staff predicts 2016 Sprint Cup champion – Nascar

RELATED: Stats breakdown reveals championship favorite


Carl Edwards: Went with the No. 19 as a championship pick on my pre-Chase grid, thinking the postseason schedule lined up favorably. The Championship 4 — especially this season — is a toss-up, but Edwards’ history at Homestead (two wins, two poles) may tip the scales. — Zack Albert


Joey Logano: The Team Penske driver has been loose and fast throughout the Chase and comes into this weekend’s race with much-needed final-round experience. Crew chief Todd Gordon is one of the best. — Kenny Bruce


Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie was my preseason pick to win his seventh championship, and I feel even better about the selection now. No one in his era is better at winning titles and he has shown the ability to do whatever is necessary at Homestead to secure the prized hardware. — Holly Cain


Jimmie Johnson: Now that Johnson has figured out how to outlast his competition in the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format, don’t expect him to let a historic seventh championship slip from his grip. — Pat DeCola


Kyle Busch: The Joe Gibbs Racing driver enters with the least amount of pressure as the defending champion, and that should lead to a relaxing and celebration-filled weekend in Miami. — RJ Kraft


Joey Logano: Over the last four races he’s won twice, led for 302 laps and has finished no worse than ninth. To say he’s on fire is an understatement. — Maggie MacKenzie


Kyle Busch: Let’s not overthink this. The defending champion is back in the title race, as the best driver on the best team in NASCAR. He also has been the best driver in the Chase, with six top-five finishes through nine races. Busch repeats. — Brad Norman


Jimmie Johnson: Johnson & Co. showed speed in practice and fought through a tough qualifying session, proving they have the calm resilience — and long-run speed — needed to win the coveted title No. 7. — Jessica Ruffin


Carl Edwards: All the reminders of that tiebreaker loss in 2011 have stoked the fire of title desire. Edwards’ No. 19 has the speed, and we know JGR equipment is stout. A will and a way combine for a championship. — Kathy Sheldon


Carl Edwards: Sentimentally, I’d like to see him get redemption for 2011 and for Concrete Carl to cement a Hall of Fame-worthy career, but he’s also a good pick from a stats perspective. He has the best average finish at Homestead among the Championship 4 drivers and the most career wins there (two). — George Winkler