Sunday, November 20, 2011

Skirts and Scuffs Takes on The Chase: Edwards or Stewart?

While the NASCAR world sits with anticipation of the Edwards/Stewart finale, the ladies of Skirts and Scuffs are weighing in with their picks. We also compared this to our beginning of the season prediction picks made back in February.


Consistency has been the key for Edwards who remains calm, cool and
collected headed into this weekend.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Amanda Ebersole: Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart is a tough pick; both drivers are more than capable of winning at Homestead. My gut is telling me Carl Edwards. After leading the points for 21 weeks and being so consistent, I just do not see Edwards flopping at his best track. The numbers show this is Edwards' race to lose, so I am sticking with the numbers and my gut - Carl Edwards for the win! Either way, this has been an outstanding Chase. Being down to the final race with no clear winner is a great change for the sport as a whole.

My picks for the 2011 season have done horribly in terms of winning. I chose Denny Hamlin for the Sprint Cup Championship. Although he made the Chase, Hamlin has not been a contender. With one win, five top 5s and 13 top 10s, this season has been a challenge, in large part because of engine problems for Hamlin and JGR.

Elliott Sadlerwill probably finish the year in second in the Nationwide Series. So close, but no cigar, as they say. He has had a good season and I look for further improvements and more importantly, wins, next season.

Todd Bodine had the worst year of my three picks in the Camping World Truck Series. Struggling with sponsorship issues, Germain Racing merged with Randy Moss Motorsports. It has been a challenge. Headed into Homestead, Bodine sits 6th in points.

Genevieve Cadorette: I truly believed that after an amazing 2010 season, Denny Hamlin would jump into 2011 with energy and power and he’d move on to winning his first Cup in 2011; that is what I said at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, that did not happen. His season has been unpredictable, less than stellar, and he made the Chase by the skin of his teeth. He’s won one race this year, has five top-5s and 13 top-10s.

Hamlin and the No. 11 team didn’t win much, but he’s still one hot driver to watch out for. He has already proven that he does have talent, skill and ability to finish on top and his opportunity to win a Cup title may happen when we all least expect it.

For the past five years, we’ve seen Jimmie Johnson win the title. I’ve heard numerous complaints that someone else should win it, fans want to see a new face.

Staying true to my personal opinions that I usually have when a big title for a team (that is not my favorite or my rival team) is up for grabs, I’ll pick the underdog.

Carl Edwards is my pick for this years' title. Why do I consider him the underdog? Tony Stewart is a veteran at winning Cup titles. He has won two already. If my records are correct, he was the last driver to win a title before Johnson took over. So, to say you want to see a new face winning the Cup, you’d have to pick a first-time winner, and I believe Edwards can get the job done. He’s had a hot season, as he has been ahead in points for a large part of the year. For him to fall behind now would be a devastating blow.

Let’s remember, Stewart didn’t win races before the Chase and although he has won 4 in 8 weeks, I just don’t think he should win it. I simply feel that Edwards' yearlong consistent finishes speak for themselves. Stewart blamed ‘dead weight’ as a possible reason why he didn’t have a better season before the Chase. It’s obvious that Edwards had no weight or extra baggage, he’s remained focused all along and it’s proving to be effective.

Can "Smoke" walk away victorious once again?
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Carol D'Agonstino: I'm going with Tony Stewart! I don't do predictions at the beginning of the year. It's a sentimental favorite, you know how I always advise you NOT to do that when picking fantasy drivers?! It's just that Tony captures the spirit, energy and talent that is NASCAR.

Katy Lindamood: Unlike many members of the Skirts and Scuffs team, I didn't make any official Championship picks at the beginning of the season, but if I'd had to put my money on anyone I'd have put it on Denny Hamlin. Now you see why I'm not an investment banker. Coming off one of the tightest battles we've seen in years, I was sure Hamlin would be hoisting the trophy at season's end, but he fell victim to the second place curse and had to rely on a wild card spot just to make the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Now that it's down to Stewart and Edwards, I'm going with my gut and giving the win to Stewart. The two-time champ has had his share of misfortune during the 2011 season but he's got that spark back in his eyes that we've not seen for a while. The playful yet determined Stewart has shown in recent weeks that he's not going to hand the trophy over without a fight. Edwards is a championship-caliber driver who has been consistent throughout the season, but all it's going to take is for Edwards to be slightly over the pit road speed limit. It's Stewart's Championship to win and Edwards' to lose.

LJ Cloud: My Chase pick is...either Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart.

Seriously, I can't pick one over the other as the winner. I want Smoke to win, but as much as I believe in his skills and talent, Carl Edwards is also talented and motivated. There are so many variables that can affect the outcome that I just don't know who will take the Cup. So I won't pick either.

My original pick was Jeff Gordon, my favorite driver. And when the Chase began that looked like an excellent choice. The Drive For Five was on, baby. I'm not sure what happened, but Gordon and the No. 24 stumbled on the backstretch and never recovered.

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