I'm starting out with Chevy just like last time.
Starting off with HMS and my pre-season prediction:
Prediction for HMS - HMS should have 3 cars in the chase again this year, maybe 4, JJ and Jeff should be a lock with either Dale Junior or Mark Martin the third party.
Well Jeff and JJ are locked in the chase and Mark Martin has been bouncing in and out of the top 12. The only disappointment is Dale Junior who is having a less than steller year.
Grade: B+: If Mark was in the top 12 at this time I might give myself an A - on this but never an "A" because of Dale's struggles.
Outlook for the remainder of the season: Mark is in a fight for the Chase slot, and I'm not sure if he will make it or not. It should be a great battle, But with 3 wins already if he makes the chase those bonus points could give him a great push for a title. IF HE MAKES THE CHASE.
Next up RCR:
Here was my presesaon prediction:
Prediction for RCR - RCR should have 2 cars locked into the chase and a third car should make it. I don't believe they will get all 4 cars in the chase meaning either Mears or Bowyer will not make it. This season could be a turning point for Casey as Richard's grandson is starting to make his way into the lower NASCAR circuits.
I missed this one by a mile. Jeff and Clint have an outside chance to make the chase but it is likely that RCR will not have a car in the chase this year. Kevins year has been a total disappointment and Casey, well he is driving like Casey a 15 - 20 place driver.
Grade: D - : Just Because Jeff has an outside shot at the chase keeps me from an "F"
Outlook for the remainder of the season: Richard needs to shake things up in the shop, and not just crew changes like earlier in the year. He needs to take a long look at his program and find out what is wrong. His fight with GM for the money they owe him may be affecting this team more than we know.
Next up EGR
Prediction for EGR - This is a team sorely in need for another full time sponsor for the 8 car. It is possible that we may see this team close its door at years end. Montoya and Truex Jr. should battle for a chase spot but right now I'm not sure either will make it.
Juan Montoya is currently in 11th place in the standings and would be in the chase if it started now. Truex Jr on the other hand is struggling and if that has anything to do with his contract talks no one knows. As predicted the 8 car had to be shut down because of lack of sponsorship.
Grade: B , With Montoya fighting for a chase spot, currently in, and Truex having a bad year I gave myself a "B" although a C+ may be more appropriate.
Outlook for the remainder of the Season: Juan will continue to fight for a chase spot and Watkins Glen may be the race to put him in. Personnelly I wouldn't mind seeing him and a couple of other mid level teams get in and bring the "Big Boys" down a notch. Martin may be able to turn around his season after it is announced he is moving to MWR as that team can now relax and race. Aric is poised to move into the 1/8 car next season after Martin leaves.
Prediction for SHR I believe Tony will struggle more this year than most will think. Tony is a great driver and I am a fan of his, my number 2 driver behind Mikey, but I think he will have his plate full trying to keep his car in the top 20 and getting Ryan in the top 25. Don't look for too much from this team.
Boy I couldn't have been more wrong on this pick nor could I have had such a change in heart for a driver. Tony is sitting on top of the points and has 2 wins plus the All Star win, Ryan is a solid 7th in the points and will probably make the chase. I have flipped on my support of Tony based on his arrogance at Lowes with David Reutimann and the fact that SHR, in my opinion, is an extension of HMS and therefore is skirting the rules. I know its my opinion and I have nothing to back me on this, but Logic tells me that when someone like Rick is up on Victory Lane with his arm around Tony like he is a teammate then something going on that isn't quite right.
GRADE: F- If there was ever a time for an "F -" this would be it. I was so far off on this prediction that it is kind of a joke:
Outlook for the remainder of the season: It appears that Tony will make a strong run for the fourth title in a row for HMS, um, I mean a strong run for a title in his first season and Ryan will be strong in the chase. I don't think Tony will win the title this year, but if he does then you can bet the press will be all over it proclaiming him the greatest owner/driver of all time, when he built absolutely nothing of his own.
Well, there you have it. I know I'll get bashed by the SHR comments and that's ok, Let me know how you would grade me and as always I would love to see your thoughts on the season and how its progressed so far with each team.