The 2019 Daytona 500 Kicks Off the New Season from a NASCAR Fan’s View


This Sunday afternoon the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicks off it’s new season. It isn’t billed as, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – that honor belongs to The Indianapolis 500. It is big though and some say it is even bigger than the Championship Race at Homestead in November. Now, I’m not going to get into that here but, the Daytona 500 is without question one of the biggest NASCAR events of the whole season.

Look, I’m not saying other races aren’t important, but many times people spend a lot more time talking about this couple of weekends of the season than they do about most any race of the regular season. After all, it does kick off the season for the Gander Outdoor Series Trucks, the Xfinity Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and all in one place.

I won’t bore you with a long dissertation on the importance, or the lack thereof, of the Daytona 500 or any of the other series’ races; the talking heads have covered just about every aspect of these races we can think of. That isn’t a cut or negative statement about the coverage so far, most of it has been interesting or at the very least, entertaining. what I would like to do is give you a couple of things I have been thinking or wondering about as I have watched many of the events so far this week. Believe me, this won’t take long…

First, it looks like the Ford camps are picking up where they left off last season. They do look plenty strong even though they have a new Mustang body to work with. In this fan’s opinion, (and that’s all it is, my opinion), they seem to have done a better job of picking a body style than the Chevy camps did last year. As a Chevy fan, I hoped they might have a little more trouble and it would be more of an equalizing factor. Apparently, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with again this season.

Second, along with their performance so far in the Duels and practices this week, they seem to be determined to work together to make sure a Blue Oval ends up in Victory Lane at the end of the day. That may change for both the Toyotas and Chevys when it comes to race day but we won’t really know much about that until the 500 is in the books.

Just to keep this short and to the point, my biggest concern is that there is going to be lot of single file, follow the leader type racing rather than what we have become more accustomed to in recent times on a restrictor plate track. From this fan’s view, one of the things about restrictor plate racing is the door to door and bumper to bumper racing. Although I have mixed thoughts on the Duels and how exciting or unexciting they were, I see pretty much the same thing happening during the 500. The only thing that will break up the monotony of single file, wait till the last couple of laps to make a move will be the stages. At least that will mean three times during the race when the competition might heat up a bit. I hope I’m wrong, but from my view so far, I think I just may be right.

I do expect there will be at least one Big One and will be greatly surprised if one or more doesn’t happen. I won’t be disappointed if the Big One doesn’t happen but I do hope the racing is better than I saw in the Duels and that there is more action more often.

Hey, I’ve been a NASCAR fan for a long time and I will say this. Whatever happens, I will be watching…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© February 16, 2019 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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