NASCAR predictions: How did we fare in 2012?

Our genius motorsports editor picked both Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin to miss the Chase this year. - Tyler Barrick

It's time for a pat on the back.

Folks, I deserve it. For the seventh time in the last eight NASCAR seasons, I picked the champion incorrectly in my February preseason predictions (Jimmie Johnson instead of Brad Keselowski).

That's hard to do. I mean, you have to be talented to mess up that often. Even a 5-year-old kid making random guesses could probably have a more accurate rate of predictions.

So, please, don't hold your applause. Let's hear it for my fantastically awful prognostications!

Here are some of them:

Jimmie Johnson will win his sixth championship. Hey, it looked good for awhile there.

Carl Edwards is a lock to make the Chase. In regard to Edwards' Chase chances, I wrote: "Duh. He might get bitten by NASCAR's second-place jinx, but he'll still make the Chase." Should have just kept the first part.

Denny Hamlin won't make the Chase because Joe Gibbs Racing "seems to have mechanical gremlins that won't go away." Whoops. I meant Kyle Busch, not Hamlin.

Martin Truex Jr. will miss the Chase due to the pressure of his contract year. Quite the opposite. He made the Chase and re-signed with Michael Waltrip Racing and Napa.

Clint Bowyer won't make the playoffs because it'll take too long to get up to speed with his new team. He finished second in points.

Ryan Newman will qualify for the Chase, because he's consistent and driving Hendrick equipment. Another oops.

Overall, I got nine of the 12 Chase drivers correct. That's a C grade – average, but average is good by my standards.

Pre-Chase predictions

Not all of the SB Nation NASCAR contributors are as incorrect as I am. In our September pre-Chase predictions, Matt Weaver predicted Brad Keselowski would win the title. So there's that.

Here's some other predictions we made before the Chase. How'd we do?

How many races will be won by non-Chase drivers?

• Gluck: 2

• Bianchi: 3

• Weaver: 2

• ACTUAL: 0

How many drivers will be mathematically eligible to win the title entering Homestead?

• Gluck: 2

• Bianchi: 3

• Weaver: 4

• ACTUAL: 2

How many points will the champion win by?

• Gluck: 32

• Bianchi: 12

• Weaver: 8

• ACTUAL: 39

How many races will the champion win during the Chase?

• Gluck: 4

• Bianchi: 3

• Weaver: 3

• ACTUAL: 2

Which Chase drivers will finish 11th and 12th in points?

• Gluck: Truex, Harvick

• Bianchi: Truex, Kahne

• Weaver: Truex, Harvick

• ACTUAL: Truex, Earnhardt Jr.

Who will finish 13th in points?

• Gluck: Carl Edwards

• Bianchi: Kyle Busch

• Weaver: Ryan Newman

• ACTUAL: Kyle Busch

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