If you could bend time … regardless of eras, what four drivers would you like to see race for the win at Daytona?
Nate Ryan: Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr. David Pearson and Richard Petty. When I think of winners in magical moments at Daytona, those are the four names that initially come to mind. The next question would be: Does the race happen with or without restrictor plates?
Dustin Long: Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Mario Andretti. All Daytona 500 winners and among the greats in racing.
Daniel McFadin: Dale Earnhardt Jr. from 2004, Dale Earnhardt Sr. from 1991, Bill Elliott from 1988 and Brad Keselowski from today. Give them some IROC cars from 1999 and let them loose for 25 laps.
Dan Beaver: Richard Petty, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr. I’m not sure who would win, but it would certainly be spectacular.
What driver currently outside a playoff spot is one you think has the best chance to win Saturday’s race at Daytona (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC)?
Nate Ryan: Jamie McMurray. The two-time winner at Daytona always is a solid driver in plate races if he can avoid the wrecks and getting antsy in the draft.
Daniel McFadin: I think Paul Menard could be a sleeper. He’s finished in the top six in his last three Daytona starts. He and AJ Allmendinger are the only drivers who have finished in the top 10 in the last three Daytona races.
Dan Beaver: The defending winner of this race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., has a knack for plate racing and could get into the playoffs this week.
What’s the wildest finish you’ve witnessed?
Nate Ryan: The Oct. 7, 2012 race at Talladega Superspeedway. Tony Stewart attempted to throw a block off Turn 4 on the last lap, and 25 cars wrecked a few hundred yards from the finish line in a massive storm of dirt, sheet metal and smoke
Dustin Long: The finish to the 2007 Daytona 500. It has Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin side-by-side to the checkered flag, cars crashing behind them, Clint Bowyer crossing the finish line on his roof and fire coming from the engine.
Daniel McFadin: In person: Last fall’s Martinsville race. Sure, the Chase Elliott/Denny Hamlin incident was all anyone remembers. But don’t forget the massive pile-up on the frontstretch coming to the checkered flag. Even though it’s a short track, that was out of character for Martinsville. From home: I already used the 2012 Watkins Glen race for an answer a few weeks ago, so I’m going with the Xfinity Series here. The bizarre finish at Iowa in 2011 when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lost his engine hundreds of feet from the checkered flag and was rammed from behind by teammate Carl Edwards, which pushed him across the finish line for the win.
Dan Beaver: I have to go with one of the greatest finishes from earlier in the week. Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch crashing as they crossed the finish line – and providing a photo finish in the process – has to be one of the best finishes ever.