2013 NASCAR Chase Predictions – Positions 1 – 5

1 of 5

No. 5 Carl Edwards

No. 5 Carl Edwards
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Edwards had a dismal 2012 season after tying for the Championship in 2011. There is no one thing that can be pointed to that led to that kind of season. He has a new, championship crew chief and a new car. Carl Edwards will lead the charge for Roush Fenway and Ford Racing this year but he will come up short.

2 of 5

No. 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No. 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had one of the best seasons in his career last year up until he had to sit out with a concussion. He is having more fun racing now than he has in years. He will continue his success from last year. The only problem is that his teammates are just so good.

3 of 5

No. 3 Jimmie Johnson

No. 3 Jimmie Johnson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about Dale Jr’s teammates being so good. Jimmie Johnson is that and more. Jimmie Johnson has won five of the last seven championships. He will contend for another one right to the bitter end. He will finish the season just short in third.

4 of 5

No. 2 Denny Hamlin

No. 2 Denny Hamlin
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the season of Denny Hamlin. The addition of veteran Matt Kenseth as his teammate will impact Denny more than anyone ever expected. Denny will win more races, get more top fives than any other time in his career but alas he will miss the championship by a slim margin.

5 of 5

No. 1 Kasey Kahne

No. 1 Kasey Kahne
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Kasey Kahne started the 2012 season with finishes that were simply dismal. Early in the season it almost looked hopeless. Kasey and his team not only corrected what was wrong but won races. They improved through the Chase and finished fourth. The only thing different about Kasey Kahne’s team this year is the new car. Hendrick Motor Sports is so good at making changes to the cars that their cars will be the best in the garage during the Chase. Kasey Kahne will win the Chase by a slim margin over Denny Hamlin.

There it is, my prediction for the 2013 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. Who do you think will win the Championship? Please tell us by Ranting below.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

This is the time of the year when attempts are made at predicting who will make the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.  It is also time to make predictions of who will win the Championship when the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is over.

Every team in the NASCAR garage predicts that they will make the Chase and win the Championship but realistically there are only 12 spots and one Champion.

There are many factors that go into predicting the Chase and who will be Champion.  The first is simple, how did that driver and team perform the year before.  This is the number one indication of the strength of a team.

Strength the year before is good but what if that team no longer exists in its same form?  That diminishes that statistic from consideration.

If a team was not performing well the last season but made obvious changes in order to improve.  That can also be a determining factor.

One of the key factors in a team’s future success is the sheer number of changes that have occurred during the off-season.  Very few teams who have had wholesale changes in the off-season were able to win a championship.  Some find it difficult to even make the Chase.

This year there is an extra determining factor.  NASCAR has a new Generation 6 car.  This car is very different than the old car.  It will race much differently at the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega.  How will this car impact those teams that have had few other changes and were at the top of their game last season?

Taking all these factors into account here are my 2013 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup predictions.