Well in just over 24 hours the Chase will be officially underway. All the media build up, all the commercials, and all the pre-chase drama will finally culminate into taking the green flag at Chicagoland. This year's driver line up honestly has me very VERY excited for the next ten weeks. In this 16 driver field there is a legitmate chance for 10 or 11 of these drivers to take home a championship. Though we have weeks to watch the excitment unfold, now is the time to be making the picks for a perfect grid! The grid may not be loved by some fans, but at least it gives racing fans a new interactive thing to look for every season. So with that being said I want to share with you my Chase Grid. Now, I do want to state that when transferring drivers to the next round I do not put them in any certain order. For example, if I list Johnson or Kyle Busch 1st it doesn't mean I think they will be the #1 seed, it just means I thought of them transfering first. The only order that will matter is my final position of the final 4, which I will annouce at the end!! Well, let me quit talking and start picking drivers!
***Round 1: Challenger Round: 16 Drivers
Races: Chicago, Loudon, Dover
This first round will be very surprising. With so much unknown who knows what could happen. Will there be a favorite that bows their chance early, and could there be an underdog emerge to the round of 12? The first three races will be very exciting, but one thing we must remember is that all drivers need to do to transfer into the second round is be consistent. This is the easiest round to make it through, but nothing is guaranteed. So now that this round is over, let's move on and start making picks for the championship.
Transferring to Contender Round
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Eliminated: Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer
Eliminating the 4x champion was very difficult. I honestly hope I am wrong and would be more than happy to have Gordon bust my bracket. I want Gordon to win his 5th championship, he is one of my two favorite drivers. I am just being realistic right now, Gordon has to prove to me he can run up front. My last choice was either Gordon or Newman, but no one can argue that Newman knows how to play the game. The other three drivers where much easier to pick. If either of them were to make it, I say Bowyer has the best chance to move forward, and Truex Jr., may be on the outside looking in.
***Round 2: Contender Round: 12 Drivers
Races: Charlotte, Kansas, Talladega
This round gets a little intense. Though Charlotte and Kansas can be considered cookie cutter mile-and-a-half tracks, Talladega provides the necessary drama needed for the Chase. Giving one last opportunity to transfer into the Chase, drivers must battle the 2.66 mile beast in Alabama to hold on to their championship hopes.
Transferring to Eliminator Round
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Eliminated: Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman
This round could be very interesting. Eliminating Kurt and Carl were the two tough picks. I honestly think Carl is masking a bad season with 2 wins, and that bad luck will strike Kurt like it does every season. I would say that if one driver I had transferring does manage to be eliminated it will be Kyle Busch. Busch is not known for running well in the Chase. Busch always finds a way to lose out on a title run and Kansas is one of Kyle's worst racetracks.
***Round 3: Elminator Round: 8 Drivers
Races: Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix
This round is the most intense in my opinion. I believe this is where the tempers will start to flare. There are a handful of great drivers in this years playoff, and most of them deserve the championship. This round obviously separates the men from the boys, and will determine who the 2015 champion will be.
Transferring to Championship Round
Eliminated: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth
***Round 4: The Championship Round: 4 Drivers
Now, taking the time to look at these picks I can definitely see that I could be wrong. I don't like the idea that 3 JGR teams are kicked out in this round, and honestly, I believe one will find a way to make it to Homestead, but this is the final 4 I have had all along. Harvick has been dominant all year and should put himself in a good position to defend in championship thrown. Logano and Keselowski have been solid all year and Team Penske keeps giving great equipment. I feel confident about these picks. The only pick I feel I may be off on is Jimmie Johnson. Though I do think Johnson will play a bigger role in this years Chase, Johnson is very questionable heading into this 10 week playoff. If Hendrick can figure things out I think this is a solid pick, but who knows if that will happen this season. If I were to replace Johnson with another driver it would be Denny Hamlin. Hamlin, has the experience, and knows how to play the Chase.
FINAL STANDINGS: FINAL 4
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Joey Logano
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Brad Keselowski
I have Harvick winning back-to-back championships. Harvick has been the most consistent driver all year and I think he will finally get back to victory lane during the Chase. Harvick has the clutch gene that could push him to his second straight title.
Well, thanks for reading!! I know many people will disagree with what I predicted, so I want to here your predictions!!! Comment who you think will transfer through each round and who will be the final 4! Can't wait to here who you pick!! Thanks again!