NASCAR Media Site
Daytona Beach, Fla- Picking a pole winner for a restrictor plate race is about as tough as it goes. The cars are so close and really a starting spot is meaningless due to the draft at Daytona and Talladega.
But, if there’s any race that winning a pole on a restrictor plate track means more than others, it’s for the Daytona 500. That’s because the front row is locked in as the rest of the starting spots are determined by the Budweiser Duels run on Thursday night (7PM/Fox/MRN).
If I had to pick a favorite to win the pole for next Sunday’s Daytona 500, it would be any of the four Richard Childress Racing cars.
They’ve been fast since they unloaded here for January’s Preseason test and backed that up in the two practice sessions on Saturday. When they take to the 2.5-mile high banked Daytona International Speedway tomorrow afternoon for qualifying (1PM/FOX/MRN), I would be shocked if they didn’t sweep the front row.
In January, Austin Dillon was the quickest of the rain shortened test with a lap of 195.109 mph in his No. 3 Chevrolet. His RCR teammates Brain Scott, Matt Crafton (subbing for Paul Menard) and Ryan Newman were second, third and 17th respectivley a month ago.
In today’s first session, all four were in the top five as Menard was fastest at 195.042 mph in the No. 27 Menard’s Chevy. Newman was second followed by Dillon (fourth) and Scott (fifth).
They flexed their muscle in the second and final session of the day too as Newman led the way with the days fastest speed at 195.346 mph in his No. 31 CAT Chevy. Dillon was second in the practice session with Scott eighth. Menard must have found enough in the first practice as he didn’t make a run in second practice
That’s why they’re the team to beat. They’re just outworking everyone so far.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. He’s covered both NASCAR and IndyCar action since 2010 and has been credentialed to many races around the country. He’s also recognized as an accredited member of the media by both NASCAR and IndyCar. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
The post NASCAR: Daytona 500 Pole Likely to Go Through Richard Childress Racing appeared first on Race Review Online.