Dustin Long: Denny Hamlin. He will gain his revenge for coming up just short in his battle with Kevin Harvick for the win last year at New Hampshire.
Daniel McFadin: I’ll take Harvick. He’s been more consistent over the last few weeks and he’s won the last two races at NHMS.
Dustin: True but I’m looking for Hamlin to buck a trend. Three times he’s followed a win by finishing outside the top 10. I think he breaks that trend this weekend.
Daniel: Kevin Harvick’s never heard of a non-top 10 finish.
The races at the Daytona road course and the Daytona oval are among the final seven races in the regular season for the Cup series. Which Daytona race will be more of a wild card?
Daniel: The one that takes place on a track NASCAR’s never competed on, the road course. Remember all the concern over Turn 1 on the Charlotte Roval two years ago? Well, at least they got to practice then.
Dustin: That’s what simulators are for. The wild card race will be the Daytona oval event. Regular-season finale. Last chance for some to make the playoffs. Desperation. Yes, it has all the ingredients for a wild card race.
Daniel: Everybody in the field and their mother has had their fair share of superspeedway races. While some drivers have tried out the road course before, they never have in a Cup/Xfinity/Truck vehicle. That first lap at speed will be wild.
Dustin: Just as wild as those final laps on the oval.
NASCAR sets the starting lineup by a random draw. A series official recently said that there could be some change once the playoffs begin. How should the starting lineup be set for the playoffs?
Dustin: Inversion from the previous race. Invert the top 20, maybe even the top 25. You don’t perform the race before, you don’t get a good starting spot. Simple. No reliance on the luck of a random draw. Adds a performance element. That should be a part of the playoffs. Don’t give playoff teams the right to the best starting spots. Let them earn it.
Daniel: This is reasonable to me. Almost too reasonable.