Drivers who are in
Martin Truex Jr
My predictions for the chase:
20 - Matt has to be considered the favorite along with Johnson. Hell, I'd even go as far as to say that Matt is the clear favorite since Jimmie has been having tons of trouble lately.
48 - I've been a Jimmie fan ever since I was in like 3rd grade so I'm biased here. He should have won the title last year and if he can return to his early 2013 form then there's no way anyone is beating him. He always seems to turn it on during the chase so that's a very real possibility.
18 - Kyle has fooled people into thinking he would win the championship for years now. But the fact is that Kyle excels at winning meaningless races and falters under pressure while racing for something worthwhile. I have no reason to believe that'll be any different this year.
29 - I'd love for him to win the championship. I think he's a pretty good darkhorse candidate since he can win at pretty much any time. The thing is that he lacks the consistency to win a points championship. This year I think he'll finish top 5 in points, but next year after moving to Stewart-Haas I'm expecting him to be a lot better.
99 - I wouldn't mind him winning the title but he hasn't been the same since that championship battle against Tony Stewart. That obviously fuged him in the head but he seems to be back on the right track now. His strategy of racking up points by scoring good finishes instead of wins never works in the post season though.
22 - He's strangely a lot better after leaving Joe Gibbs but I just can't see him being a factor in the championship hunt. He may win another race but I doubt he's getting a championship.
16 - He always makes the chase but is hardly ever a factor in it. I have no reason to believe he will this season.
15 - I'd love for Clint to win it. He's one of the most underrated drivers going. I just don't know if he can get enough wins to finally win the championship. He's a definite darkhorse though.
88 - It's not going to happen. I'd love to see him win a championship just to shut people up but I just don't think he's good enough to at the moment.
78 - It's a miracle that he made the chase period with the team he's on. Kurt's a great driver but he's making lemonade out of lemons with this current situation.
5 - I see him playing a factor. He's really good on mile and a half ovals so I could see him briefly flirting with the title. I'd predict that a few wrecks or DNF's will take him out of the hunt.
55 - I like the guy but the only reason he made the chase is because Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart got injured.
Champion - Matt Kenseth
Runner up - Jimmie or Carl Edwards