1 Jimmie JOHNSON
6 wins, 23 top 10s
Until NASCAR "Johnson proofs" the Chase—meaning the sanctioning body changes the schedule to remove some of his best tracks from the playoffs—Johnson will remain the driver to beat. There's only one track in the Chase at which he routinely struggles (Talladega), and Johnson is better than anyone in the sport at managing risk, keeping his fenders clean and not beating himself.
2 Kyle BUSCH
3 wins, 18 top 10s
If you polled drivers on who has the most natural talent, Busch would win in a landslide. His problem? He takes more chances than anyone, which leads to wrecks and mechanical failures. If Busch can harness his aggression—his owner, Joe Gibbs, has spoken with Busch about this—he could win as many as 10 Cup races in 2011.