Rebecca's 2010 Championship Picks

With Speedweeks under way, we find ourselves on the cusp of a new season in NASCAR. The slate will be wiped clean, and the battle for the championship in all three series will begin anew. Who will take home the coveted trophy in each series? Time to shake the dust from my crystal ball and tell you my picks for the 2010 season.


Jimmie Johnson may lose sleep when he becomes a father in July, but don't expect him to lose his drive for a fifth championship. The man is unstoppable.

109814No other team has shown the consistency that Johnson and the 48 have demonstrated for the last four years, and frankly nothing from last year leads me to believe that will change. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are so in tune with one another; no other driver/crew-chief combination today rivals it. The team readily adapts to changes in NASCAR - they've won championships with both the COT and previous car - and they've already expressed confidence about adjusting to the new spoiler.

Johnson also gets hot when it counts: during the Chase. Four of his seven wins last season came during the last 10 races. No other driver has mastered the Chase the way Johnson has.

Look for Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin (who feels confident despite a bum knee) and a few others to challenge the 48 for the title, but it'll be Johnson you'll see collecting his fifth trophy at Homestead.


A Cup driver will once again win the Nationwide championship this year, but I'm not talking about front-runner Carl Edwards. I'm talking about Brad Keselowski.
Brad - DigialRedEye flickr
Keselowski finished the 2008 and 2009 seasons third in points, the highest-ranking Nationwide regular. He won six races for JR Motorsports, four in 2009 alone.

In 2010 Keselowski will pull double-duty in Cup and Nationwide during his first year competing for Penske Racing. While there will be growing pains, Keselowski has shown he's a fast learner. He knows how to run up front and win races. His hunger to win has been praised as well as criticized.

With experienced crew chief Paul Wolfe, Keselowski has what it takes to go head-to-head with Edwards, the 2007 series champion looking for a repeat. Both drivers are hungry for the title, but I predict it will be Keselowski sitting at the head table at the Nationwide banquet in December.


2009 Texas2 Nov NCWTS practice Matt Crafton in carThe obvious choice here would be Ron Hornaday Jr., who last season captured his fourth Camping World Truck Series championship and won a historic five races in a row. So why I am picking Matt Crafton, a driver with one series victory to his name?

Crafton's consistency last year impressed me. Out of 25 races, Crafton finished outside the top 10 only four times. Even without a win in 2009, his on-track performance earned him second place in the points standings. Crafton also refused to back down in the face of some "aggressive driving" incidents, the most notable at Gateway. Despite the criticism he received, the driver of the 88 truck held his ground against the likes of Hornaday.

Crafton stepped it up in 2009, and I think he'll continue to do so in 2010. Once the season begins, I believe it'll only be a matter of time before he finds his way to Victory Lane.

It won't be easy to defeat Hornaday, but crew chief Rick Ren's departure to work as director of competition for Kyle Busch Motorsports may leave the defending champ vulnerable. Expect Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine to also challenge for the title. But as long as Crafton can build on the consistency he established last year, we'll be talking about him as our next truck series champion.
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Jimmie Johnson and Matt Crafton Photo Courtesy of NASCARMedia. Brad Keselowski photo courtesy of Flickr user DigitalRedEye (CC License)
Rebecca's 2010 Championship Picks Rebecca's 2010 Championship Picks Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Rating: 5