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Analyst predicts one of NASCAR’s biggest names will not make the Championship 4 Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

As we prepare to get the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season underway, one analyst is predicting one driver won’t finish at the top.

FOX Sports Shannon Spake is making what she calls her first bold prediction of the season when she says that Jimmie Johnson won’t be a contender by the time they hit Homestead for the final race of the season.

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“I may get in trouble for this one and listen I’m on the 48 bandwagon,” Spake said. “I just think with all of the changes happening at Hendrick Motorsports right now and with the struggles we saw that 48 have last year, I do not think the 48 will be in the final four positions this year.”

Last season Johnson finished 10th in the points standings but had a less than stellar second half of the season. When comparing the numbers from the first 18 races to the next 18 races, they’re night and day. In the first half of the 2017 season Johnson had three wins and six top-10 finishes, but in the second half of the season victory lane escaped him and he had five top-10’s.

“I think he’ll make the playoff and very well could go on to win the championship because you can never count that guy out,” Spake said. “But that’s my bold prediction.”

If Johnson were to prove Spake wrong and win it all he would become the first driver in the history of the sport to win eight championships.

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