24 February 2013

2013 Daytona 500 Preview

Could this be the most anticipated running of the Daytona 500 ever? It may seem crazy, but considering the factors of today's race, particularly a certain person on the pole, it probably is a true statement. There are 43 drivers running for the most presitious race in NASCAR and the Harley J. Earl Trophy. Who will win the Great American Race?

1. What should we make of the race after the horrific crash of yesterday?
There is no question that the crash at the end of yesterday's Drive4COPD 250 was a scary one, as it was one that led to many spectators being taken to the hospital. Fortunately, neither of the two who were said to be in critical condition have any life-threatening injuries but yesterday just goes to show how dangerous this type of racing can be. The track workers worked all night to meld the catch-fence and it looks to be ready for today's race and hopefully we never see a crash like that again.

2. What should we expect from Danica Patrick?
In case you haven't heard, yes we know you know the deal with Patrick, becoming the first woman to ever win a pole in NASCAR and it just happens to be for the biggest race of the year. That said, I think anybody expecting her to win today is a little out of their minds because Patrick still is inexperienced, particularly in these cars. I think she would be ecstatic if she finished in the top ten but her expectations should be to run well and to get a good top-15 finish, with anything more being gravy.

3. How will the Generation 6 car affect the racing?
Well would you look at that, NASCAR has cars in the Cup Series that actually look like cars. And boy do they look fantastic and they have gotten rave reviews from all parties involved. That said, this is the first non-exhibition race that features these cars so it should be interesting how the drivers in the draft deal with the new car, particularly as the bumpers do not line up perfectly like the old car did. And the manufacturer that has dominated Speedweeks thus far in the new car is Chevy, so they look to be the favorite in the 500.

4. Who could be Trevor Bayne this year?
Bayne shocked the NASCAR world two years ago when he won the 500, being the first part-time racer to win in many years, bringing the Wood Brothers their first win in a decade and becoming the youngest winner ever. And if anybody can pull a Bayne, it probably will be Bayne himself. His 21 Ford has been really fast all Speedweeks and he has shown that he is an excellent plate racer.

5. Who is going to win?
There are few if any in the garage that are as good at Daytona International Speedway as Tony Stewart is as he has won at this track five times in his career. None of them have been the 500, however, but I think that streak is going to end today. He has a great car with a teammate that has won the 500 himself in Ryan Newman, not to mention Danica, and I think he will finally win it this year.

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