For the first time, all drivers must pick the national series in which they will receive driver championship points. Elliott Sadler picked the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
In the preseason media poll, the press picked him.
Sadler, who returns to full-time NASCAR Nationwide competition for the first time since 1998, will also unify the title - so predicts the press.
The media were also asked to choose the top 10 in owner points, and the choice was Sadler's No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet. If that comes true, the driver and owner titles would be unified for the first time since 2009.
Though double-duty drivers cannot earn driver points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series if they pick another series, their car still earns owner points.
"It is an honor to be voted as the preseason favorite by the NASCAR media to win the championship," Sadler said. "To me, that says that even people who are not at the Kevin Harvick Inc. shop day in and day out recognize that we have a great team, solid leadership and dedicated team owners who make things happen and are willing to do whatever it takes to win."
Said team owner Kevin Harvick, "(Sadler) knows how to win and we expect to go out and be competitive. I think anything less than the No. 2 team competing for the NASCAR Nationwide championship will be a disappointment."
Rounding out the top 10 in the NASCAR Nationwide driver poll: Aric Almirola, Justin Allgaier, Trevor Bayne, Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, Steve Wallace, Brian Scott and Michael Annett.
Positions two-10 in the owner poll: No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge, No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet.