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February 18, 2011

80 Celeb Predictions for the Daytona 500


If anybody knows NASCAR and The Great American Race it's celebrities and sports stars, right? Nevertheless, they're offering up their picks for who will take home the checkered flag at the Daytona 500. Here's rundown of predictions, broken down by driver, from everyone from Joe Namath and Nick Folk to Carrot Top and Brooke Hogan.

Joey Logano

"I'm rooting for the youngest driver to start in the Daytona 500, Joey Logano. I wish him the best of luck!"
Brooke Hogan, singer


"Starting his third full season Joey Logano has gained tremendous experience and finished last year very strong – in the top three in points during last year's Chase. Also, JGR has a great restrictor plate program. Combine that with having one of the best crew chiefs in the business, and Joey has a strong chance to win the Great American Race this year."
Col. Douglas Hurley, Space Shuttle pilot





Jimmie Johnson
 “Jimmie Johnson because he is a true champion. You can’t disregard the champion of last season. I look for him to start the season off where he left off.”
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers





“How can you bet against a five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion? Plus, my brother-in-law is chief engineer at Hendrick Motorsports – I have team and family loyalty!”
Eliot Spitzer, CNN’s “Parker Spitzer”


“Jimmie Johnson … because you can’t go wrong with him.”
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins Goalie


“Even though I am from Canada, and I should pick a Canadian, I play in LA now so I will go with a California guy, Jimmie Johnson.”
Los Angeles Kings Center Brad Richardson
 

 “Based on last year's performance, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that – we'll go with Jimmie Johnson.”
Chickenfoot – Joe Satriani (guitar), Chad Smith (drums) Michael Anthony (bass) and Sammy Hagar (lead vocals and guitar).


“Jimmie Johnson, because he’s awesome. Five NASCAR Sprint Cups in a row – you can’t go against those odds in the season opener.”
Jason Arnott, New Jersey Devils forward


“I think Jimmie Johnson is going to take it all again. He has a small dynasty right now – the best pit crew and the best cars in NASCAR, and then you throw in tremendous driving skills on top of all that. It equals...unbeatable!”
Joey Lawrence, actor


"Jimmie Johnson will win the 2011 Daytona 500. I know, I know, it's a bit of a long shot because the guy hasn't figured out the "winning" thing just yet, but I have a nose for these things! In all seriousness, no driver combines talent, poise, and preparation like Jimmie does. He's the best for a reason and I fully expect the winning push for six straight titles to begin at Daytona!"
Nick Lachey, singer


"Since Jimmie Johnson has won the championship the last five years, I'm going with Jimmie!"
Landon Donovan, US World Cup and LA Galaxy Superstar


“I’m picking Jimmie Johnson because I think he’s going to go for six titles in a row. He’s won it five other times and I think he’s going to do it again at the Daytona 500 this year.”
New York Jets Kicker Nick Folk




“There's a long list of guys who can win the Daytona 500, but I'm going to have to put my money on Jimmie Johnson. He's a five-time champion and you can never count out the champ. Besides, he's a former amateur motocross rider. I will be watching the race on the TV with my pops.”
Ryan Dungey 2010 FIM World Supercross and AMA Motocross Champion


“I’m going with Jimmie Johnson. Not only is he the five-time defending champion, but he finished the season well and will build off that. The change in pit crew the last couple races of last season gave him an advantage, and them working with Chad Knaus will put his team over the top.”
Wade Belak, Nashville Predators


“Jimmie Johnson is my pick. He continues to demonstrate that he is the best driver in the sport.”
Betsy King, LPGA Hall of Famer


"Jimmie Johnson is a great driver, who has a consistently strong team. He's an all around great guy like the rest of the NASCAR family. I always wish him the best."
Gavin DeGraw, singer


“Jimmie Johnson because he is the man and wins all the time.”
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks


“Jimmie Johnson. My pick is always Jimmie Johnson.”
 JJ Redick, Orlando Magic


“I liked Jimmie’s attitude on ‘24/7’ and he has made me a bigger fan of the sport.”
Freddie Roach, former boxer 




Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"I'm going to go with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win this year's Daytona 500. Number 88 is an absolute warrior on the track and is primed to start the season off on fire with a Daytona 500 win and a comeback year in 2011."
Joe Namath, NFL Hall of Famer and New York Jets Quarterback legend




“He was the fastest in qualifying and won the pole: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. “
Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets


"When it comes to restrictor plate races, Dale always seems to find his way to the front of the pack."
Country Music Star Jason Aldean


“My prediction for winning the Daytona 500 is whoever crosses the finish line first. My second guess is Dale Jr. He was leading the race last year for a while and is overdue for a win.”
Rodney Atkins, country music star


“88, that's who I'm pulling for. Can't go wrong with him. He is due to win and has a great team behind him.”
John Gilmore, tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers


“Dale Jr. performs very well in restrictor plate races and seems to find good drafting partners. He also gets to the front of the pack quite often during the race. I am hoping this is his year to get the mojo going.
David Akers, Philadelphia Eagles kicker




"Dale Earnhardt Jr., because he is from North Carolina and drives a Chevy."
Greg Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers


"I'm going dark horse with Dale Jr.!"
Marc Blucas, actor in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Knight & Day”




Jeff Gordon

 “200 miles per hour, 3 wide at Daytona…I’m going with the 24, Jeff Gordon.”
Carrot Top, Vegas Headliner




“It’s time to bring back the glory. JG epitomizes greatness and dominance in stock car racing.”
Jalen Rose, former NBA star and ESPN analyst


“I really like Tony Stewart, but I am going to have to go with Jeff Gordon as my pick to win the 2011 Daytona 500. With his new crew chief in place, I think Jeff has a great chance to break his winless streak!”
PGA Tour Golfer Larry Ziegler


“I'm picking Jeff Gordon. He's won it three times. I think this is number four!”
Holt McCallany, star of FX’s new series “Lights Out”


“Jeff Gordon to win. Jeff has had a winning drought for the last 65 races, has a new crew chief and I'm told he's pumped about the chemistry of his team. Chemistry is what got Auburn through a perfect season and my teammates and me to 2011 BCS National Champions!”
Nick Fairley, 2010 Lombardi Award for best lineman and Defensive MVP of the 2011 BCS National Championship


"My gut is to go with Jeff Gordon. Between his determined crew, the new track, and the teamwork and faith these guys have, it already makes them winners in my book! Add in Jeff's cat-like reflexes, and stubborn streak – I know he wants this one bad."
James Harness, The Mechanical Genius on Discovery Channel's “GOLD RUSH: ALASKA”


“Like my friend James Harness said, my money is on Jeff Gordon. If there’s one thing he and his crew do right, it’s pull together and work like a well-oiled machine. Teamwork and faith in each other make it a winning situation.”
Todd Hoffman, The Boss on Discovery Channel's “GOLD RUSH: ALASKA”




“After being advised by my grandmother, my answer is Jeff Gordon. Why? Because my grandma thinks he's cute and says it's high time he won another race!”
Jill Wagner, Host of ABC’s “Wipe Out”


“Jeff Gordon. I have met Jeff a few times and I think the four-time champ will win this year’s Daytona 500. The Hendrick cars are strong, and Jeff is one of the best at Daytona.”
Brad Paisley, country music star


“Jeff Gordon because we’re from the same hometown of Vallejo!”
Natalie Coughlin, 11-time Olympic medalist



Carl Edwards

“Carl Edwards is a big race driver and this is No. 99’s year to take the checkered flag at the Daytona 500. He knows what it takes to get the job done, so watch out for Carl at Daytona.”
WWE Superstar John Cena





“No. 99 Carl Edwards. He finished 2010 as one of the strongest drivers, and I think the momentum is his for a win at Daytona.”
Chris Jericho, WWE Champion / Lead singer of the hard rock band, Fozzy


“I'll take Carl Edwards. He finished strong last season and is driving for the right team at Daytona. Oh, and the right car, a Ford.”
Mike Quick, NFL Hall of Famer, Philadelphia Eagles (currently radio announcer for Eagles broadcasts)


"I'm going with my fellow Subway restaurants teammate, Carl Edwards. He won the last two races in 2010 and gets a fresh start heading into Daytona for the 2011 season.”
Ndamukong Suh, DT for Detroit Lions


“I've seen Days of Thunder 300 times and Cole Trickle wins every single time! Just kidding – my favorite driver is No. 99 Carl Edwards. Just when you think he doesn't have it, he turns it up to 11 and makes magic happen.”
Josh Kelley, singer


“Carl Edwards. Carl has certainly proven his ability to drive over the last few years and Daytona International Speedway has been good to him with 3 top-10 finishes in his last 3 races. With all the hard work he puts in, I have a hunch this might just be his year in the 500!”
John Ondrasik of the band Five For Fighting


“Carl Edwards won the final two NASCAR Sprint Cup races last season. Hopefully that momentum will carry him into this year.”
Jared Fogle, Subway spokesman
 


“Whoever has the number 99 since it’s my number (Carl Edwards).”
Brett Keisel, Pittsburgh Steelers


“Carl Edwards because he does back flips off his car and is a fellow Vitamin Water guy.”
David Wright, New York Mets third basemen


"Carl Edwards – he is such a great guy, very sincere. And he really hears me when I say to him... Just go fast!"
Kelly Hansen of the band Foreigner

Denny Hamlin

“I'm a fan of Joe Gibbs Racing, he has won the Super Bowl and Daytona. It's a close all with all drivers but I'm going with Denny Hamlin.”
TobyMac, Five-time GRAMMY Award winning hip-hop artist  


“Denny Hamlin. He sits courtside and he’s coming off a great year.”
Stephen Jackson, Charlotte Bobcats


"Denny Hamlin. It's his time. He's a great racer. Soooooooooooooo fast! Plus, I'd love to be in his passenger seat. But only going to like a restaurant or something."
Abby Elliott, “Saturday Night Live”


“Denny Hamlin because he's a basketball fanatic.”
Dick Vitale, college basketball analyst


“Denny Hamlin. He was on the verge of having a great 2010. He is a winner and I think the cool temperatures in Florida play into his driving style!”
Dara Torres, 12-time Olympic medalist, including 4 Gold Medals


“Denny Hamlin: I just think he is the best driver right now.”
Matt Spaeth, Pittsburgh Steelers


“Denny Hamlin, because he is from my hometown of Ettrick, Va.”
James Farrior, Pittsburgh Steelers


“Joe Gibbs Racing. I went to college with JD Gibbs. Joe’s son is who runs the racing team. So I am a Joe Gibbs racing guy. Any Joe Gibbs driver, I’m with.”
Coach Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers


“Denny Hamlin. When I was in Atlanta he gave me and a few friends passes to check out the garage and his cars. Good guy, I want to see him do well."
Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars goaltender


“I think Denny Hamlin still has a bad taste in his mouth after getting toasted by Jimmie Johnson at Homestead in the final race last season, thereby losing the Chase to Jimmie “Five Straight Titles” Johnson.  Give me Hamlin, Harvick and Jr. (1-3). Crank it up, NASCAR fans, and let's enjoy another season of thunder.”
Scott Ferrall, SiriusXM host


Tony Stewart

“Tony Stewart. He’s not only a friend but also a former colleague at Sirius.”
Gary Dell’Abate, producer of the Howard Stern Show and best-selling author of “They Call Me Bababooey”


“It's anybody's race! With the new pavement it should make for three-wide racin' all day that’s very exciting for the fans. I will always support Smoke, especially at Daytona or any superspeedway.”
Jeff Probst, host of “Survivor”


“Tony calls the shots and the team’s success rests solely on his head. He is a great driver and has the chance to reinforce that at NASCAR's biggest event.”
Luke Pettigout, former starting offensive lineman from the New York Giants


"The start of each NASCAR season is always a rush as the "Super Bowl" of racing is the very first race! The Gracious Few are huge fans of Tony Stewart and his salt-of-the-earth racing style. After the checkered flag drops, The Gracious Few predict he'll be celebrating in Victory Lane!"
Gracious Few, band


“Tony Stewart is going to win it this year. He typically runs well at Daytona, and I see him bouncing back after a down 2010 season.”
Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators


“Tony Stewart. We’ve got Alabama ties since he’s a sheriff’s deputy in Fayette County.”
Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats


“Tony Stewart, obviously. I just like his attitude and the way he drives. I’ve watched him for a few years now and my little guy’s into it with me. I like Smoke. He doesn’t take anything from anyone.”
Colin White, New Jersey Devils defenseman


Kevin Harvick 

“Kevin Harvick is my pick to win the Daytona 500, though I'd love to see Jr. or Jeff Gordon win, too.”
Donnie Wahlberg, singer


 
“Kevin Harvick's gonna DO WORK and bring the Daytona 500 win home! DO WORK Big KEV!”
“Big Black” from MTV’s “Rob & Big”


"We are picking Kevin Harvick to win the Daytona 500 ... he has won it before, and had a very strong 2010 season. He seems primed to make another run at the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2011, and what better way to start than the Super Bowl of racing?"
The band 12 Stones


“Kevin Harvick is a friend of mine and a very solid pick seeing how he raced the last couple of years and his success in Budweiser Shootouts. Kevin is always up there in the big races. He battles hard and he is coming off a big year. Hopefully he will start the season off on the right foot with a win.”
Jeff Carter, Philadelphia Flyers forward


“I want Tony Stewart to win because he's my favorite driver. However, I feel that Kevin Harvick will be the winner considering the way last season ended. Harvick will have a chip on his shoulder.”
Cowboy Troy, musician

 Kyle Busch
 
“I really hope it’s Carl Edwards. I love the Back Flip, after driving 200 mph for 500 miles. If he wins he does a back flip, how great is that. My pick, though, is Kyle Busch this year. He’s due.”
Meat Loaf, singer and actor



"Kyle Busch is the modern day road warrior with a unique way of driving plate races. He's good anywhere, but I've noticed he always ends up at the front of the field because of his aggressive driving. It's either checkers or wreckers with him. But you know, I could be wrong!"
Buddy Baker, 1980 Daytona 500 winner and Sirius XM Radio host


“I’m picking Kyle Busch in that colorful M&Ms car.”
Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers


“Kyle Busch is the hottest young driver in NASCAR. I like his style. He’s aggressive and can win even if the car is not perfect. Kyle also wants to lead every lap. He makes every race more exciting.”
Jason Williamson, Elite BASS fisherman       


Kasey Kahne

“I met Kasey Kahne at a race last year and he was so fun to watch – he’s my pick.”
Lauren Conrad, actress


“Kasey Kahne: since it’s a restrictor-plate race, it will be wide open, and I love the way he drives. Kasey also does well on superspeedways. And most importantly, I met the guy who designs his steering boxes, and I was impressed.”
Tim Morehouse, Olympic Silver Medalist in Fencing 2008 and National Champion ’10


“Kasey Kahne and Team Red Bull USA are going to have a big year and they are going to kick it off right off that bat at Daytona!”
Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints



Mark Martin

“Mark Martin. It would be really great to see one of the old school dudes win it.”
Dierks Bentley, singer and 10-Time Grammy Award winner


“Mark Martin would be great. I think people would be flipping out if he won it. I said Jimmie Johnson last year but that cursed him. I’d like to see him win, but I don’t know if he’s going to win it this year.”
Actor Patrick Dempsey



Brian Vickers

 “No question, my pick is Brian Vickers. He will be the comeback driver of the year as well. Vickers and his new teammate, Kasey Kahne, will be strong contenders for the Chase as team GM Jay Frye has put together an Invincible Team! Of course it's simply coincidental that I wore No. 83 when I was playing for the Eagles and that my favorite NFL player is No. 83 Wes Welker of the New England Patriots.”
Vince Papale, Philadelphia Eagles (1976-79), inspiration for the movie “Invincible”


Jamie McMurray

"It's foolish to think there will be any confident betting against my good pal Jimmie Johnson, and I am totally with them, and him, for that matter. But if I were going to take a bet outside the JJ circle, there may be a bit of a battle between past winners Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick. I would have to place my non-Johnson money on Jamie to repeat!"
Chef Mario Batali


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