As we close in on Valentine's Day, it's not just love in the air. The aroma of gas and burned tires is the perfect perfume for NASCAR fans, because Valentine's Day always seem to kick off SpeedWeek at the track.
Today is Daytona media day and here are some of the big storylines going into not only Daytona but the NASCAR season.
There are so many questions about how fans will like the new rule that eliminates drivers the deeper they go into the chase. I personally like it.
At times, NASCAR was irrelevant in October, through no fault of their own. In October, the MLB playoffs crank up, the NHL is getting into gear, it's Week 6 of the NFL season, the NBA gets going, and suddenly no one is talking about NASCAR drivers or the chase for the championship. The elimination will change that and the last race in Homestead, a winner-take-all between the last four drivers left, I think is a perfect ending.
It's a talented class of rookies, but I think the Rookie of the Year title comes down to either Austin Dillon or Kyle Larson. Remember Larson was part of that incredible Nationwide crash last year that I think is part of the reason Daytona Speedway is now going through a $400-million renovation that will be ready by 2016.
But the bottom line to me is that I think the racing will be some of the best we've seen. The new qualifying system, where drivers are on the track at the same time, racing for position -- like Formula One. I think one of the best racing we saw last year was in the Nationwide series because Cup drivers run a lot of those races, but they don't care about the points, so the racing is wide open.
I think that will be the case in the Cup series once a few drivers get wins that basically lock them into the chase -- they are then free to always run to win.
So, we are closing in on Valentine's Day, closing in on SpeedWeek, and we will bring you the inside story from media day. As Darrell Waltrip famously says, "Let's go racing, boys."
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