Who is the favorite for the 2011 NSCS championship??? Let's look at the top 8 (I only did 8 because everyone else isn't really a "lock" for the Chase like these 8 are) drivers and compare the stats:
- Carl Edwards, 720 points. He has 14 top tens thus far, which is Series-leading. So consistency is covered. But he only has 1 win (Las Vegas). So he needs to win a couple more races.
- Jimmie Johnson, -9. Has only 1 win (Talladega) but is still second in points. He's lurking, lurking, lurking, and before you know it.......
- Kyle Busch, -11. Has 3 wins (Bristol, Richmond, Kentucky), which is Series-leading, and has had the consistency with 11 top fives (also Series-leading). But he always struggles in the Chase.
- Kurt Busch, -14. Just like Johnson, KuBu is also lurking. He has a win (Sonoma), but has just 5 top fives. Consistency could be an issue.
- Kevin Harvick, -20. Also has 3 wins (series-leading) but owns just 6 top fives. At his point last year, he was 1st with a multiple-hundred point lead.
- Matt Kenseth, -26. Has two wins, but both have gone relatively unnoticed. It could be good for a team that thrives on being in the shadows. But he must find more "podium" finishes.
- Jeff Gordon, -52. Like Kenseth, he has two wins. Unlike Kenseth, both have been huge in the media. With 7 top fives, the 24 camp has been average with the other teams.
- Ryan Newman, -62. Won at Phoenix, but has struggled much of the rest of the time. Has 11 top tens, but he needs more outstanding runs.
Conclusion: Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards will be going for the championship at Homestead, with Jimmie Johnson 3rd, Kevin Harvick 4th, and Jeff Gordon 5th.