Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lindi Bess' 2011 Championship Picks

Before I share my picks for 2011 with you, I'd like to remind you of my picks from 2010. You will see they were on the money with Sprint and Nationwide.

For NCWTS: Justin Lofton (finished 12th)
For NNS: Brad Keselowski (finished 1st)
For NSCS: Jimmie Johnson (finished 1st)

As far as the Trucks go, Justin finished the season with four top 5s and eight top 10s in 25 starts. For a rookie I'd say that's pretty awesome. I don't regret my choice to support him.

Brad Keselowski may be rough around the edges, but he's got raw talent that can't be denied. He is a young driver with much to learn about respecting the veterans on the track.

Jimmie makes me proud to be a NASCAR fan. He is a champion through and through. 2010 was his year to shine! Becoming a father was just icing on the cake. Some thought that the pressure of being a first-time dad would be too much for Jimmie to pull off a 5th championship. I think it just made him a stronger competitor.

My picks for the 2011 NASCAR season haven't come as easy as they did in 2010. With the points system being changed, JJ definitely has something to prove in 2011. Maybe even more than in previous years. It's been said that if using the old system, he wouldn't have five championships.

Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson has stated that he has no doubt whatsoever that the #48 team has what it takes to win, no matter what point system is used. So that leads me to the following choice for my pick in the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship -- Jimmie Johnson. If I was to go with an alternative driver in Sprint Cup, I think it would be Jeff Gordon.

Muriel Broussseau Photo
As I look at Nationwide, I see a very diverse group of drivers, veterans/rookies, young/mature, male/female. With the new rules in place, a series-only driver can be in contention to become the 2011 NNS Champion. At the top of the list you'll find the 2009 ROTY, Justin Allgaier. Justin is the highest-finishing rookie in final standings (sixth) since 2005. With an average finish of 11.6 including one win, eight top 5s and 20 top 10s. So I will be going with Allgaier for the NNS championship. My alternate pick in the NNS would have to be Aric Armirola. Aric is moving to NNS full-time after a great 2010 season, boasting two wins, 11 top 5s and 21 top 10s.

Harry How/Getty Images
In the NCWTS, I am torn between two very talented young drivers. First, Richard Childress' grandson, Austin Dillon. Bringing with him an average finish of 11.6 with seven poles, two wins, seven top 5s, and 16 top 10s from 2010. Austin finished 2010 in an impressive 5th position, showing he has what it takes to bring home a championship in 2011. Then last, but not least, in NCWTS is Justin Lofton. He had a great season in 2010 and recently signed with Germain Racing to drive their #77 Toyota Tundra on a full-time schedule.

Race fans unite! Let's make 2011 the season to remember! Follow Skirts and Scuffs for your NASCAR news, insights and opinions.

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