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Old 02-18-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default daytona 500: pick the winner/ analysis

dominance at daytona seems to happen in waves and right now team hendrick is riding that wave. pariety doesnt really exist at this track and it is easy to dominate by teams such as hendrick, gibbs, dei, and childress. thats why its not going too far out on a limb to say, stewart, gordon, or jr. are favorites to win the race. not to mention earnhart sr.'s old team getting a pole or winning atleast once during speedweeks. i see this weeks 500 being played out much like last years. chevys will dominate. stewart has looked good in the twin race, the shootout, iroc (where he was involved in a late accident) and he won the busch race today. unfortunately for him he doesnt have a powertrain of team support like jeff gordon. while stewart may find his way to the front and stay there with superb teamwork he can be passed late in the game. dei is like joe gibbs racing. the youth in the team could hurt when competing against the hendrick cars. jr. has already said in practice that his and truex's cars dont work well together. its no wonder him and stewart have forged an alliance on the track at these restrictor plate tracks. team yates always has the horsepower to compete well at the 500 and no ford driver has had the success that dale jarrett has had. team mate e. sadler seems to be a semi favorite every year at restrictor plates but usually either fades late or is stricken with bad luck. with rousch there is power in numbers although i think going from k. busch to j. mcmurray is a down grade. biffle won his 1st race at this track so i will be watching him. i expect atleast 1 penske car to finish in the top 5 if its a spread out green flag race or 1-10 in a late race shoot out. i would not be suprised at all to see penske score his 1st restrictor plate win with k. bush.

my top 5 most likely to win the race: ( no stretch here)

1. j. gordon
2. t. stewart
3. earnhardt jr.
4. g. biffle
5. c. edwards

darkhorses: j. burton, r. newman, e. saddler, m. truex ( k. schrader as an extreme)

good stories im watching: b. labonte driving r. pettys #43. t. labonte heading up aikman/staubachs team. sterling marlin with his new team.

bold prediction of the race: there will be alot of rookies and youngsters in this race. kyle bush has came pretty close to causing a major wreck every time he has been on the track with other cars this speedweeks. i look for him to cause or be right in the middle of a significant accident tomorrow.
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