotel on Paradise.

NASCAR Wives and Girlfriends Will Steal Awards Ceremony

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    NASCAR wives love this one opportunity to outshine their spouses & as always they will steal the show.Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    Every year the NASCAR wives and significant others look forward to the NASCAR Awards Ceremony.  It is their one chance to shine and walk the red carpet and they never disappoint.  It is clear on this night who is the better half.

NASCAR Fan Fest Will Once Again Be a Hit With Fans and Drivers

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    The first annual NASCAR fan fest was a success but this year expect larger crowds.Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    The fan fest portion of the NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas was a huge success last season.  This season the 12 Chase drivers will participate in a Family Feud game with one fan.

    The initial event of NASCAR Champions Week will be held in the Neon Garage and the gates will open at 10 a.m. There will also be live entertainment and Miss Sprint Cup will be on hand.  The NASCAR Chase drivers will arrive at 2 p.m. with the event ending at 4 p.m.

More Than One Driver Will Challenge Jimmie Johnson and Co. for 2011

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    At least two of the NASCAR Chase drivers will issue a challenge to Jimmie Johnson & Chad Knaus.Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

    The NASCAR Awards Ceremony is always a platform to set the tone for the upcoming season.  NASCAR drivers have long memories but they also are full of optimism once they look ahead to next season.  At least two drivers will stake their claim to the 2011 Sprint Cup.  Who will it be?  My prediction is Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick will both make their case for how they will take down the five time NASCAR champion No. 48 Lowe's team.

Jimmie Johnson Will Embrace Black Hat Image

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    Jimmie Johnson isn't getting much press as Mr Nice Guy. Look for him to embrace the dark side at NASCAR Awards CeremonyMike Stobe/Getty Images

    Jimmie Johnson has been described as plain and boring as the current five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champ.  At the beginning of the 2010 NASCAR season, Johnson and his team were featured on the HBO documentary series, 24/7.  The show did not endear him to many in the garage or his fan base.  Johnson showed a hint of a dark side in the documentary series but for one last prediction how about this for an acceptance speech.

    Here is one final prediction for NASCAR Champions Week.  Johnson ascends to the stage and issues a decree to his fellow NASCAR drivers.  "I am the greatest and until one of you can beat me, I expect all of you to address me as the greatest."

    This won't happen but it would be great theater to look forward to in the coming season.  Instead we can deal with the impending sixth championship of the No. 48 Lowe's team and more impending commentaries of how this run is ruining NASCAR. 

    To be fair, this is common in other motorsports.  AMA Supercross especially has witnessed runs similar to this.  The question is how can NASCAR continue to call their sport a level playing field in the face of this complete dominance?