Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 Sprint Cup Preview Part III

The last group to be previewed, here are the Toyota drivers in the Sprint Cup series.

Joe Gibbs Racing

#11, Denny Hamlin

% Chance he makes the Chase... 90.
+ Excels everywhere except road courses.
- Can go into an extended funk.
& Team adds championship winning crew chief, Darrien Grubb.
* JGR switches to TRD engines this year.

#18, Kyle Busch

% Chance of making the Chase... 95.
+ Threat to win every week.
- Threat to self-implode every week.
& Has cut back schedule to concentrate on Cup racing.
* Has not won a Chase race since 2005.

#20, Joey Logano

% Chance he makes the Chase... 10.
+ Excellent in Nationwide car.
- Gets bullied on the track.
& Second JGR car with a new crew chief.
* Make or break season for Joey.

Michael Waltrip Racing

#15, Clint Bowyer

% Chance he makes the Chase... 75.
+ Great on the plate tracks.
- Weak on road courses.
& Five Hour Energy drink is the sponsor.
* This is the old 00 team.

#55, Mark Martin

% Chance he makes the Chase... 0.
+ MWR stronger with he and Bowyer on board.
- New Aaron's commercials. Ugh.
& Mikey will drive a handful of races in this car.
* Third ride for Martin since he retired last decade.

#56, Martin Truex Jr

% Chance he makes the Chase... 40.
+ Good attitude.
- Moving farther down the food chain at MWR.
& Contract is up this year.
* NAPA's contract is up this year, also.

JTG Daugherty Racing

#47, Bobby Labonte

% Chance of making the Chase... 0.
+ Past Champion's provisional.
- Why keep hanging on?
& Has not won since 2003.
* Two top-5's in the last 5 years.


  1. Good rundown Gene! Now... You looked at 29 drivers and their owners and teams... Of those your top 12 are the following:
    Rank Driver Team Make %Chance
    1 Carl Edwards RFR Ford 100%
    2 Jimmie Johnson HMS Chevy 100%
    3 Kevin Harvick RCR Chevy 98%
    4 Tony Stewart SHR Chevy 96%
    5 Kyle Busch JGR Toyota 95%
    6 Denny Hamlin JGR Toyota 90%
    7 Matt Kenseth RFR Ford 90%
    8 Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 90%
    9 Jeff Gordon HMS Chevy 85%
    10 Kasey Kahne HMS Chevy 80%
    11 Clint Boyer MWR Toyota 75%
    12 Greg Biffle RFR Ford 75%
    13 Dale Earnhardt Jr. HMS Chevy 75%

    I pretty much agree although you know I don't have much faith in Mr. Biffle (I don't know, maybe it's the name...) so I believe the tie at the bottom of the list will be broken by the Biff's failure once again. So going into next weekend's 500 there are another 20 drivers for a total of 49 trying to make the field of which only 8 places are open for drivers who must drive their way into the field.
    By the way, have you heard the powers that be might do away with the 35 car set field next season?

    Thanks Gene, I always enjoy your take on nascar (your way of writing it this year!).

  2. LMAO on MM...

    If Joey doesnt do well the rumors of Gibbs bringing Kurt aboard will be unbearable.

  3. Dwindy... Thanks for breaking the numbers down for me. I'd say those top 13 will comprise the Chase this year.

    KLV... Yep. Kurt should parlay the Phoenix ride into bigger and better.