DAYTONA BEACH, Fla- Report by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza– Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Photo–
It is the spectacle of them all when it comes to NASCAR racing and yes race fans– it is finally here.
This day has forever gone down in history as one of the best. From quotes like “and there’s a fight,” to battle’s like Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin right to the checkers, to a loss of the Intimidator, it has always been about this one special day when it comes to starting off another NASCAR season.
After a long (and in most places snowy) winter, it is once again time to hear those most famous words in motorsports and watch cars hit the high banks of Daytona International Speedway.
Let us take a look at what is expected in today’s 57th Running of the Daytona 500:
Radio: Motor Racing Network, 12 P.M. EST.
TV: FOX, 12 P.M. EST.
Even though many of the last five Daytona 500’s have been plagued with weather issues, there is bright sunshine here in Daytona Beach today. Expect to see 500 full miles and on-schedule timing for today’s race.
For anyone out there who is ready to rock– Kid Rock will be preforming live in the infield prior to today’s Daytona 500. The ceremony’s will continue with driver introductions and the National Anthem, before the command just after 1 P.M. local time.
A Packed House
This is not your weekly short track race. This is the biggest stock car race in the world. Expect fans from all over the country, all of the GLOBE to pack the World Center of Racing.
Now that we have all the Pre-Race and talk behind us, let us talk about what to expect during today’s actual race–
I think right from the drop of the green flag, we are going to see Hendrick Motorsports shine. Obviously with Jeff Gordon on the pole, Jimmie Johnson to the outside and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rolling off third, expect one of them to lead the opening laps of the great race.
This is Daytona, so unfortunately, we must expect the Big One. Over the years, the big crash has collected some of the best drivers to ever hit the high banks. People like Dale Earnhardt Sr., Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick. They have all been collected in that crash that kills a driver’s dreams of holding the trophy.
Expect the race to see AT LEAST one big crash that takes out multiple heavy hitters and top contenders. Also, expect the field to get single file and ride the top-side at some point during the event, preserving cars and equipment for the later laps.
Back to Back: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
When the field first starting practicing last Saturday, Earnhardt Jr. was quick to say he had the best and fastest car that was at the track — and that showed on Thursday night.
He was able to tear through the field after starting and the back and got out front quickly and never looked back. Expect him to stay up front most of the day and hold off Jeff Gordon coming to the checkers. Yes, spoiling Gordon’s last 500 chances.