Amanda Ebersole's 2011 Championship Picks

Who to pick, who to pick, that is the question! It should be easy this year, be "captain obvious" and pick Jimmie Johnson? I don't believe in taking the easy road, and I for one hope we see a new champion this year so here is my take on the Championship contenders in each series.

Sprint Cup: Denny Hamlin

Credit: Debbie Ross
Last year I voted for my driver, Carl Edwards, although I could do that again upon his performance at the end of the year I am not going to. (Ouch did I really say that?) Looking over last season there was one standout driver, Denny Hamlin! Denny fought harder than any other driver to dethrone Jimmie and gave us the closest points battle in many years. When you consider the fact that Hamlin had major surgery on his knee and was driving like that, impresses me even more. An additional factor in my decision was the confidence displayed by Denny, crew chief Mike Ford, and his entire pit crew. Falling short in their goal of the championship will motivate them even more.

Nationwide: Elliott Sadler

This is the series I struggled with a decision for. As we now know, drivers can only run for one championship so this eliminates Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and the other double duty drivers. I was really looking forward to a Carl versus Brad showdown this year but NASCAR put the brakes on that. (Carl was my 2010 pick for champion)

The title will finally be won by a Nationwide only driver, but the driver I am looking at to lead the series is coming down from the Cup series. Elliott Sadler, who will pilot a ride for Kevin Harvick Inc, is leaving the Cup series but hopes to regain his spark in Nationwide. KHI and Sadler already have won a race together when Elliott ran the inaugural truck series race at Pocono. Elliott has the experience, KHI has the equipment so I look to this to be a winning combination.

Truck Series: Todd Bodine

Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
Last year was my first year tuning into the truck race full time and I found myself pulling for Todd Bodine. Todd Bodine is the reigning champion of the truck series and also won the championship in 2006. In his career, Bodine has 21 wins, 82 top five finishes and 106 top ten finishes.

My pick for the 2010 season was Matt Crafton, who I still think is a great option, but I am going with the reigning champ for a repeat!
Amanda Ebersole's 2011 Championship Picks Amanda Ebersole's 2011 Championship Picks Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, February 10, 2011 Rating: 5