With this being my first full season with Skirts and Scuffs, this is my very first set of championship picks. I’ve got my fingers crossed and hopefully I will come out on top with these picks. I will have you know, this was not an easy task for me - there is so much talent, and only a few choices to make. I’ll put it this way: these picks were much tougher than my daily shoe picks!
Camping World Truck Series Champion: James Buescher
|Credit: Debbie Ross|
After an impressive 2011 season, finishing third in championship points, James Buescher is my pick. Despite failing to qualify in Phoenix, he was still in contention for the 2011 title. He had 10 top-5 finishes, 19 top-10s and 3 poles last season, and in my opinion, James Buescher will get it done it 2012.
Dark horse: For my dark horse I am going with Parker Kligerman. He finished eleventh in points last season and was in contention for the Rookie of the Year title. Kligerman is racing for Brad Keselowski, and in my opinion if any of Brad’s success can rub off on his race team, I think Parker will be a shoe in for a championship title.
First Win: Well with my championship picks it’s obvious I have plenty of confidence that James Buescher and Parker Kligerman will both get their first wins this season, but I am going to say the first driver to get his first win will be Ty Dillon. We all know how successful his brother Austin was, and although I do not think Ty will be the champ this year, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be the front runner for Rookie of the Year.
As you can see I am putting all of my faith in the “young guns” for 2012.
Nationwide Series Champion: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
|A repeat for Stenhouse, yes!|
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
I am going to say it will be a two-smash for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Nationwide Series. I don’t think his successful winning streak is over yet. Stenhouse is the only full-time Nationwide Series driver for Roush Fenway, and I have plenty of confidence that he will succeed. Last season’s champ had 2 wins, 16 tops-5s, 26 top-10s, and 3 pole awards. In addition, his eleventh place finish in his first Sprint Cup Series start in Charlotte instills my confidence in him. This guy is not slowing down anytime soon. Ricky, 2012 will be your year, again.
Dark horse: Austin Dillon is my pick for the dark horse of 2012. He will be a force to be reckoned with in the Nationwide Series. RCR has been very successful in the Nationwide Series, and with their merger with KHI, Austin will have some great teammates and mentors, especially in teammate Elliott Sadler.
First Time Winner: Yes, I believe it is obvious that Austin Dillon is bound to get his first Nationwide Series win this season, but my pick is Cole Whitt. He really impressed me last season in the Truck Series, and I think JR Motorsports will be a great fit for Cole. One more thing…I think I may be partial to my fellow redheads!
Sprint Cup Series Champion: Carl Edwards
|No more second place finishes for Edwards.|
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
OK, it is bound to happen for Carl Edwards, and I’m crossing my fingers that 2012 will be his year. Edwards finished the 2010 season off strong, and had an amazing season in 2011, tying with Tony Stewart in the points and ultimately finishing second. Two second place finishes are enough for Carl; it’s time for him to take first! Carl was extremely classy throughout last season, so, unlike many other drivers, he doesn’t have any bad karma coming his way. The sky’s the limit!
Dark horse: This was a tough decision for me, but I am going to go with Denny Hamlin. After his second place finish in 2010, he was a popular championship pick for 2011, but I am now considering him a dark horse. I think he and his new crew chief, Darian Grubb will be a great pairing, and hopefully this will propel Hamlin in the right direction. We have seen him come so close before, and with the addition of a championship winning crew chief, mark my words; Denny Hamlin will be making waves in 2012.
First Time Winner: I think this one is an obvious choice: AJ Allmendinger. I think Allmendinger's move to Penske Racing is the best thing for his career, and just the ticket for him getting his first win. Penske had a very successful 2011 season, and AJ also has the momentum coming off of his win at the Rolex 24 in Daytona. He definitely started off his racing season in a great way. I’m saying AJ Allmendinger for the win in 2012. (Maybe more than one?)
I guess we will see how well I do with these picks over the course of the season. Again, it was a difficult decision, but was a lot of fun. Some healthy competition is always a great thing for the ladies of Skirts and Scuffs!