Skirts and Scuffs Predictions: Carol D'Agostino chooses the champ

Can Stewart repeat? Read Carol's analysis as she explains why he can.
Hmm. I have to admit that this experience of predicting a champion in pre-season is quite humbling. I am developing a great respect for the on-air pontificators who do it year in and year out in all sports. I am, after all, a process-driven and watch-it-as-it-unfolds kind of gal.

I like to evaluate, ponder and crunch numbers ... and then make an educated guesstimate. But, well okay, if you insist ...

I think there are a whole lot of drivers in the Sprint Cup Series that are in the position of needing to prove themselves this year. Bad behavior, and disappointing as well as surprising finishes highlighted last year's history-making, unforgettable season. And I do think we are going to pick up where we left off.

My prediction is the champ will come from the following pool: Tony Stewart; Jimmie Johnson; Kyle Busch; and Carl Edwards.

Carl Edwards is the first to be voted out, but not because he isn't a great driver. He has proven that he can be consistent and he can win. He is excellent in front of the microphone and with the media. He makes sponsors happy with that Hollywood good boy image, but I don't see the fire in his belly. Sorry Carl.

Jimmie Johnson doesn't need to prove anything, but I think he needs to get his house in order. The team image fell apart with the Chad Knaus embarrassment about advising Johnson to crash the car if he won at Talladega. Although the team is known for its shrewdness and strategy it did take some hits in a much more public way last year and that needs to be a focal point this year. So I'm also pulling Jimmie here too.

Kyle Busch is either going to be real consistent this year -- nose to the grindstone, stay out of obvious trouble -- or out of control awesome with a little trouble. I think lots of wins and a more acceptable public image are in store for Kyle this year.

My final pick: Tony Stewart. He's got the whole package: skill; ability to motivate a team; superior equipment; and that quality that can't be learned -- that raw desire and drive (no pun intended!)

Here's to a great 2012 season!
Skirts and Scuffs Predictions: Carol D'Agostino chooses the champ Skirts and Scuffs Predictions: Carol D'Agostino chooses the champ Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Rating: 5