2009 is a brand new year with brand new promises for wins and championships. Am I going to predict winners? No, I'm not. I'm going to predict some losers though.
EGR, which is the name for the new Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will not win in 2009, unless it's at a road course with Juan Pablo Montoya. Martin Truex, Jr., please call your agent. EGR is doomed to fail, just as has DEI in the last few years. Put the fork in it, it's done.
GEM will not produce greatly in 2009. Buying out Petty didn't gain much except the number 43, which was a major number in the sport, but no longer is. Richard Petty doesn't drive the 43 anymore, and though Andretti and Hamilton, the number would have lost it's luster years ago. Not really, of course. For major fans of NASCAR, the 43 will always be famous.
As will the 21. As will the 3. As will other numbers. But some of those will not be back this year, or possibly ever again.
What's in store for 2009? Probably more of the same. Hendrick, Roush, JGR, and maybe RCR will win the races in 2009. I expect a surprise win by Stewart-Haas Racing as well, who will be running Hendrick equipment. We might see a win by a minor team as well, such as GEM, but I don't expect any miracles from the EGR group.
Who's my winner for the Daytona 500? I predict Jeff Burton. I don't know why, but I just dream about it happening. I see all the RCR cars running strong at Daytona, and newcomer Casey Mears putting in a strong appearance. Watch out for Kevin Harvick, who knows how to win this race. He's done it before.
Watch out for a guy named Earnhardt as well. He's won here a lot, and you just never count out anyone named Earnhardt at Daytona.