2013 Season Preview: No. 5 Tony Stewart

As we count down to the 2013 Daytona 500, we're also counting down how we think the Chase will play out this season as predicted by Nick Bromberg, Jay Busbee, Jay Hart and Geoffrey Miller. So sit back, relax, and watch the 2013 Chase unfold before your very eyes. Though you should be warned, we picked Carl Edwards to win last year.

2012 Finish: 9th. 3 wins (Las Vegas, California, Daytona)

2013 Predictions:
Bromberg: 6th
Busbee: 10th
Hart: 3rd
Miller: 5th

Crew Chief: Steve Addington

When we last saw Stewart: He was a nonfactor in the Chase. After three wins and 10 top 10s in the season's first 18 races, Stewart had six top 10s and no wins in the final 18. And yeah, that's an issue when the final 10 races of the year are the Chase. Though as we mused in Stewart's season in review, it's fair to wonder what his championship bid would had looked like had he won at Talladega instead of crashing.

Big Question for 2013: Will the Stewartacoaster be a little less up and down this season? When he was good, he was good. When he was bad, he was bad. While Greg Biffle stayed near the top of the points standings in the regular season by virtue of lead lap finishes, Stewart finished off the lead lap in nine of the season's first 26 races. Those three wins really helped.

Track most likely to win at: Can we say Daytona in any other race outside of the Daytona 500?

Track most likely to require a miracle to win at: Dover or Bristol. Concrete has not been Smoke's friend. His finishes in the four races at the two tracks last year: 14th, 20th, 25th and 27th.

How Stewart could win the Chase: You saw the blueprint just two years ago. Stewart is capable of a hot streak at any point and if he catches one again in the fall, he's going to be a title threat. And if he can add some consistency, it may not take five wins plus a tiebreak this time.

How Stewart couldn't: The rollercoaster doesn't stop. In last year's Chase, Stewart finished in the top 10 four times. His other finishes were 13th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 22nd and 27th. Consistency is the key here. And if Stewart doesn't regain it, even this prediction of fifth place may be overreaching.

A Haiku:
Oh Danica
Why are you dating Ricky?
I hate the questions

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