Rain came to the Daytona 500, spreading it out to a 2nd day. Denny Hamlin took the checkers there for the 2nd straight year, overshadowed by a violent crash that Ryan Newman has since recovered from. Mother Nature has interjected once more in Week 2, washing out Qualifying at Las Vegas. The field has been set by the rule book, not based on the merit of anything yet this year.
Here’s what to look for:
–Kyle Busch will start first by virtue of winning the Championship last year. Rowdy has one Win here — his hometown — a race that he started from Pole. That was 2009, many years ago and things can change. This isn’t one of his best tracks, just a middle in the road average, but four Top 5s since then.
–Martin Truex Jr will start alongside his Joe Gibbs teammate, and he happened to win the Las Vegas Fall race, too. He’s got to feel pretty confident with that knowledge, and the view he’ll have from the front.
–Joey Logano did exceptionally well in Practice, and has all the makings of a great day ahead of him. The rain on Friday messed up his start a little bit, but expect him to get to the front early. He won this race last Spring, and it is his best track by average (8.5). He’s also rocking the Pennzoil colors today, the sponsor of the race. Things seem to go a certain way when that happens..
–Ryan Blaney also has Pennzoil on the car today, and a pretty decent average here, too.
He’s got three Top 5s over his last four races here, though two of them have come in the Fall race.
–Matt DiBenedetto was catching my eye in Practice on Friday, up on the speed charts. He’s got a new ride this year in the Woods Brothers #21. Both Ryan Blaney and Paul Menard drove that car to great finishes at Vegas, and this was already once of Matt’s best before the switch. Driving for underfunded teams (when compared against the balance of the field), his last five finishes here were 26th or better, and he’s got back to back 21st place finishes. I fully expect him to do better here today
-Bonus entry! John Hunter Nemechek has a 5.0 average finish in the Xfinity Series, and he was up in the Top 10 for most of the Practice sessions. Could be someone to watch today. Don’t be surprised!
And a new tradition that we’re going to try to keep up with, special foodstuff for each race! My gal is a wiz in the kitchen, and she’ll no doubt have some great stuff on deck each week. This installment, inspired by Pennzoil’s color scheme, we’ve got some rippin’ yellow nacho cheese over here with a twist. We present to you..
Fat Boy Nachos! It’s like Nachos, but with more stuff in there, to make you a Fat Boy. What you don’t really see is the spicy ground sausage floating around. Dip in some fries, too, should the mood strike. Yum!
Coverage of the race starts on FOX at 3:30pm, green flag scheduled for 3:46pm.