Move over for a damaged case. Missing Lemmy. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. The Daytona 500 is here. The weather has been a bit weird. When you have 70 degree temps in February then that’s weird. We had a nasty storm yesterday that took off barn roofs, knocked a lot of trees over and generally made a mess of neighborhoods. Hope those in California are doing well after their storms.
Still doing required hours at work. I should be grateful but I’m a bit tired. Hurts my feet and back. Spent a day at the park with my grandkids on Monday when it was so beautiful and sunny. I actually got sun burnt cheeks. In February mind you.
So what of the land of Left Turns?
We’ve had lots of racing at Daytona for speed weeks. I’ve gone over all the changes for this season in previous blogs. Lots and lots of changes. So there’s not a whole lot more news to be had for this week. It’s been news overload with all the changes as far as I’m concerned. So lets get on with some Daytona high lights and recaps.
SPEED WEEKS RECAP
Joey Logano won the 75 lap Clash on February 19th. Chase Elliott won CAN-AM Duel #1 and Denny Hamlin won CAN-AM Duel #2 on Thursday night the 23rd.
NASCAR decided to give points out in the duels. This is a new thing. The winners some of the top finishers got points toward the Chase. Several drivers in the Duels will be starting in the back of the Daytona 500. Jimmy Johnson, Paul Menard & Ryan Blaney go to the back because they wrecked their cars in the Duels. Back up car means to the back. AJ Allmendinger, Martin Truex & Chris Buescher all failed post Duel race inspections. Also means to the back.
The CAN-AM Duels also served as qualifying for the Daytona 500. Elliott & Dale Jr got pole and 2nd through regular qualifying.
DAYTONA 500 PREVIEW
The day has arrived. Hamlin was last years winner by a smidge at the line. FedEx says they don’t mind if he wins again. Jeff Gordon will be driving the pace car. Hope he remembers to get off the track before the green flag drops.
The Daytona 500 will be divided up into 3 segments. There will be a caution at lap 60 and 120. A winner and top 10 in each segment get Chase points with the last segment everyone getting points. So there’s incentive to get your butt up there in the top 10 and stay there all race long.
This is a super speedway with a 2.5 mile lap. We’ll be seeing 200 laps for 500 miles. Pit speed is 55 mph and Jeff Gordon will be driving the pace car at 75 mph. The cars can go 40 to 46 laps on a tank of fuel but with this new segment format I’m not sure how that will work out. Very confusing.
We’ve got new drivers this year. Erik Jones in the #77, Ty Dillon in the #13, and Daniel Suarez in the #19. Michael Waltrip will be in the #15 for his very last Daytona 500 ever. So he says. Elliott Sadler is making an appearance in the #7.
Since any superspeedway race winner is a roll of the dice type gamble, it’s anyones race to win. So lets get to the top 10 picks.
TRUEX – Last year he had to start at the back due to being in a back up car. He came back up through to fight Hamlin to that photo finish. He got 2nd place so I don’t see why he won’t do the same thing this year as he starts from the rear again. Top 10
HARVICK – He was 4th last year and although he’s gone from a Chevy to a Ford I still believe he will be a top 10 contender. Top 10
HAMLIN – Last years D-500 winner, has a 5.5 average finish here, has led the most laps here with 369 and won the CAN-AM Duel #2. Top 10
DALE JR – Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…Top 10
ELLIOTT – Pole winner and CAN-AM Duel #1 winner. Mmmmm….I don’t know.
A DILLON – He’s been knocking at the door of a Daytona win. Top 10
KESELOWSKI – He’s usually way better at Talladega than Daytona. Still a great finish is not out of the question here. Top 10
BOWYER – He’s $15 in the NASCAR LIVE Fantasy league. This year he’s driving Tony Stewart’s vacated #14. Expect some good finishes from Bowyer this year. Top 10
LOGANO – He’s got a Daytona 500 W in his resume. Top 10
JOHNSON – He has 2 D-500’s in his resume. Top 10
KY BU – He’s won at the July Daytona race but not the February 500 race. Top 10
So however you decide to spend your day, I hope it’s a good one. Rock on.
And I’m outta here…..=^!^=