NASCAR Predictions for 2013

Photo Credit: David Yeazell
Photo Credit: David Yeazell

Do you want predictions? I have them here. I probably will be no better than anyone else, and maybe worse, but as we begin a new season, it just seems proper to throw out a few. Having seen very little of the new Gen 6 car, it’s probably foolish, but maybe we can revise this as we go along. Or maybe we won’t.

2013 Sprint Cup Champion – Who would have predicted Brad Keselowski at the beginning of 2012? I see no hands raised. It just proves that you just never know what is going to happen. If we are to look at the results so far, it would have to be one of the Hendrick or Childress cars, but that’s fool’s gold. This is Daytona and it’s not like any other track, just like Talladega. Thus, Jimmie Johnson will be there as will Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth. Who will win? My choice is either a repeat for Keselowski, a series champion in two series Greg Biffle, or Kenseth. All are in new cars or on new teams, but I see the consistency that makes champions. Never the fastest or flashy, all these drivers have shown that they have what it takes. Sure, it’s a safe bet to go with Johnson or Gordon, but I’ve got a feeling. Having led the points most of the year, maybe it’s going to be Biffle. Finishing second in both the Unlimited and the first Duel shows the desire. I’m sure the rest of the races will favor Fords and Toyotas more than the Chevys over the long haul. We’ll see.

2013 Nationwide Series Champion – The no-brainer choice is Elliott Sadler. He’s in the most successful car in 2012. He nearly made it the last two years, but Elliott just seems to be one tick away each year. I’m betting on Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish, or Trevor Bayne. Dillon has shown that he has the equipment and the desire and the equipment. Bayne is in a car and with a team that won the last two years, but Hornish is a champion in his own right. I’m going with Hornish.

2013 Truck Series Champion – Hands down, it should be Ty Dillon. He has, once again, the equipment and the talent to win in 2013. Of course, the truck series is a crapshoot, so don’t hold me to this.

Who won’t make The Chase? – I can’t see Carl Edwards not making the Chase. Seeing all the bad luck last year and the struggles, I have to believe he will be in the mix. I see one of the Michael Waltrip Racing drivers as the one who won’t make it, probably Martin Truex, Jr. The same could be said for Jeff Gordon. Though he has been sterling at Daytona, this freak of a race is not the to be considered. Truex is the one

The Daytona 500 winner – Who knows? Harvick is a good pick as any, but with the cars so equal, it’s hard to say. I will refuse to make one, but a good bet is anyone in the field. If I had to bet, I’d go with a Chevy. Since 13 of the first 20 qualifiers were in bowties in the 500 lineup, that’s easy. I’d say Kasey Kahne.

All this is fun, but I have no crystal ball. In 2011, I predicted a Trevor Bayne win, most of it was hope and more humor, but it came to pass. I didn’t see the Keselowski championship or the failings of Johnson down the stretch. Truth is, we don’t know and never will. It’s probably best to let things play out as they will. I do know this. It’s going to be an exciting season and I’m looking forward to it.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Fleshman
Ron Fleshman has followed NASCAR racing since attending his first race at Martinsville Speedway in 1964. He joined the Motor Sports Forum on the CompuServe network in the 1980s and became a reporter for Racing Information Systems in 1994. In 2002, he was named NASCAR Editor for RIS when it appeared on the World Wide Web as He can now be found at Ron is a member of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. You can find Ron following and reporting on the top three NASCAR divisions each week. As a lifer in his support of racing, he attends and reports on nearly 30 events a year and as a member of the motor sports media, his passion has been racing for 47 years. He lives with his family in rural West Virginia and works in the insurance industry when not on the road to another track.

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