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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:

  1. 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.
  2. Jimmie Johnson, -9. Has only 1 win (Talladega) but is still second in points. He's lurking, lurking, lurking, and before you know it.......
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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I hope it's Jimmie but Hendrick seems to be struggling for speed this year....just that extra bit that's needed to close for the win. But it wouldn't surprise me if you are right about Carl and Kyle. If JJ doesn't do it, I'd rather see Jeff or Matt instead of Carl and Kyle but my opinion probably doesn't matter much....LOL.

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