NASCAR

We still don't know what 500 offers

Kevin Harvick (AP Photo/NASCAR/Getty Images, Tom Pennington)
Sprint Unlimited was fun -- but it didn't tell much about Daytona 500.
Share This Story

Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

We really can’t say that if you had a good finish in Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited or if you have a good run in Thursday's Duel race that finish is indicative of how you will run this Sunday in the Daytona 500 (Noon ET on FOX).

BOOGITY! BOOGITY! BOOGITY!

NASCAR on FOX brings live coverage of the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. The green flag drops at 1 p.m. ET, with coverage on FOX beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The obvious reason is that Sunday is a 500-mile race as opposed to these shorter ones. There are so many more opportunities in a long race like the Daytona 500 for things to go well or, in some cases, for things to go really badly.

The benefit to these lead-up races is that they really help the drivers and teams figure out what this new car likes and doesn’t like. I have said for a number of weeks that the theme of this year's Daytona Speedweeks is simply “The Unknown” because there are so many questions about this new car that need to be answered.

With all the years of racing the Car of Tomorrow, these teams and drivers had a pretty thick notebook of data to work from. Now with this brand-new Generation 6 car, their notebooks basically don’t have any pages filled out in them yet.

Racing on Saturday night in the 75-lap Unlimited helped some with filling in some blanks on the car. The downside is it was under the lights and quite cold. Those won’t be anywhere near the conditions these teams will face Sunday where we are expecting sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s for the 500.

Gen-6 evolution

TRUE INNOVATION

How did NASCAR get from Hudson Hornet to Generation 6 cars? See the transition.

These two Duel races on Thursday will be more like what the teams will face on Sunday, so a lot of information will be gathered from these two events.

While Saturday’s race win will give confidence to Kevin Harvick, plus top finishers Tony Stewart, Joey Logano and some others, it really isn’t a mirror of what to expect on Sunday.

For example, last year Matt Kenseth finished 21st in the Saturday night race. He then went on to win the Daytona 500.

You also heard it in the postrace interviews with the drivers that crashed out on Lap 15 on Saturday night, they all mentioned that they hated they didn’t get more time on the track to help learn more about what this car does in the pack.

Sure, the ultimate goal was to win the race, but the reality was these teams and drivers needed the chance to collect data on this new car in hopes of using it for a big payday come Sunday on FOX.

More Stories From Larry McReynolds

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Danica_Patrick/browse/featuredproduct/974547/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_974000/ff_974547_xl.jpg&w=100 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Kyle_Busch/browse/featuredproduct/1011659/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011659_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Matt_Kenseth/browse/featuredproduct/1011661/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011661_xl.jpg&w=100 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Carl_Edwards/browse/featuredproduct/1041164/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1041000/ff_1041164_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash