The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are descending upon Daytona International Speedway and will bring some exciting racing to all this weekend. “The World Center of Speed” will proudly play host to the annual “Great American Race” along with honoring U.S.S. Vicksburg sailors and their families at the speedway as part of the “NASCAR Unites – An AmericanSalute” initiative, which is befitting of the current holiday celebration.
Of course, there are many questions going through my mind from week to week; however, I had to narrow it down to a select few …
Here are my 5 Questions before this weekend's races:
Will there be a new Cup points leader from Hendrick Motorsports?
Matt Kenseth is the current points leader and his statistics at Daytona International Speedway consist of 2 wins, 5 top-5s and 12 top-10s. However, there are two Hendrick Motorsports drivers that are closely trailing him in the points standings – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (-11) and five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (-23). Track statistics for both of these drivers are as follows: Earnhardt Jr. has 2 wins, 9 top-5s and 14 top-10s whereas Johnson has 1 win, 6 top-5s and 9 top-10s.
There is definitely a chance that we may see a new points leader especially with the way that Team Hendrick has been running these past few races. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not counting Roush Fenway Racing out but we all know what can happen when all of the Hendrick cars are running well.
Can Carl Edwards and the No. 99 team grab a top-5 finish or win this weekend?
Carl Edwards and his No. 99 team came really close to crossing the finish line third at Kentucky Speedway last week until fuel mileage strategy cost them, resulting in a 20th place finish. In comparison to this team’s performance last season, it really surprising that the Cup championship runner-up is sitting 11th in points standings with no wins.
It is clear that Edwards is frustrated with his season performance thus far and is ready for things to turn around in a positive direction. He still has confidence in his crew chief and team; however, with just nine races to go in the regular season time may have run out for them to make the Chase. They are capable of grabbing a win or two along with some top finishes but will they be able to do so?
Will JGR driver Kyle “Rowdy” Busch make it through the race this weekend without engine problems?
Unfortunately, Kyle Busch has dealt with three consecutive engine failures (Dover, Pocono and Michigan) this season resulting in his current 12th place points standings. There has been tremendous speed in his cars but great finishes have eluded this team due to the consistent issues. Is he capable of winning more races and grabbing top finishes? Yes, there is no doubt about that. However, will he have to contend with any more mechanical issues?
Can Austin Dillon retake the Nationwide points lead back after losing six points for his infraction last week?
Rookie driver Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, drove to Victory Lane at Kentucky Speedway in dominating fashion last week and temporarily grabbed the points lead until post-race inspection. His race car failed body height requirements – due to this infraction there were penalties handed down on July 2, which cost the driver six points resulting in him losing the points lead to teammate Elliott Sadler.
He is heading into Friday night’s race four points behind the current leader and could get the points lead back depending upon his performance and finish. With one win under his signature cowboy hat, Austin Dillon is definitely in the hunt for his next win this season. Another factor include the performance and finish that Sadler showcases - his current statistics at this track include 0 wins, 4 top-5s and 9 top-10s. I think that there will definitely be a battle brewing between these two drivers. Can Austin Dillon come out victorious?
Who will be the ultimate fashionista at the track this weekend?
The definition of NASCAR fashionista … two of the top names that come to mind are Samantha Busch and Ingrid Vandebosch. Both of their styles are constantly being commented on, photographed and admired by a number of female fans from week to week.
What stylish clothing will these two NASCAR Divas be wearing this weekend? Who will be the ultimate fashionista in Daytona?
Be sure to follow them both on Twitter: @SamanthaBusch and @ivandebosch. By the way there are weekly shoe pictures shared by Mrs. Busch from the track.
Enjoy your time in Daytona! ________________
Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry" which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.