Revisiting 2006 Preseason Media Predictions Media correctly forecast half of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup field DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2006) -- With the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season now in the books, it's time to look back...
Revisiting 2006 Preseason Media Predictions
Media correctly forecast half of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup field
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2006) -- With the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season now in the books, it's time to look back and gauge the accuracy of the media's preseason forecasts.
Media "batted .500" in predicting which drivers would make the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, correctly picking five of the 10 competitors. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), who claimed the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was picked to finish third in the media's preseason poll. The media selected Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) to win the title, and while the four-time champion qualified for the Chase after missing out in 2005, he finished sixth in the final standings.
The five Chase participants who weren't 2006 NASCAR Preseason Top 10 picks included third-place Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEX Chevrolet), who became the first rookie to make the Chase; fourth-place Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet); seventh-place Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet); eighth-place Kasey Kahne (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge); and 10th-place Kyle Busch (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet).
Five drivers predicted to make the Chase didn't: Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet), the 2005 series champion; Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford); Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford); Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge); and Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge), the 2004 series titlist.
Mark Martin (No. 6 AAA Ford) was the only driver to finish exactly where the media forecasters predicted -- in ninth place. Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWALT Power Tools Ford) finished second after being predicted to finish 10th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) finished fifth after being predicted to finish sixth.