The Daytona 500 - some call it the Super Bowl of NASCAR, while some see it as a fresh start to a brand new season for their drivers. When you think about it, the Daytona 500 is a new beginning, especially if it marks a driver’s first time in a Cup ride full-time.
The 500, the season opener, means NASCAR is back - the long-awaited days, weeks and months have finally paid off. For me, I have been waiting for the Daytona 500 for a very long time. As a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, last season was a total heartache. I know a lot of Junior fans can’t wait for a new season to start with crew chief Lance McGrew, who replaced Tony Eury Jr. last year.
But for many, the 500 offers a chance to see what fresh, young talent will be racing.
Brad Keselowski, driving full-time for Roger Penske, will be turning heads in the 500, I have a strong feeling. Looking at his past races and history, he is sure to be a great, upcoming driver. I feel that Brad will be a threat not only in the 500, but also to our four-time champion Jimmie Johnson.
I know a lot of you are thinking: how will a brand new driver be able to perform that well his first year as a Cup driver? Yes, it is Brad’s first full season in Cup, but have we all forgotten the many races with Rick Hendrick? Or the James Finch win at Talladega? In 14 Cup starts driving for both teams, Brad had one top 5 and four top 10s. Brad has proven himself capable of being a champion and winner.
The 2010 Daytona 500 will be a very exciting race. Newcomer Brad Keselowski is hoping to make his name in NASCAR, hoping to gain more fans and more support from others. Then there is Dale Jr., hoping to overcome a terrible 2009 season, turn heads and once again be the driver we fans know he can be.
I, for one, am looking forward to a great, fun-filled season, during which, I know deep down, we will see Junebug shine again. As I say every race day, come Feb. 14, “Amp That 88.”
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect this site or its other contributors
Photos via NASCARMedia