With the football season officially over and the Daytona 500 just a few weeks away, Goody decides now is the right time to get pumped up for the 2012 season by making his final Cup standings predictions:
12. #5 Kasey Kahne- He will look to continue how he ended the 2011 season with a team that was crumbling underneath him. His first year with Hendrick will have a few bumps in the road but he will string together a few good runs and a win or two to sneak into the Chase.
11. #22 AJ Allmendinger- Every time he finds a new job it just keeps getting better. Now that he is with Penske I predict a solid year for the Dinger and maybe even his first career victory!
10. #14 Tony Stewart- The dead weight may be gone on his team but their might be some championship hangover along with new crew chief growing pains.
9. #17 Matt Kenseth- Even though lack of funding with a full time sponsorship going into the season will hurt this team, it seems crazy to think that Kenseth won't be able to quietly sneak into the top 12 this season.
8. #11 Denny Hamlin- Hamlin will still try to get back in 2010 championship contender mode, but consistency will still be an issue for him.
7. #2 Brad Keslowski- He proved in the 2nd half of the season he is a forced to be recond with. I see another multiple win season in his future.
6. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Looking to build off of his first Chase appearence last season since 2008. He will be more consistant than he was last season ridding of the bad luck that struck him in the middle of last season. This is also the year he breaks his winless streak....early in the season.
5. #24 Jeff Gordon- After going into the Chase last season he went in as one of the favorites to win it all, but it ended up in disaster. Look for Gordon to continue his late career resurgence as he will end up in victory lane a lot this year.
4. #18 Kyle Busch- Still one of the most talented drivers on the NASCAR circuit, he will once again rebound and contend for the Cup. However although a learning experience last season with his poor attitude, he still is who he is and that will prevent him from making serious noise on his embark for his first tittle.
3. #48 Jimmie Johnson- Ol five time will once again be focused more on the Chase this year rather than his rivalry with Kurt Busch, but know that the other drivers know that he is actually human they know now that he actually can be beat.
2. #99 Carl Edwards- It was tough for me not to pick him at the number 1 spot this season. After falling just sort of the Cup last season, and the fact he will be cutting out his Nationwide schedule he will be VERY hunger to redeem himself this year.
1. #29 Kevin Harvick- With RCR scaling back to 3 full time teams, it always has seem to be the perfect combination for this team to contend for titles. With Childress also absorbing KHI, Harvick will be more focused as well to win his first championship. Look for the late race closer to finally be a late season trophy holder as he will give RCR their first Cup since 1994.