Don't try to predict today's race

Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2013, 8:41 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Anthony Sandoval,
Every Daytona 500 has its twists and turns, literally, but this year's 55th running of the Great American Racecould be the most unpredictableof themall.

Throw in all that has changed with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and your guess is as good as mine.

As always, you're going to need a lot of speed. Especiallyto pass the leaderin this year's race. With the new generation 6 stock cars, there has been a noticeable trend going on. For the first time in years, the leading car is the strongest car instead of being the lame duck on the final lap.

That means we're not going to see an exciting last lap pass coming off of Turn 4 today, unless everybody hangs the leader out to dry with no drafting help whatsoever. You're going to need help, no doubt about it, but any move the driver makes for all the glorywill come witha lap anda half or even two to go.

Driver'sto watch: I could bore you with a favorite such as Tony Stewart,Brad Keselowskior even Kyle Busch, but I'm going to throw a curveball. Everyone knowsthe restrictor-plate track haveseen its fair share of first-time winners in the Cupseries. With the new car making its debut,and everybody learning the ropes itlevels the playing field.

Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Danica Patrick andAric Almirola have impressed this week.All four of these drivers are phenomenal talents, and there is no doubt in my mind they have just as good a shot as the 39 other drivers. It's all about putting yourself in the right spot at the right time.

With all due respect to the other threewinless drivers, Austin Dillon is mypick to win after his very impressive run in Thursday's Budweiser Duel. Dillon adapts to new environments very quickly and looks to have agood grip on the new car.Unlike the others, who are full time drivers, this is one of just a few races Dillon willbe running in the Cup series, so he will be looking to impress.

If you have anything you want to note about this year's Daytona 500 or disagree with my pick, please, feel free tosend me yours.
Anthony Sandoval can be reached on twitter @ASandoval_DA or by email



Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.

(More History)