Members of the press have backed Carl Edwards to emerge as winner of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup.

A poll on the official series media website asked members of the media to forecast the top twelve in the 2009 standings, with Edwards receiving almost twice as many votes as defending three-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Of the 198 votes cast, Edwards secured 70 first-place votes, as opposed to 37 for the defending champion.

"It is an unreal compliment for 70 [media members] to think that I will win it all," Edwards said. "It's just great. What Jimmie has done is spectacular. For the media to say they think that I might be able to stop that is pretty neat."

The vote results showed that the media expects the Chase for the title to take on a similar appearance to 2008, with only one driver in the top twelve having failed to secure a place last year.

That man, Mark Martin, will make a full-time return to competition with Hendrick Motorsports in the #5 Kellogg's/Carquest Chevrolet and has been tipped to finish in eighth place.

Clint Bowyer was the only member of the 2008 Chase not to make the list.

Media predictions for 2009 Sprint Cup (with 2008 championship placings):

1. Carl Edwards Second
2. Jimmie Johnson First
3. Kyle Busch Tenth
4. Jeff Gordon Seventh
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr Twelfth
6. Greg Biffle Third
7. Kevin Harvick Fourth
8. Mark Martin 28th
9. Jeff Burton Sixth
10. Matt Kenseth Eleventh
11. Denny Hamlin Eighth
12. Tony Stewart Ninth


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