It’s finally time to talk about the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion. Sort of.
The odds are out, and Daytona is so so so close. Every year there are contenders who never meet expectations and people who come out of nowhere to contend for a title.
This year, here are the three drivers who will overachieve and underachieve.
Overrated: AJ Allmendinger
I dapped AJ all offseason. I will probably bet fake money on him next week. But when everyone says Dinger is going to be the breakout driver of 2012, that is a kiss of racing death. I want to be wrong on this by the way.
Underrated: Jeff Burton
When Richard Childress Racing has three cars, at least two Chase. When RCR has four cars, the team crumbles. Three cars this year huh??
Overrated: Joey Logano
This website and every other has documented the importance of 2012 for Logano, who hasn’t really handled pressure very well. Too much talent too soon doesn’t equal success. It might equal a new ride for Logano in 2012.
Underrated: Denny Hamlin
Hamlin’s relationship with Mike Ford got toxic. Enter Darian Grubb, who orchestrated the best Chase in NASCAR history. If Joe Gibbs can keep the engines from falling apart, Hamlin contends for a title. There, I said it.
Overrated: Carl Edwards
Edwards never strung together two good years in a row. Plus, he isn’t running a full Nationwide schedule. This is a big change that has to impact him. Can Edwards content? Of course. But he needs to do something he has never done before.
Underrated: Matt Kenseth
Kenseth was almost as consistent as Edwards and won more races. Any Roush driver has a chance to win the title this year, even the one few are mentioning in preseason coverage.
Who is missing from this list? Maybe we’ll find out a week from Sunday. Enjoy racing’s best week, and insert random catchphrase here.