Every NASCAR fan knows of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s driving skills and analytical ability. However, it appears that the icon is turning out to be quite the prophet too. After his successful prediction for the 2023 championship winner, he has picked out his favorites once again ahead of the 2024 season opener at Daytona.
He made the call on his podcast Dale Jr. Download and chose one of Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano to win the 2024 title, with the Team Penske driver going back-to-back being his pick. Since the Championship 4 format was introduced in 2014, no driver has won back-to-back titles in NASCAR.
Expanding on the low odds of that happening with Blaney defending his title, he added, “I know the odds of that happening are not very good at all. But this is a short sample – what we are pulling from – to say this has never happened.” Junior also noted his strong impression from the #12 team’s year-end run in 2023 and believed that the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse could pump up their efforts greatly.
Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/DirtyMoMedia/status/1757163411253710963?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
“It is going to help them in some scenarios, aerodynamically and so forth that they found themselves, where they were, you know, a bit challenged. I know Toyota also has a new car. Could be interesting to see how that matters,” he concluded. His belief with the new cars was that the changes to their front ends could sway odds in tracks like Daytona and Talladega where pushing is all the play.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s on-point prediction for the 2023 Cup Series title
Last June, Junior pointed out that Ryan Blaney was his favorite for the 2023 championship. He said, “My bold prediction is that Ryan Blaney has an incredible second half and emerges as a championship favorite. Also, a bold prediction: Chase Elliott doesn’t win a race and point his way into the championship playoffs. It’s possible.”
Aligning with his words the Team Penske star grabbed the title and Chase Elliott finished the season with 0 wins. Now, days away from the onset of the 2024 season, he has made his pick again and it holds strong claims just like it did last year. Junior’s choices for the Championship 4 last year were Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney. Two from the list showed up for the finale in Phoenix.
Despite his failures last year, Denny Hamlin finds himself a repeat in Junior’s top 4 list for 2024. The upcoming 35 races will tell if he can live up to his confidence this time.