Thursday, February 10, 2011

Genevieve's 2011 Championship Picks

I'm not good at making predictions. I've failed fantasy games hundreds of times. I've been lucky in the past but predicting a sports outcome isn't something I'm very good at. I'll take a chance to make my picks for the 2011 season; it's a tough choice but I've finalized my top choices and they are Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Austin Dillon.

Sprint Cup: Denny Hamlin

Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
He's on fire and ready to win this year. He unexpectedly won eight races in the 2010 season and moved his way to No. 1 in the standings for the Chase until the final race. He may have a lot to learn and a lot to focus on, but I believe he's taking last season with a grain of salt and has learned from his errors. Denny isn't one to keep quiet and is developing a good relationship with his fans via Twitter. His hopes for a successful 2011 are high and he won't back down without a fight.

Nationwide Series - Aric Almirola

Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
To pick a Nationwide winner is harder for me. Although Aric Almirola may be considered a rookie to the Nationwide Series, I've noticed he races to win. His impressive truck racing history speaks for itself; with 25 starts, he finished in the top 10 21 times, 11 of those were top-five and he won two races. Late in the season he started his journey in the Nationwide Series by starting eight races for JR Motorsports in the 88 car. In October, Almirola took over as driver of the #9 in the Sprint Cup Series when Kasey Kahne moved to Red Bull Racing.  He has had the chance to drive with some of the best Sprint Cup drivers, which I'm sure he learned a lot from. With bosses like Kelley Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Eury as his crew chief, Almirola is in good hands. There's an energy in the air at JR Motorsports with Aric's name all over it.

Camping World Truck Series - Austin Dillon

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There's some pressure for Austin Dillon, not only is he Richard Childlress' grandson, but because he's also driving the #3. Hopes are high for this 20-year-old but he's humble, focused and ready to race. He finished fifth in the standings in 2010, won two races, seven poles, seven top- fives and 16 top-10s en route to winning the Camping World Truck World Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. Dillion may be young but he has a bright future ahead.

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