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 Post subject: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:43 am 
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So I wanted to have this posted by Feb 1st but have been having computer troubles. Nevertheless, here we go!

Camping World Truck Series

ROTY- Let me start off by saying this series is an absolute mess. The on track product is still good, but we keep losing competitive drivers and teams and they are being replaced with backmarkers and underfunded ones. I had a really hard time picking 8 drivers just to make the playoffs. With that being said, Todd Gilliland will win ROTY despite the fact he doesn't turn 18 until May. I think driving the juggernaut 4 truck will be good enough for 3/4s of the season to be able to beat whoever else is running for the award. I was also tempted to pick him for the playoffs because you know he'll get a waiver, but the problem is he will be in a huge points hole to start the year and essentially HAS to win right away just to make it. Gilly Gilly!

PLAYOFF DRIVERS

8. Stewart Friesen. Who? Stewart Friesen drives for HALMAR Racing. A smaller team in the truck series. They were mostly a non factor in their entire existence up until Eldora last year where Friesen, an accomplished dirt racer, finished 2nd. Sometime after that, the team formed an alliance with part time cup team, Tommy Baldwin Racing, which strangely really boosted their performance as Friesen started competing for top 10s more frequently. They are returning full time this year and I think they will be amongst the 8 playoff teams, because.... Friesen will win at Eldora!

7. Shiggy Hattori. No, I don't think The Shig is going to return to driving. I think whoever ends up in his truck will make the playoffs. It's February 2nd for crying out loud, the season opener is in 14 days and you still haven't announced who's driving your truck? Anyways, this team made huge strides last year with Ryan Truex, and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. With less competitive teams this year I think they easily get in, unless they hire a really bad driver.

6. Grant Enfinger. I picked Grant to make the final four last year and he failed to make the playoffs! HE did get better as the season progressed however and I have him comfortably getting in this year.

5. Justin Haley. This guy nearly pointed his way in last year after having to sit out several races early due to not being 18 (a la Todd Gilliland this year). aside from 1 or 2 dnfs I think he finished like top 13 in all of his starts. That type of consistency will get you in the playoffs easily.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

4. Matt Crafton. Why not pick him? He finds a way to get to Homestead every single year. I don't know what to expect with Thorsport switching to Ford though. That didn't stop me from rating one of his teammates very highly...

3. Noah Gragson. I'm supposed to pick the 2nd year KBM driver to win the title like I did with Erik Jones and Christopher Bell, both correctly mind you. But... I'm not feeling it. I think he is lesser talented than those other two I mentioned. Still have him getting to Homestead but not being able to compete with the top 2

2. Ben Rhodes. I correctly picked Rhodes to score victory 1 and make the playoffs last year, and I think he gets even better this year! I was THIS CLOSE to picking him as champion. Rhodes showed tremendous speeds on the intermediates last year and I think multiple wins is a possibility.

CHAMPION. Johnny Sauter. A wise man once said, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. Or maybe it was Meatloaf? Anyways, Sauter wins his 2nd title in 3 years this year.


XFINITY SERIES

ROTY- Due to some kind of sorcery I will never understand, both Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick are eligible for this award. I mean I kind of understand Bell he's never run for Xfinity points but Reddick did last year and he ran half the season. But either way it should be a close battle between these two (and probably no one else) but I'm going to go with Bell due to the dominance of JGR equipment.

Playoff drivers

12. Ryan Sieg. I had to pick one random driver to get in and I think Sieg will be the one to do it this year. Chastain or Yeley wouldn't surprise me but again, I'm going with Sieg.

11. Ryan Reed. Once again Reed will make his way in either by winning a plate race or just scoring enough points to beat the also rans, but his DNF rate will again be a factor in him placing so low once the playoffs begin.

10. Ryan Truex- Okay, I swear, not ALL of my playoff picks are named Ryan. In fact, only the bottom 3 are. Truex replaces Blake Koch in the Kaulig car. Koch easily pointed in the last two years and Truex is a more talented driver so I see him doing the same

9. Ryan Annett- Err, Michael, rather. Sorry, force of habit! Annett will make it in because JRM equipment... just... how can you not?

8. Brandon Jones- *sigh* I'm really skeptical of making this pick after last year when Jones finished 17TH in points behind several lesser funded cars. But, he somehow landed a JGR ride after a dreadful season like that, and if Matt Tifft can ease his way in then I figure Jones should too... speaking of Tifft...

7. Matt Tifft- I just noticed I started these predictions using a period after the drivers names and then beginning with Ryan Truex started using a hyphen instead. I like the hyphen better. And yes, I'm too lazy to go back and change them all. Anyways. Tifft. Unless we see him channel his inner Brian Scott and do nothing at JGR then magically improve with RCR, I expect more of the same.

6. Tyler Reddick- Maybe I am undervaluing him here but I've never truly been impressed by anything he's done until his win in the 42 last fall. I think Sadler and Allgaier are better drivers at least right now and should beat their teammates.

5. Daniel Hemric- I picked him for 5th last year too and he was 4th. Look for about the same.

CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

4. Justin Allgaier- Glad to see him actually leading laps and winning races instead of being a consistency bot last year. But, again, more of the same here.

3. Cole Custer- I considered making Custer my champion based on the absolute TROUNCING he unleashed on the field at Homestead, and I do think he will make the final 4 but a repeat performance like that will be hard to come by.

2. Elliott Sadler- This pick has become too easy. Sadler's window to win one of these things is getting smaller and smaller and I'm starting to think he may be destined to always be the bridesmaid.

CHAMPION- Christopher Bell- WHAAAA?!? A ROOKIE as CHAMPION?!? Okay, not at all shocking anymore. Chase did it. Jones should have done it. Byron did it. And Bell will do it in 2018.


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

ROTY- William Byron and it's not even close. No, I don't think Darrell Wallace Jr and him will have some type of neck and neck battle down to the wire like some experts are predicting.

Daytona 500 pole- Ahh, a favorite for the tin foil hatted alliance! I'm gonna cut straight to the pick. Alex Bowman will be your Daytona 500 polesitter. HMS has DOMINATED plate qualifying the last two years and I see it continuing with the new and improved Camaro.

Daytona 500 winner- You know I don't think I've ever picked a 500 winner right. I always go based off of who ran really well at the plate tracks last year, or who is due to win the big race. And it never pans out. So, I'm going off the deep end for this one. The winner of the Daytona 500 will be.... RYAN BLANEY. And here is how I came to this conclusion: RB has always run well on the plate tracks. He was 2nd in last years 500. He finished 4th at Talladega once while a part time driver for the Wood Bros. And Ford has OWNED the plate tracks, winning the last 6. And lastly, he's getting a slight upgrade in equipment from Wood Bros to Penske. So yeah, I am picking a driver with one career victory to win the Daytona 500.

Coke 600- I have reached the point where I will pick Kyle Busch every year until he wins one. Kyle wins the 600.

Brickyard 400- Last year's Brickyard was um... interesting. It seemed like the typical 2017 race with the 18 and 78 dominating. Then they took each other out, and all hell broke loose! I think this years race will be a much more tame version, where the fastest car wins. And the fastest car, at least most weeks, has been the 78 car. I know they're looking to add some variety to their wins after 7 out of 8 wins last year were on mile and a half tracks, and I think winning at the Brickyard will help that case. Truex wins Indy.

Southern 500- Remember what I said about Kyle and the 600? Copy and paste, except change the driver to Brad Keselowski.

Road courses- I have Denny Hamlin winning at Sears Point after he inexplicably has become one of the best road course racers over the last two years. And I have Kyle Busch winning at the Glen, because he's really, really good there. And for the first time ever, I get to add a THIRD race to this prediction! The Charlotte Roval! So it's part intermediate part road course, I think the first race will be won by someone who does well on both of those... so, yeah Truex.

Notable winless- I have embarassed myself with this pick for years now. Basically, any driver I don't have making the playoffs, I have going winless, the 16 I do have making the playoffs? Just read their blurbs to see whether I have them winning or pointing their way in. Speaking of playoffs...

My 16 playoff drivers will be revealed one per day, as a countdown to the Daytona 500. Have fun playing process of elimination to figure out who I have winning it all! Until then, enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:19 am 
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Thanks for the fun read....

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:19 am 
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If you're half as successful as last season, I'll be impressed. :rok: And now just patiently waiting for your Cup finalists.

(Good read.)

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:24 pm 
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16th- Ryan Newman. In keeping with my Ryans in the playoffs I have two of them in the Cup series playoffs (and if you read my Daytona 500 pick you know the other one!) I had a hard time picking 16 drivers and there always seems to be 1-3 "fluky" drivers in the playoffs, but Newman has shown a knack for finishing better than he runs (very majorly in some instances) so I have him continuing that trend and pointing in with less overall winners this year. I think RCR will be *slightly* improved but go winless on the year.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:48 am 
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15th- Daniel Suarez. I've been known to nail my "first time chaser" picks in the past but I feel this is a rather easy one and I'm not really going out on a limb here. JGR continues to be the best team in the sport and based on how much better Suarez ran innthe second half of the season vs. The first half I think he'll only improve. I also have him going winless though but pointing his way in with very few dnfs and a crap ton of 6th-15th place finishes.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:51 am 
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14th- Clint Bowyer. I made a comment about how I need to stop overvaluing Clint, so I have him going winless and pointing his way in before a lackluster playoffs drops him to 14th. Bowyer hasn't won in over 5 years but it wouldn't *totally* shock me is he... no. I'm doing it again. I'm overvaluing Clint Bowyer. Bowyer is done winning Cup races unless they are plate races or strategy finish.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:37 am 
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13th- William Byron. I have William Byron having a typical rookie season but scoring one victory along the way to get into the playoffs. I then have him not advancing very far due to the Roval and Talladega resulting in poor finishes. His lone win will be at... Michigan in August

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:17 am 
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12th- Kurt Busch. For the last several years I have predicted Kurt Busch to go winless and point his way into the Chase. And yet he always seems to score one random win to prove me wrong. He didn't wait long last year. I'd like to point out he didn't even come close to winning aside from the 500 and would've missed the playoffs without that win. But I will not make the mistake again. So, I have Kurt scoring one win. One random win and he probably won't come close to winning aside from this one race. His win will get him in where he will once again not make the top 10 in points (a Kurt staple really). (Now watch him go winless the one the I DON'T predict it)

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:47 am 
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11th- Joey Logano. I... really don't know what to make of Joeys 2017. I mean... what was THAT? He started off the year like you'd expect but after his illegal Richmond win, he just fell off the face of the Earth! After being a legit totle contender in 2014-2016, Logano missed the playoffs entirely in 2017, which begs the question. Is Logano truly one of the top drivers and just had an off year? Or... is he an average driver that had a couple exceptional years? I'm thinking the first option applies here and I have him winning two races total in 2018, but I couldn't place him higher than 11th. With that being said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he made the final four or missed the playoffs again...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:03 pm 
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off the pace wrote:
11th- Joey Logano. I... really don't know what to make of Joeys 2017. I mean... what was THAT? He started off the year like you'd expect but after his illegal Richmond win, he just fell off the face of the Earth! After being a legit totle contender in 2014-2016, Logano missed the playoffs entirely in 2017, which begs the question. Is Logano truly one of the top drivers and just had an off year? Or... is he an average driver that had a couple exceptional years? I'm thinking the first option applies here and I have him winning two races total in 2018, but I couldn't place him higher than 11th. With that being said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he made the final four or missed the playoffs again...


This is one of your predictions that I'd really like you to be wrong on. No offense. You know how partial I am to former hockey guys......

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Quick update on my initial post. I mentioned the Hattori yruck making the playoffs unless they "hire a bad driver." They're driver will be.... former Cup ROTY and truck race winner Brett Moffitt! So keep them in... hmm.. should I move him up?

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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10th- Erik Jones. I have Jones winning 2 races and getting into the playoffs. I couldn't put him any higher though because, well... the dude crashes. Kind of a lot. I do feel his non DNF finishes will be better this year than last though.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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Update on Xfinity. Austin Cindric was just announced full time. Slot him 7th and move everyone else down one. Sorry, Ryan Sieg...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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9th- Ryan Blaney. As previously mentioned, Ryan is my pick for the Daytona 500. If Ryan does not win the 500 I would like to be on record saying he will win one of the 4 plate races. He won't win Sunday's Clash though, because the driver I will be featuring tomorrow will! Anyways back to Blaney. I have one plate win, and one other win for two total, and a 9th place finish in points.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:58 am 
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I forgot to post my 8th place pick so I'll be doing 8 and 7 back to back.

8th- tomorrow's Clash winner.... Chase Elliott. Whaaaa?!? I picked Chase Elliott to win something? Well, to be fair, he won a duel last year. He just cannot win points races. But... I think that will change in 2018. He can't go winless forever can he? As long as he stays away from.....

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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7th- Denny Hamlin. Ha! You see what I did there? Because they tangled twice late in 2017! Look we all know what 2014-present Denny Hamlin does. He wins 1-2 races a year and falls just short of advancing to Homestead. I expect more of the same in 2018

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Alex Bowman has won the pole for the 500. Who saw that coming? Oh... right...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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off the pace wrote:
Alex Bowman has won the pole for the 500. Who saw that coming? Oh... right...


Okay, now you're just getting scary-good at this.....

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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6th- Brad Keselowski. Brad is usually good for one plate win a year and seems to win Kentucky in every even numbered year. I don't have him advancing to Homestead but it wouldnt surprise me if he did

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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off the pace wrote:
I forgot to post my 8th place pick so I'll be doing 8 and 7 back to back.

8th- tomorrow's Clash winner.... Chase Elliott. Whaaaa?!? I picked Chase Elliott to win something? Well, to be fair, he won a duel last year. He just cannot win points races. But... I think that will change in 2018. He can't go winless forever can he? As long as he stays away from.....

Missed the Clash - but good call on the pole winner!

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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The Daytona 500 pole is the easiest thing to predict in NASCAR. It's like betting on the New England Patriots to win the AFC East...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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5. Kevin Harvick. Kevin has been a frequent participator in the championship 4 at Homestead. It was tempting to put him there again but he is no longer unstoppable at Phoenix like he used to be. He ONLY has 1 win in the last 5 races there and that was a photo finish where he'd have been toast by turn 2. I think Harvick will once again be a model of consistency and score 2 wins on the season but I don't see him making the final four...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

4th- Jimmie Johnson. For the jinx! Does that still work? Since going to the current playoff format the only year I haven't picked Jimmie to make the final four was... 2016. So I'm not letting that happen again. In all seriousness I do think Johnson will be more competitive this year than whatever the hell happened in 2017. And if he makes it to the round of 8 he's got Martinsville and Texas going for him...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

3rd- Martin Truex. I picked Martin to finish 11th last year. ELEVENTH! I thought Furniture Row expanding would set tjem back slightly. Instead Martin won 8 races and the title (and probably should have won more). I don't see him winning 8 again but 5-6 wouldn't surprise me. I do have him getting to Homestead again due to the ridiculous amount of stage points he is like to collect but I have him finishing 3rd amongst my final four.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

2nd- Kyle .......... Busch. In the last 5 seasons, Kyle Busch has fin8shed top 3 in points 4 times. In each of those 4 season's he's won at least 4 races. 2014 was the exception and was a really down year for JGR. Kyle Busch is at the point where he is good at every single track and a threat to win ever week, and fornthe foreseeable future I see him making Homestead most years. But I have him coming up one spot short to...

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Last edited by off the pace on Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
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CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

CHAMPION- Kyle .......... Larson. Larson was one of the three dominant cars from last year joining the 78 and 18. He had like 4 or 5 dnfs in the playoffs. This will be Larsons 5th year in Cup, and the one thing ive noticed every year is... that guy woulda coulda shoulda won all four of his Homestead starts. Questionable cautions cost him twice, while last year he admitted to being faster than the 78 and 18 but chose to ride behind them. This is the year Larson puts it altogether, advances to Homestead, and wins that race.

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Last edited by off the pace on Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:49 am 
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off the pace wrote:
CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR

CHAMPION- Kyle ..........


Hmmmmm. That's a puzzlement - you haven't mentioned either of them yet. Hmmmmm.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:49 pm 
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Bonus picks. Brad wins duel 1 and Kyle Busch wins duel 2 tonight!

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When I die, will they remember not what I did?
Or what I haven't done?
It's not the end that I fear with each breath.
It's life that scares me to death...


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:53 pm 
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off the pace wrote:
Bonus picks. Brad wins duel 1 and Kyle Busch wins duel 2 tonight!


Wrong and wrong, not that I could have done any better.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 PREDICTIONS!!!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:44 am 
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Alright, my teaser posts have been edited. This concludes my 2018 predictions! Enjoy the 500 and the 2018 season everyone!

_________________
When I die, will they remember not what I did?
Or what I haven't done?
It's not the end that I fear with each breath.
It's life that scares me to death...


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