Rest easy, Junior Nation. Greg Ives -- the new man atop Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit box and the Nationwide Series' 2014 champion crew chief with Chase Elliott -- will help NASCAR's most popular driver pick up right where he left off with crew chief Steve Letarte last season.
Getty ImagesChris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty I
Brad Keselowski will keep making enemies
NASCAR's resident bad boy ticked off competitors at an alarming rate in 2014 and made no real apologies along the way. Moreover, the repercussions of his actions were minor, relatively-speaking. There's therefore no good reason to expect a calmer 'Bad Brad' in 2015.
Getty Images for Texas Motor SpeTom Pennington
Jimmie Johnson will make run at championship No. 7
A season after winning ONLY four races and finishing a career-worst 11th in the standings, Jimmie Johnson should rebound in Jimmie Johnson-like fashion -- by being a consistent frontrunner and a contender for a record-tying seventh title.
Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
Jeff Gordon will finally win fifth title -- and retire
The 2014 season was arguably Jeff Gordon's best since 2001, the year of his last championship. After just missing out on being part of the Championship 4, Gordon will have added motivation to go all the way in 2015. And when he does, he will likely retire (despite no indications of such plans) to open up a seat at Hendrick Motorsports for Chase Elliott.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesSarah Glenn
Danica Patrick won't make major improvements
Despite posting a career-high three top-10 finishes in 2014, Danica Patrick didn't make the quantum leap that some observers expected. On the heels of a rough finish to 2014 and with her crew chief situation for 2015 still not finalized, it's doubtful that the coming year will produce a major performance bump for the GoDaddy girl.
Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
Roush Fenway Racing struggles will continue
With its easily most marketable and arguably most talented driver, Carl Edwards, no longer part of the company, Roush Fenway Racing is likely headed for another tough season in 2015 after winning only twice -- with Edwards -- in 2014.
Getty Images for NASCARJeff Zelevansky
Joe Gibbs Racing will return to winning ways
With the addition of Carl Edwards to the lineup, Joe Gibbs Racing now boasts a driver roster with enough star power to rival Hendrick Motorsports and probably surpass Stewart-Haas Racing. In any case, the Gibbs boys will far exceed their two wins from 2014. Count on it.
Kyle Larson will make the Chase, win a race
Coming off a memorable rookie campaign in which he defied all expectations by netting three second-place finishes and nearly making the Chase, Kyle Larson seems all but destined to reach NASCAR's playoffs -- and Victory Lane -- in his sophomore season.
Getty ImagesSarah Glenn
Ryan Newman won't be among Championship 4
Just call it the curse of the runner-up. In any case, it’s been a long, long time since a driver who finished second in the Sprint Cup standings was able to match or surpass that result the following year. Expect Ryan Newman, who was winless in 2014, to be no different.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
Tony Stewart will return to Victory Lane
For the first time in his lengthy career, Tony Stewart failed to win a race in 2014. But with no immediate plans to race a sprint car again, the three-time champion should have considerably fewer distractions in 2015 than he has had the past two years.