Many believe that if pole sitter Danica Patrick ends up winning the Daytona 500 this year it would be the most popular win in not just the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ history, but in all of racing.
Whether or not that would be true, a winner for Row 7 would undoubtedly be very popular and just as intriguing.
Tony Stewart and Mark Martin will share Row 7 and will bring in 42 combined starts in the Daytona 500. They’ve combined to win seven times at the Daytona International Speedway including in every race but the biggest one. Both have been dangerously close and have had their scary moments, but neither have had a chance to hoist the Harley J. Earl trophy at the end of the day.
If there’s any two drivers sharing a row for the Daytona 500 that’s more intriguing than this it would be hard to find. Both are fan favorites and getting to the end of their respective careers.
Martin is the ageless wonder and has won everything but a Cup title and the Daytona 500. He’s well known in Daytona Beach, Florida as he owns a home down there that he visits often. Many want to see him win this race before he retires as that like it or not is coming soon. The “kid” can’t do this forever and stay competitive every year so his window is almost closed.
Stewart has literally won everything in NASCAR but this race. I would think there’s only two things left to accomplish for Stewart with one being win the Indianapolis 500 and the other the Daytona 500. He’s won multiple IndyCar races and a championship, has numerous Sprint Cup wins and three season championships.
He’s also accomplished the rare feat of starting his own team and not only winning with it, but winning championships. Stewart-Hass Racing is now considered one of the best in the sport.
That leaves one thing to accomplish on the NASCAR side for Stewart and that’s win this race. Sunday, he will have a very good chance at it as will his row partner in Martin. With both of their histories in this sport and with this race, it’s safe to say if someone in Row 7 wins, it will be a popular one.
Follow Eric Smith on Twitter @ericsportsguru for all IndyCar and NASCAR news and updates
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