Thank goodness for 2011.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready to start looking ahead to next year instead of back at last year. We all know what happened in 2010. But no man can predict what will happen in 2011. A Magic 8 Ball? Now that’s a different story.

I used an actual Magic 8 Ball and asked if particular drivers would make the 2011 Chase. Here’s the breakdown:


It is certain: Jimmie Johnson
It is decidedly so: Joey Logano
Logano had the sixth-most points the final ten races of 2010. Logano is entering his third full Sprint Cup season and had consistent success on the Nationwide Series. This seems logical, even from an inanimate object.
Outlook good: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Who knew the Magic 8 Ball could drink media-concocted Kool-Aid?  
You may rely on it: Kyle Busch  
Kyle Busch and reliable in the same sentence. For some reason, this strikes me as odd.

Reply hazy, try again: Kevin Harvick
Richard Childress Racing was a mess after adding a fourth car in 2009. After righting the ship in 2010, RCR is adding a fourth car again, and it’s Paul Menard steering the ship. Actually, it’s a car, but he kind of drives it like a ship. I suspect this isn’t the last we’ll here of this subplot.
Concentrate and ask again: Jeff Gordon
Speaking of subplot, a new crew chief housed in a shop away from the No. 48. Plus who knows what you’ll get out of Mark Martin (other than retirement talk) and Dale Jr.’s old team? Hmm….
Outlook not so good: Denny Hamlin
A traumatic loss forces an athlete to come back stronger than ever or fold like an accordion. I don’t think Hamlin is that flexible after this knee surgery. But I’m not a Magic 8 Ball. 
My sources say no: Kasey Kahne  
A terrible 2010. A new team that for 2011 that is a placeholder for another new team in 2012. And NASCAR wonders why its female demo is shrinking? If only they could use Red Bull in their engine shop. 
Very doubtful: David Ragan
Somewhere a young driver is smiling at the chance for a new ride in 2012. Somewhere else Jack Roush is frowning. 
The Magic 8 Ball is always right, except when it’s wrong. Here’s to getting back on the track. Now insert random catchphrase here.