What To Watch 4 At The Daytona 500
The NASCAR season is set to kick off with the Daytona 500. As every year goes, there are some things that have changed. There are new rules, new drivers, and new equipment. Here at MFST, we have you covered on everything you need to know for the big race and the season that follows.
1. Danica’s Farewell
Danica Patrick is set to retire from her NASCAR career. She will end her racing career with two racing appearances. The first being the Daytona 500. The second being the Indy 500. In addition to this being her final race, there is a lot of speculation that her new romantic partner (Aaron Rodgers) will make an appearance. She will be starting in the 28th position.
2. Pit Stops
This year NASCAR has decided to standardize the tools that are used on pit lane. This will include the air wrenches and hoses. This will make the playing field level between all of the pit crews. They have also limited the number of over-the-wall crew from six to five. This is an attempt to make the pit lane safer for everyone involved.
3. The Youth
As each year passes, more and more drivers come and go. This year sees an influx of young drivers who seem prepared to make a name for themselves. Three of the top four starters for this race are 24 years old or younger. Alex Bowman, the new driver of the 88 car, is starting from the pole. He is 24. Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott are starting 3rd and 4th. They are 24 and 22 respectively. Darrell Wallace Jr. also is in the same boat agewise, but more on him is next.
4. Darrell (Bubba) Wallace Jr.
Wallace Jr. is set to be the first African-American driver to race in the Daytona 500 since 1969. He is also driving the iconic number 43 car. This is a huge leap for a sport that is generally thought of as a sport cheered for by a bunch of racist drunks. Just being in the race is a huge feat, but a run at the top of the pack will do wonders for this great story.
Malachi David is a sports writer at MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @SportReportMD