You always hear us talking about how when we go restrictor plate racing that it is the "Great Equalizer." We say that simply because if you are in it, you can win it. Restrictor plate racing has a tendency to really level the playing field for some of the smaller under-funded teams to run up front and snatch the limelight away from the mega-teams at times.
The last time we were here was back in February and the Toyota brigade was awfully strong. There was one point late in the Daytona 500 when I thought the Toyotas had a realistic chance of finishing first through fifth. While that didn’t happen, you still had Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota take the checkered flag.
So I imagine those five Toyotas will be strong. I suspect Hendrick Motorsports will be strong. Rookie Chase Elliott sat on the pole in February and I am curious to see if he can do it again.
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You would be foolish to over-look the Team Penske Fords. Remember that Brad Keselowski won Talladega back in May.
Once again the race will be run at night. It will be hot and slick so you are going to see handling at Daytona become more and more of a premium. I just hope for the sport, our fans, the teams and our broadcast partners at NBC don’t have to fight rain like they did last July.
I just have to add that if it does happen yet again with weather playing an issue that someone will wake up and realize things need to change.
I think if the weather plays a factor yet again, we need to admit we’ve run our course of trying to run this race late afternoon and the evening there in July. I’ve always maintained we need to go back to how we used to do it back in the day and run this thing late morning before the weather rolls in.
Yes, it’s hot even in the late morning, but is sure as heck beats rain anytime. I just hope for everyone involved that it’s not simply a repeat once again of Mother Nature dictating her terms of how and when this race will be run.