19 February 2016

2016 Daytona 500 Predictions

It's the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, coming to you from a newly refurbished Daytona International Speedway. This Sunday will mark the 58th running as well as the commencement of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. What's at take? Well, besides a chance at etching your name into history as well as a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, not much.

In the end, who will win the 2016 Daytona 500? Here are my exclusive predictions.

Starting Lineup

It always is tough to predict this race simply because the nature of restrictor plate racing means that just about anyone could end up in victory lane. And I should note that over the years that this blog has been in existence, I have never correctly predicted the winners (see 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011) so keep that in mind when you're visiting your neighborhood bookie.

But in the end, here is why I think that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be the victor on Sunday, winning what will be his third Daytona 500 and his second in three years.

First off, Earnhardt has reclaimed the title of the top driver at the plate tracks. After going almost a decade without winning at either Daytona or Talladega, Junior has now won three of the last eight plate races including the summer Daytona race last year. Just like Stella, he got his groove back at these races and he's shown it. He also had a strong race last year, leading 32 laps en route to finishing third.

Secondly, and most importantly, it looks like he's got the car to do it. I think the Earnhardt with how he has looked and practice and with how good he looked in the first Can-Am Duel race, he has shown that he is the car to beat. And while we know that in this race that having the best car doesn't mean said driver will get the win, it certainly helps the cause.

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