Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/2/14

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 CAT Chevrolet, is interviewed during NASCAR media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 4, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

With the new Gen 6 car in 2013, anything can happen on the race track. We could see things happen that we haven’t seen happen in years. We may also see new and never before seen things occur. That’s what makes predicting the upcoming season so fun. Anything could happen, right? So why not throw out the possibility of my three bold predictions coming true? These three bold predictions for this year could create some interesting racing if they were to come true. Anything and everything will occur this season and maybe even the guesses I take now will come true by November. Bold Prediction 1: Jeff Burton makes the Chase After disappointing year after disappointing year, Jeff Burton seems ready to go all out this season and potentially compete for the championship. The new car has been working in Burton’s favor and he is one of the most optimistic drivers regarding the Gen 6 car. Being optimistic has its advantages and Burton’s advantage may be getting into the Chase. I believe Burton will have a great season and find himself in the Chase once September comes. Consistency will be on Burton’s side this season and the No.31 team will start out the year consistent and never look back. Burton will be in the top twelve in points for most of the season and wins will help his cause to stay in the Chase. However, I don’t believe Burton will fare well in the Chase but, I see him getting in. Bold prediction, right? Well it has the same chance that everything else does of coming true. Bold Prediction 2: JGR wins at least 8 races as an organization. A second power-team has emerged in NASCAR for 2013 and that team is Joe Gibbs Racing. With the signing of Matt Kenseth, JGR’s talent level shot up to the level of Hendrick Motorsports. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth make for a deadly combo and they have a great chance of visiting victory lane on multiple occasions. All three drivers know how to win multiple races in a season and 2013 could be the year where they put all their success together to make for a deadly combo on the track. Take 2008 as an example. It was Kyle Busch’s first year at JGR and it was the first year with the COT car running a majority of the schedule. That made for a successful combo for Busch and he won eight races that season. He can easily do that again with a new car this season and prove my bold prediction right without any help from his teammates. JGR has done this before in 2008 when as a team, they won ten races. The only difference between now and then is, driver wise, they have Matt Kenseth instead of Tony Stewart. Kenseth has been known to be a little more successful than Stewart though which is another bonus. Eight wins will come for JGR this season and they will have lots of reasons to celebrate once the season concludes. Bold Prediction 3:  The Daytona 500 will feature the most cautions in a single race this season. Daytona, restrictor-plate racing and a new car with very little time on the track will make the yellow-flag be displayed numerous times throughout the Daytona 500. All of those factors will create an exciting race but, cautions will fly frequently due to the fact that drivers aren’t used to these cars yet. Drivers basically wiped clean their knowledge of the Sprint Cup car after last season because the new car is almost completely different. With Daytona being the first race of the season and with the new car, the drivers will be making lots of rookie mistakes which will result in the most amount of cautions in a single race in the upcoming season. Bold predictions mean a lot, especially since they can come true in a matter of time and make the once crazy predictions, become realistic. Out of all years, 2013 is the one when we really don’t know what the season will bring. The new cars have created so many questions that we just have to wait and watch the races to find the answer. Anything could happen this season which means any prediction can come true. Everyone will re-visit their predictions once the checkered flag falls at Homestead but, the only way to find out if their true or not is just to take a swing at it and make some crazy and wild predictions. By Jason Schultz


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