2011 NASCAR DANGER ZONE

I have no clue if Kenny Loggins likes NASCAR.

I have no clue if you even know who in the blue heck Kenny Loggins is.

All I know is that every writer does a 2011 NASCAR preview to provide a soundtrack for the upcoming season. For 15 years, you couldn’t have a movie soundtrack without a Kenny Loggins song. If it’s good enough for Bill Murray, Tom Cruise and Kevin Bacon, it’s good enough for me.

So here’s a look at 2011, Kenny Loggins style.


I’m Alright…Nobody worry about me
These are drivers you don’t have to think about. These guys are who they are and will do what they do, giving you time to think more important things like nacho recipes and unfunny Tiger commercials.
 


Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch is going to win two races, make the Chase, be a non-factor during the Chase and make at least three snarky comments about another driver while smiling and dapping his sponsors.

Paul Menard
Another new year. Another new team. Another year outside the Chase.

David Ragan
Another new year. Another chance with a great team. Another year outside the Chase. Except this year, Ragan may not get another chance.

Danger Zone
These are drivers facing a critical year for different reasons.


Joe Gibbs Racing

Joe Gibbs in the cool uncle I already have, just with his own racing team and a better knowledge of the zone blitz. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin are part of a “Young Guns” campaign from a company trying to be more aggressive and edgy. Joey Logano is in his third year and showing blossoming temper and talent. Good for NASCAR to get this varied exposure. But aggressive attitudes coupled with family friendly owners…danger zone.

Jeff Gordon
Is Jeff Gordon relevant or not? He made the Chase, was in contention to win several races, but he never won a race. Gordon won’t share Jimmie Johnson’s garage and has a new crew chief. This is a critical season for Gordon, hence admission to…danger zone.

Michael Waltrip Racing
I predicted one of their drivers to make the Chase last year. Oops. The drivers have talent. The team has resources. The results haven’t arrived. The crossroads are starting MWR in the face. Let’s see where they turn. Probably left, right into…danger zone.

Footloose
These are drivers worth watching, just like the video below.

 
Carl Edwards
Last year, Denny Hamlin became the anointed driver to challenge Jimmie Johnson. He handled that game well until the last race of the year. This year, it’s Edwards who wears the crown. He had it before and struggled. Regardless of what happens, it should be a good story.

Brad Keselowski
If “Have at it” still applies, Keselowski will get into a fight this year. He’s always aggressive. This year, I think he’s aggressive and competitive. Chalk up at least one win, one scrum and one Chase for Keselowski. Yes, I typed that last sentence.

Jimmie Johnson
Duh.

I still don’t know if Kenny Loggins likes NASCAR. But I do know how stoked I am for 2011. Enjoy sand volleyball with Goose, prom in the neighboring town and Happy Hour at Bushwood. Now insert random catchphrase here.