Dodge drivers make predictions

Charger drivers pick Super Bowl winner At Least One Charger Bound for Super Bowl The San Diego Chargers may have been the NFL's surprise team this season, but unfortunately the New York Jets derailed the Lightning Bolts' possible Super Bowl...

Charger drivers pick Super Bowl winner
At Least One Charger Bound for Super Bowl

The San Diego Chargers may have been the NFL's surprise team this season, but unfortunately the New York Jets derailed the Lightning Bolts' possible Super Bowl trip with a 20-17 overtime victory on Jan. 8.

Fortunately, one Charger will make it to Sunday's showdown at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger, will attend his third straight Super Bowl on Sunday and predicts a lopsided victory for the New England Patriots.

"I'm predicting a 45-18 Patriots' victory," Newman said. "I think they're mentally prepared. They've been there and done that."

Newman's driving credentials can't be challenged. He has finished in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings the past three years and won the Bud Pole Award the last three years. He earned Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2002, won a circuit-leading 11 poles and eight races in 2003 and backed that up with nine poles and two victories last year.

His football knowledge, however, may be somewhat limited. Newman is a Purdue University graduate but never attended a Boilermakers' football game. In fact, his football fan resume includes a few high school games and two Super Bowls.

"I was always racing on weekends and never really had time for football games in college," Newman said. "We're racing on Sundays during most of the NFL season, so that's why I've only been to Super Bowls."

Matt Borland, crew chief for the No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge, won't be going to Sunday's Super Bowl. He'll be busy preparing for the upcoming NASCAR Super Bowl, on Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway. However, Borland plans to take a break from preparing for Daytona 500 XLVII and watch Super Bowl XXXVIV.

"I think the Patriots will win, but I think it's going to be a close game," Borland said. "I'm going to say they'll win 24-17. I don't get to watch many NFL games, but I did watch the playoff game between the Eagles and Falcons. It looked like the Eagles started celebrating long before the game was over, but I don't think they'll be able to do that against the Patriots."

Dodge Charger drivers and crew chiefs picked the Patriots to win. However, Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger, is remaining loyal to his NFC ties and predicts a Philadelphia victory.

"I'm an avid NFC fan because I'm from Wisconsin and I was always watching the Packers on TV when I was growing up," Kvapil said. "I think it'll be a close game, but I'm going to say the Eagles will win 24-17."

Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger, is a big football fan and he agrees with Newman on the outcome of the game -- a lopsided triumph for the Patriots.

"The Patriots don't make many mistakes, and I think they'll end up with an easy win," Marlin said. "I'm saying the score will be about 42-14. It might even be hot enough in Jacksonville to celebrate with a cold beer."

Marlin's sponsor, Coors Light, just happens to be the official beer of the Super Bowl.

Marlin's Dodge Charger teammates, Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears, also predict a Patriot victory, but neither thinks it'll be a blowout.

"I'm going to say New England will win 21-14," said McMurray, driver of the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger. "I think it'll be a good game, but the Patriots have the Super Bowl experience, and experience is hard to beat in any sport."

"I haven't been able to watch a whole game all season, so I'm definitely not an expert, but I think the Patriots will win," said Mears, driver of the No. 41 Target Dodge Charger. "I think it'll be close, but I'll say the Patriots will win 30-something to 20-something."

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, is a big Seattle Seahawks fan because he's a native of Enumclaw, Wash.

"The Seahawks are getting better, but they always screw up in the playoffs -- if they get to the playoffs," Kahne said. "I like the NFL, and everybody watches the Super Bowl. I'm going to say New England will win, and I think the score will be 24-17."

Kyle Petty, driver of the No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger, said he didn't know who to pick. In fact, "Who's playing?" Petty asked when questioned for a winner. Petty of course was kidding because he had big halftime plans.

"I was going to rent a jumbo TV and put it out in the front yard so everybody could come over and watch the halftime show," Petty said. "It was so interesting last year, I didn't know what to expect for an encore. Then I heard Paul McCartney is the featured halftime entertainment, and that kinda killed the idea of the outdoor TV."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Petty , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray , Kasey Kahne , Travis Kvapil