By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
We are just under two weeks away from the great american race, the Daytona 500. Nascar is heading back to it’s roots, relaxing the rules, which has led to a buzz unlike any in recent years going into Daytona.
It also does nothing but help soar the buzz when we have huge storylines that are brewing already, such as:
1. Can Jimmie Johnson do it again? He has already spanked the field, and made history by being the first driver in Nascar history to win four-straight championships… Can he win it all again?
2. Danica Patrick, Danica Patrick Danica Patrick. She is set to make 12 starts in the Nationwide Series this season, but may add Daytona to the fold depending on her results in the Arca event at Daytona. Speaking of Arca, who wants to bet their Daytona race gets more ratings then all of their races from the past 10 years combined? It will be fun to monitor her progress in a stock car.
3. Can Dale Earnhardt Jr. right the ship? Earnhardt is coming off of the worst season of his Sprint Cup career, and he did it in a team he is expected to win championships with… Can he get it all going in 2010?
4. The wing flies the coupe. Nascar will toss away the infamous (infamously ugly that is) wing in favor of a more traditional spoiler. This will improve handling of the cars, and improve the look of the car. Look for the new spoiler sometime around Martinsville.
5. Can Roush Racing and Richard Childress Racing get back to their winning ways? Just a couple seasons ago both of these teams owned over half of the cars in the chase combined. In 2009 Roush had just two cars in the playoffs, while Childress failed to place any of his cars in the chase.
6. Earlier start times. Races will begin earlier, just like in the good ole’ days. These times will be standard across the board each week. This will make the races easier to find, and should help drastically improve ratings… Not to mention it will allow for longer time for track drying incase of wet weather.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as all of the great stories we have to look forward to in 2010. This promises to be one of the greatest and most competitive seasons in recent memory, and I for one am extremely excited for what’s on the horizon. Nascar has promised to make this year all about the fans, and they’ve done a wonderful job so far. It’s time to sit back and enjoy fans.
Now it’s time for the moment everyone has been waiting for… My 2010 predictions.
Daytona 500 Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt and the No. 88 team see their hard work in the offseason pay off with a win in the biggest race of the year. This will go a long way in a breakout year for Earnhardt.
Danica Patrick’s Best Finish: Patrick will put it together and finish at fourth at least once in 2010… That’s right I said it fourth.
Sprint Cup Champion: Tony Stewart – We see the first owner/driver win the Sprint Cup since Alan Kulwicki pulled it off in 1992.