Posted 02/19/2011 at 06:45 PM
Over the last two weeks of practices leading up to the Daytona 500, I have talked a lot about how any one of 30 drivers could legitimately win due to some of the changes that have occurred. I still believe that to be true, but after accumulating all the data together from the entire week, then mixing in a little bit of past history and driver tendencies in restrictor plate races, the cream has definitely risen to the top.
If this were another type of race, say at Richmond -- with all the practice information that has come out -- we would be talking about maybe only four drivers with a real shot at winning the race. Naturally we have to factor in what we’ve see, which is that anyone can get up to speed quickly and pass the top drivers. We also have recent history showing us that the Daytona 500 can be won by unexpected drivers as we have seen the last three years with Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray winning as long shots.
SEE MY TOP DRIVER RATINGS ON THE AUTO RACING PAGE.