It is that time of year again for the NASCAR Sprint cup series to kickoff with its annual super bowl. The biggest race of the season is the first race of the season, but this year there is a lot going on around the racing that usually isn’t always a factor. This year there have been changes to the points structure and some other new rules that may or may not have an effect on things during the race. But the thing that is looming large over this massive Taj Mahal of racing is the anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. Probably the biggest death in the sport and luckily the last for now.
There will be an in race tribute to the fallen star, plus I am sure there are to be many more tributes around the track that will not be seen on television coverage. But as far as on the track action, it seemed like it may be a weekend of destiny when Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the poll on qualifying day. But in typical junior fashion, he ended up wrecking and having to go to a backup car that will now make him start at the back of the pack. This doesn’t mean that he won’t have a chance at winning the race, but it just makes it a whole lot tougher to get in contention.
With the new pavement at the track, it has taken away the “Pack” mentality of racing and drafting that fans have known and love for so long. If you watched the nationwide race, then you saw that it was easily a two car group that will make the most moves. This year’s race may break records for lead changes and could be very entertaining in the final laps as anyone within the top 10 has a shot to make that last lap pass. So, be sure to find your new roster of drivers for this year’s race, because there have been a lot of changes in who is driving for what company and some even have new numbers and paint schemes this year.
The favorites to win this race will be the usual suspects, but I have found myself leaning toward five drivers who could easily win this race. So I will give you my top 5 and a dark horse pick just for grins.
- Kurt Busch
- Tony Stewart
- Clint Bowyer
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
And lastly the dark horse pick for the Daytona 500 is Brad Kesolowski.
I am sure most race fans will get goose bumps when our favorite announcer DW throws out his favorite tag line of “Boogity Boogity Boogity! Let’s go Racin boys”