White Hat Sports Headlines

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Breaking Down the Top-12 Drivers, Part 1.

Since I'm the only NASCAR contributor here, I've decided to post a few separate posts, breaking down the top-12 drivers that made the Chase for the Sprint Cup last season, heading into the upcoming season. I'm counting down from 12, all the way down to number 1, Jimmie Johnson:

12. Denny Hamlin - The biggest question about Denny Hamlin is whether or not he can get rid of his late-season struggles from last season, and rebound successfully. He's one of the most talented drivers in the field right now, even with the misfortune that plagued him and his team last year. Next season, I expect Hamlin to make the Chase once again and improve on his 12th place finish in the standings. Driving with a new manufacturer - Toyota - won't be a difficult transition for Hamlin, but it will be difficult trying to contend with the likes of Hendrick Motorsports and teammates Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.

11. Martin Truex, Jr. - With the departure of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, it's up to Truex to carry the load for the organization. It leaves him the unquestioned number in the organization, and unless Truex suddenly inherits the awful equipment Dale Jr. was plagued with last season, he should easily make the Chase for a second consecutive season. The question is whether or not he can improve on his 11th place finish.

10. Kevin Harvick - Kevin Harvick and his team missed out on a lot of setups and opportunities in 2007, and Harvick's focus should be on moving forward. Him and crew chief Todd Berrier are capable of winning three or four races, and he has a chance of winning back-to-back Daytona 500s. Harvick should have a better season than 2007 and should make the Chase again. However, Hendrick Motorsports will again be the top organization and it remains to be seen if Harvick will be able to stay with them.

Aaron Larsen

No comments: