So it’s the final column of NASCAR’S offseason.
With the Sprint Unlimited coming up this weekend, it’s time to make predictions sure to fail: predicting the 2016 Sprint Cup champion and the three other drivings who will race for a title at Homestead. Last year’s picks didn’t go so well; so, apologies in advance if I pick your favorite Sprint Cup driver.
In: Kevin Harvick
Harvick was the one name I had right last year. Harvick’s dominance at key Chase tracks gives him an advantage only Jimmie Johnson shares. Harvick also can race for points better than anyone and maintained crew consistency. I don’t think he wins the Sprint Cup but wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Harvick hoisting a second title in November. It’s the most consistent on tour.
In: Carl Edwards
I had Edwards in last year; he made it to the Final Eights but never really felt like a legitimate finals contender. I can easily see Matt Kenseth in this spot and could also envision Denny Hamlin here. Still, Edwards is so smooth on 1.5 mile tracks and avoids trouble. He could easily point his way to Homestead; I just don’t see that level headed sense from either Hamlin or Kenseth in 2016.
In: Kyle Busch
Of the three Sprint Cup champions, who won titles in the last five years, I see Busch making a return to Homestead. There’s something to be said for past experience working in this new Chase format. I also think Hendrick Motorsports has to lose something with Jeff Gordon not around anymore, and Busch finds ways to wins races; Brad Keselowski couldn’t say that in 2015.
The Champ: Joey Logano
Logano knows what it takes to get to Homestead. He had the best team last year before Matt Kenseth wrecked his season. If Logano learned anything about the driver’s code and how to avoid wreckless drama, the team is solid. The pit crew performed well; there’s continuity in the program, and Logano has great pedigree at key tracks. Kyle Busch has learned how to tone things down just a hair. If Logano learns that lesson, I think he holds the title at Homestead.
The 2016 Sprint Cup title odds are live if you want to see how your favorite driver fairs. Enjoy the 2016 Sprint Cup season, and insert a random catchphrase here.